Dixon said there are several changes for this year's Riesling Festival, starting with the location. It will be held at the New York Wine & Culinary Center and the Canandaigua City Pier. Festival-goers will be able to enjoy a wine garden, tastings, cheese pairings, New York state craft beer, local food, live music and kids' activities. Also new this year will be the opportunity to stomp grapes.
Dixon said the grape and wine industry generates over $4.8 billion annually for the state's economy, and the Finger Lakes accounts for about 75 percent of that with more than 130 wineries. According to Jim Trezise of the New York Wine and Grape Foundation, Riesling grapes and wines thrive in the Finger Lakes because the cool climate and sloping hillsides are similar to the wine regions of Germany, the origin of Riesling.
The Riesling Festival has found a home in the Rochester area for several reasons. Dixon noted we like to celebrate in Rochester. In addition, the wealth of wineries, breweries and viticulture in the Finger Lakes region makes for a good fit. Through the years, the Riesling Festival has also generated over $150,000 for the Canandaigua YMCA.
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