Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s latest attempt to draw attention to the upstate tourism industry will take him to Finger Lakes wine country on Tuesday, Gannett’s Albany Bureau reported over the weekend.
Cuomo will participate in a motor coach tour of three Finger Lakes wineries as part of the “Governor’s Cup Wine Tour,” according to an invitation obtained by Gannett’s Albany Bureau. The Governor’s Cup is a silver chalice awarded annually to the top wine at the New York Wine & Food Classic, a statewide competition that begins Monday and has drawn 879 entries this year.
The tour is intended to tout upstate wines to downstate retailers. Members of the Metro Package Store Association, a trade group representing wine and liquor store owners in New York City, Westchester County and Long Island, will accompany Cuomo.
“The governor is bringing people from New York City — wine store owners and restaurants and so forth — up to the Finger Lakes for a day,” said Jim Trezise, president of the New York Wine & Grape Foundation, which organizes the competition. “They’re going to go to three different wineries to taste the wines, plus we’re going to have wines at those stops from Long Island and the Hudson Valley and other regions of the state.”
Cuomo’s bus tour Tuesday will kick off at Anthony Road Winery in Penn Yan, Yates County, before making stops at Glenora Wine Cellars in Dundee and Lakewood Vineyards in Watkins Glen, Schuyler County. Cuomo will hand out the Governor’s Cup and the Winery of the Year award at a ceremony at the Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel.
Since the end of the legislative session in June, Cuomo has focused on upstate New York as he tries to attract attention to its tourism industry.
The entries will be judged by a small panel of experts on Monday, with top-rated selections moving on Tuesday, where they’ll be rated by all judges. The Governor’s Cup has been awarded in some form since 1986.
“The more recognition that we can get, especially from events like this, the better it is for the Finger Lakes area,” said Sarah Eighmey, manager of Anthony Road Winery. “We’re growing by leaps and bounds and it’s important that we get some recognition for the fabulous wines that we are able to produce here.”