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ThirtyFifty - Hens

New York wines with Jim Tresize

Jim Tresize is president of the New York Wine and Grape Foundation which represents growers and wineries in the region as well as grape juice producers such as Welchs. There are 260 wineries and 1000 vineyards in five main regions - some of which have sub-regions.

The oldest region is Hudson River Valley. Discovered by the European Henry Hudson 400 years ago it is the oldest wine region in the United States. The other 4 New York wine regions are Long Island, Finger Lakes (80% of production), Niagara Escarpment and Lake Erie. The regions are designated as American Vitculture Areas (AVAs) which authenticate the origin of the grapes. The wine industry today reflects diversity of New York city but began with native American grape varieties growing in the wild such as Concord and Niagara from the Vitis Labrusca family. After phylloxera in late 1800's, the French created hybrids and these were imported to the United States before two Europeans brought over Vitis Vinifera grapes. Most of the wine produced stays within the region and is purchased at the cellar door. The region is on a par with Washington State in terms of production and produces around 200 million bottles a year.


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