Friday, February 24, 2012

NYWGF's New York Drinks New York Program a Recipe for Success!

Below is a piece form Jim Trezise, of the New York Wine and Grape Foundation. It is about a new program, which has started to gell, of pitching New York wines in New York City. New York City is the grand stage of wine, one of the true Broadway of the world where wine is concerned. And New York Wine has been playing out of town for a long time. It's time to star on the Big White Way. I cannot applaud the NYWFG, Jim Trezise or the board of directors enough for this program and for what it means for New York wine. The media there is hungry for a news story, and the wiens we make have recieved enough good reviews, from all our regions, that it is time New York wine got the recognition it deserves.

Jim Trezise and his organization have helped to grow this industry from its infancy to it's very robust state. No one had overseen such an expansion on the east coast. This new mature industry is burgeoning at the seams. This new direction is the one we need. I applaud this move wholeheartedly. This program won't do it all by itself. The wineries need to work it too. And the stores and restauarants need to support it too. But it is the right first step, and step which needs repeating every year or every other year! Big hand for all those involved! - CD

New York wines are going into New York City--but not before New York City sommeliers, wine store professionals, and wine writers visit "wine country" in the Finger Lakes, Hudson River, and Long Island regions.

That "exchange program" is a key part of our "New York Drinks New York" promotion, which involves 38 wineries from various regions that are eager to get their slice of the Big Apple. Wineries from the Niagara and Thousand Islands regions are also participating.

The first step involved some great market research conducted by First Press Public Relations, the superb small agency that is orchestrating the program for us. The information and opinions shared by the New York City wine intelligentsia provided valuable insights into the perceptions, challenges and opportunities facing New York wines.

Next up were "cellar visits" to wineries in the Hudson River and Finger Lakes regions by groups of New York wine professionals, with a second Finger Lakes trip starting tomorrow and the Long Island session next weekend. The groups have the opportunity to visit some of the wineries, taste the regional wines, savor some great local foods, and learn how to prune vines (in winter, of course). The Finger Lakes visits also involve great local foods at the New York Wine & Culinary Center and several food-focused wineries like Heron Hill, Knapp, Red Newt, Sheldrake Point, and Wagner Vineyards--topped off with a visit to the awesome Finger Lakes Distillers operation of Brian MacKenzie and Thomas MacKenzie (not related!)

The tables turn on March 9-12, when represenatives from the participating wineries descend on New York City for a series of in-store tastings, a bus tour of Brooklyn wine shops, a group dinner, and the grand finale tasting for the trade, media, and consumers on March 12 at Astor Center. New York wines have already become such a hot item that more than half of the consumer tickets sold out within hours of when they went on sale.

Another fun part of the program is advertising on taxi tops, with the "NY Drinks NY" message accompanied by names of participating wineries and the mini-web site created specifically for this program (

The "New York Drinks New York" program will provide a great start to getting a larger presence for New York wines in New York City. The next challenge will be finding the money to maintain the momentum.
- Jim Trezise, The Wine Press