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Study Shows New York Wineries Have A Major Economic Impact

ROCHESTER, NY (WXXI) - The wine and grape industry is big business in New York State. That’s something that state officials and entrepreneurs have known for a while, but it’s detailed in numbers that were contained in a recent study on the economic impact of that industry.

The study found that the wine and grape industry in New York directly creates 71,950 jobs, generating $2.79 billion in wages and $6.65 billion in direct economic impact.

Sam Filler is the executive director of the New York Wine & Grape Foundation, which

funded the study. He said that the growth from the wine and grape industry has been steady for a number of years now.

“Even the existing wineries that have been in the state for a number of  years are growing and they’re expanding their product lines, so it’s not the rapid increase that the beer industry has seen, but it’s been slow and positive,” Filler said.

Even with the state’s beer industry growing at a very fast pace in recent years, Filler is not worried about competition for the amount of money spent by tourists and state residents on winery tours and related activities.

“The breweries recognize that tasting rooms are where you can do well with your sales and that’s the model that the wineries have pioneered in New York state, so I think it’s all about attracting visitors and so the more that people have a positive experience, the more they’re going to return,” Filler said.

Filler also said that Finger Lakes wines continue to gain respect around the country and even in Canada, where he said officials in the province of Ontario will allow the sale of Finger Lakes wines in some stores in Toronto and online as well.