Description 1 of 2

Though the first successful North American wine production is often credited to California, New York is where the industry was first pioneered in the United States. The Dutch and Huguenot settlers were the first to cultivate wine grapes in the 16th century. The oldest continuously operating winery, the Brotherhood Winery (which produces strictly sacramental wines, which is how they got around the Prohibition), first known as Jacques Brothers, was established in 1837. The country’s first bonded winery, the Pleasant Valley Wine Company (also known as the Great Western Wine Company), was established in the 1860s in Steuben County. 

For a long time, New York wines languished behind the high reputations of its west coast rivals. Most of the wines produced were labrusca varieties such as Concord, Diamond and Baco Noir, mostly in sweet styles that were embraced by certain drinkers, but ignored by much of the “serious” wine community. In the 1950s, Dr. Konstantin Frank immigrated from the Ukraine to work at Cornell University’s Geneva Experiment, where he continued his studies of vinifera grapes. Recognizing certain regions for their excellent growing conditions, he was determined to kindle the passion for European varietals in New York state. In 1962, he established Dr. Konstantin Frank Vinifera Cellars in the Finger Lakes. His Rieslings in particular (he also planted Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Gewürztraminer and Cabernet Sauvignon among others) were well received. In 1976, the New York Farm Winery Act was enacted to assist wine-makers in their farming prospects, and encourage quality production. By the 1980s and 90s, more and more vintners became interested in the state’s various terroirs and microclimates, producing wines from grapes best suited to the conditions, and continuing to experiment with local yeasts and modern methods. 
Today, New York state has a thriving wine industry, with award-winning wines from many of its regions. Modern vintners are practicing sustainable methods and looking toward less predictable grapes and blends for their wines to create uniquely New York representations. California? Bordeaux? Fuhgeddaboudit, this is New York, baby!
The main growing regions in New York State are:
*The Finger Lakes (including Cayuga Lake and Seneca Lake)
*The Hudson River Region
*Lake Erie
*Long Island (including the North Fork and the Hamptons)
*Niagara County
*Niagara Escarpment
– Description from Amanda Schuster

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Description 2 of 2

The Empire State is the 2nd largest producer of wine in the U.S., boasting 4 wine-growing regions and 8 AVAs. New York is also one of America’s oldest commercial wine states, with a wine history dating to the 1860s. Today, vineyards are found in nearly half of its counties. New York’s wine regions reach from the shores of Lake Erie to the tip of Long Island, encompassing a wide range of terrain, climate and wine styles. Much of this production is still from native American labrusca varieties like Concord and Niagara, grown primarily for kosher wines. The balance is split between wines made from French-American hybrids, and an ever-expanding catalogue of classic vinifera varieties. The largest actual vineyard area is the Lake Erie District AVA, which extends into Pennsylvania and Ohio. – Description from Appellation America (view original content)

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