Finger Lakes wineries, cidery, win state honors

The Finger Lakes region has won big at the annual New York Wine Classic in Watkins Glen this week. The region was also represented in an award for agricultural environmental management.

Winning the wine classic’s Governor’s Cup was Keuka Spring Vineyards for its 2017 Gewurztraminer. Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery was named Winery of the year.  Both wineries overlook Keuka Lake.

For the first time ever, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo also presented the Governor’s Cider Cup award, which went to Kite & String’s Pioneer Pippin cider, produced as the house cider for the Finger Lakes Cider House in Interlaken, Seneca County.

“New York’s world-renowned wineries and cideries are second to none and help drive tourism, strengthen local economies and create jobs across the state,” Cuomo said. “The annual New York Wine Classic celebrates and recognizes the best of the best of our craft beverage industry, and I congratulate the winners and encourage those interested to try these world-class products for themselves.”

The classic, organized by the New York Wine & Grape Foundation, judged 853 wines from New York, and 71 hard ciders from New York.

Sam Filler, executive director of the NY Wine & Grape Foundation, said the winners will receive a year of promotion at special events, including the New York State Fair, starting Aug. 23. They also will receive marketing materials to promote their products as wine classic winners.

Meanwhile, at Empire State Days, taking place at the north end of Seneca Lake this week, the 2018 State Agricultural Environmental Management Award was presented to Lakewood Farm and Lakewood Vineyards of Watkins Glen. The award recognizes outstanding efforts to protect the environment by preserving soil and water quality. Lakewood is the first vineyard to win the annual award.

Lakewood’s David Stamp said, “We’re very honored to receive the award. I’m just carrying on what was instilled in me growing up. We’ve got to take care of the land to reap its rewards. We’ve worked with (Schuyler County Soil and Water District) over the years to help implement a lot of projects.”

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