Sunday, October 30, 2011

NYWGF Launches New York City Promotion

Just yesterday the The New York Wine & Grape Foundation announced it had initiated a new program focusing on getting New York wines better established in the New York City market. The initial phase of the program will be concentrated in the first three months of 2012 as a launching pad for additional activities in the future.

The statewide trade organization headquartered in Canandaigua, NY has retained First Press Public Relations in Manhattan to create and coordinate the multi-faceted program, which will involve initial market research; "cellar visits" to the main wine regions by New York City media and trade representatives; a multi-day market visit to New York City by participating wineries; media outreach and advertising; and a dedicated web site for New York wines in New York City.

This is a great moment for new York wine. Now New York wine will be front and center in one of the world's major wine markets.

I want to laud Jim and the board of the NYWGF for this imaginative new strike out into promotional world. This is in fact the way other wine regions make their way in the competitive wine marketplace. It costs money to do it. The NYWGF, as I have been saying for some time, is under funded. To be in a room with sommeliers, restauarant owners, wine store owners and/or media is the ultimate audience. It is where we need to be. As a region and as a state. I want to congratulate and commend all those involved with the project. It is a great stepping stone for those who are interested in taking the next step in becoming wineries of importance.

I want to say I will do everything I can to cheer on this promotion on behalf of the NYWGF, as I think it is the promotion we desperately need. I thunderously applaud Jim for taking this step forward. I think it is the right opportunity. I cannot recommend this action highly enough, and again I want to thank and applaud all those involved in putting for this program together.

This kind of promotion puts New York wine on the same playing field with Oregon, Washington, Virginia, and other regions vying for the nation's number one market's attention.

"We are very excited about this promotion, and about working with First Press on it," said Foundation President Jim Trezise. "New York wines are poised to be a bigger part of New York City's renowned culinary landscape, and First Press's experience, talent, and savvy will propel us in that direction." Among many clients in the wine and food sectors, First Press has represented the Napa Valley Vintners Association, Wine Institute of California, Cakebread Cellars, and others.

Over the past several years, the quality of New York wines has improved dramatically, with many now routinely receiving scores of 90 or above in major wine consumer magazines and winning top awards in international wine competitions. Still, they remain vastly underrepresented in their major home state market, which also happens to be the world's most competitive.

More over, I am enthused because the NYWGF maintains that this will not be a one shot deal, but rather a recurring promotion. It is important that the promotion be repeated each year. It is the kind of activity that can only engender more interest in New York wines from media types, restaurant and store owners, and consumers.

"We're not urging New Yorkers to buy New York wines because they're local, but because they're high-quality products at reasonable prices," said Trezise. "But the added benefit of buying really good, affordable New York wines is that these consumers are also supporting their own state economy."

Thirty-eight New York wineries from various regions will participate in the promotion, including 21 from the Finger Lakes region, 9 from Long Island, 5 from the Hudson Valley, 2 from the Niagara region, and 1 from the Thousand Islands region. All New York wineries were invited to participate.

Finger Lakes participants include Anthony Road Winery, Atwater Estate Vineyards, Chateau LaFayette Reneau, Dr. Konstantin Frank Vinifera Wine Cellars, Eagle Crest Vineyards, Fox Run Vineyards, Glenora Wine Cellars, Heron Hill Winery, Hosmer Winery, Inspire Moore Winery, King Ferry Winery, Knapp Vineyards & Winery, Lakewood Vineyards, Lamoreaux Landing Wine Cellars, Pleasant Valley Wine Company/Great Western Winery, Red Newt Cellars, Sheldrake Point Vineyards, Standing Stone Vineyards, Swedish Hill Winery, Thirsty Owl Wine Company, and Wagner Vineyards.

Long Island participants include Baiting Hollow Farm Vineyard, Bedell Cellars, Channing Daughters, Macari Vineyards, Martha Clara Vineyards, Palmer Vineyards, Paumanok Vineyards, Raphael Vineyard, and Wolffer Estate Vineyard.

Hudson River region wineries are Benmarl Winery, Brotherhood Winery, Clinton Vineyards, Millbrook Winery, and Stoutridge Vineyard.

Niagara region wineries are Leonard Oakes Estate Winery and Spring Lake Winery; and from the Thousand Islands region is Thousand Islands Winery.

About a year ago, the Foundation sponsored a statewide strategic planning exercise to get industry input on potential programs, and a focus on the New York City market was one of the top priorities. This three-month program is intended to set the stage for a long-term effort to earn New York wines the place they deserve in the fine restaurants, wine bars, and wine shops of New York City.

Anyone hoping to find out more information can contact Jim Trezise, 585-394-3620, ext. 203,