Long live the grapes, yo, I'm from the Empire State

We live in a wild world here in the city, and it’s all to easy to overlook what’s right at our doorstep.

The state of New York is a powerhouse in the world of wine; to the over 8 million people living in the city, though, the vineyards are far out of mind.

When I first traveled to the North Fork of Long Island—a mere 90 minute car ride from NYC—I felt as if I passed an invisible curtain and the trappings of urban life instantly transformed to bucolic countryside.  Vineyards and apple orchards replaced gas stations and billboards hawking insurance claims.  I was astounded at how close it was and how little I knew about it.

My trips through the Finger Lakes were equally transportive.  The myriad shades of green and rolling hills reminded me of my travels through Ireland in my early 20’s.

I’ve only cracked the surface of learning what lies here in my vinous-filled state, though, so I did some sniffing around the web in search of geeky maps and even-geekier facts to give you an overview of where our juice comes from.  Below is a look at the state as a whole, followed by three of it’s major wine-producing regions (North Fork, Finger Lakes & Lake Erie).

So, let’s hear it for New York, New York, New York.

NEW YORK STATE

  • Ranking: Third largest wine producer in the U.S.
  • New York has 10 AVA’s (American Viticultural Areas)
  • 40 million gallons (200 million liters, 200 million bottles) average annual production (Finger Lakes 85%, Hudson River 10%, Other 5 %)
  • Wineries: 255 Statewide (Finger Lakes- 96, Hudson River Region- 37, Long Island-50, Lake Erie- 18, 7 in the Niagara Escarpment and surrounding area, Other- 47)
  • Average Crush:  160,000 tons of grapes from about 950 growers
  • Gross Wine Sales:  Over $420 Million
  • Employees: About 3,000 at wineries; about 12,000 in vineyards
  • 1647-1664 Grapes planted on Manhattan Island by the Dutch.

North Fork of Long Island

NORTH FORK OF LONG ISLAND

  • Date established: October 10, 1986
  • Acres of vineyard: Approximately 1,830
  • Bonded wineries: 39
  • Growing season: 233 days
  • Located within the Long Island AVA; characterized by the long growing season and unique meso-climate produced by Long Island Sound and Great Peconic Bay.

Finger Lakes

FINGER LAKES

  • Date established: October 1, 1982
  • Acres of vineyard: 9,341
  • Bonded wineries: 96
  • Growing season: 190-205 days
  • Characterized by the “lake effect” meso-climates along several of the glacier carved Finger Lakes, the “air drainage” of sloping hillsides, and glacial soils conducive to drainage.

Lake Erie

LAKE ERIE

  • Date established: November 21, 1983
  • Acres of vineyard: 20,217
  • Bonded wineries: 18
  • Growing season: 200 days
  • Characterized by the temperature-moderating effects of Lake Erie, captured by the parallel Allegheny Plateau

For more information, click on the links below to visit some of the NY wine websites where I found the above facts and maps:

And remember: drink local…Jay-Z would want it that way.

Jay-Z doing a comparative analysis of the various representations of terroir found in Finger Lakes Riesling

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17 Responses to “Empire State of Wine”

  1. terroirNY says:

    "Long live the grapes, yo, I'm from the Empire State" NY wines as seen by @grapesandgrains: http://cot.ag/9T7Mrw READ. DRINK. RINSE. REPEAT.

  2. RT @terroirNY: "Long live the grapes, yo, I'm from the Empire State" NY wines as seen by @grapesandgrains: http://cot.ag/9T7Mrw READ. DR …

  3. A quick intro to the NY wine scene from @grapesandgrains http://cot.ag/9T7Mrw

  4. RT @terroirNY: "Long live the grapes, yo, I'm from the Empire State" NY wines as seen by @grapesandgrains: http://cot.ag/9T7Mrw

  5. RT @terroirNY: "Long live the grapes, yo, I'm from the Empire State" NY wines as seen by @grapesandgrains: http://cot.ag/9T7Mrw READ. DR …

  6. Jeremy says:

    this is awesome! great work david!

  7. Empire State of Wine: http://bit.ly/cK06Bz. NY juice that fuels @lenndevours @evandawson @nywinewench & the rest of the @nycorkreport team!

  8. Good Job… I had no idea 85% of NY wine was made upstate! I thought most of it came from Long Island.

    B.t.w. Has anybody tasted the Dr. Frank Gruner Veltliner yet? I tasted it at the winery over the summer and I think it’s really good.

  9. terroirNY says:

    "Long live the grapes, yo, I'm from the Empire State" NY wines as seen by @grapesandgrains: http://cot.ag/9T7Mrw READ. DRINK. MEMORIZE.

  10. RT @grapesandgrains: Empire State of Wine: http://bit.ly/cK06Bz. NY juice that fuels @lenndevours @evandawson @nywinewench & the rest o …

  11. Empire State of Wine: Essential NY Maps & Facts | Grapes and Grains http://t.co/Gqr9vyi

  12. Grapes & Grains: Empire State of Wine http://ow.ly/3a4tb #wine

  13. Richard Rose says:

    Great post! I live on long Island myself and have backyard vineyard which produces very well for me. I have visited a few wineries on the tip of long island but i had know idea there was so many upstate. Ill probably be taking a trip upstate to visit one very soon but thanks for the insight.

  14. Richard Rose says:

    Also check my site it has a lot of information for individuals who wish to start there on backyard vineyard just Click Here

  15. Cheers for dropping a line, Richard. A trip to the Finger Lakes should be mandatory for every NY wine-lover.

  16. I Love New York State Wine! We visited Marjim Manor a few months ago and had a wonderful experience!! Thanks for sharing yours! Cheers!

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