Anticipating New York’s New Food and Wine Center

New York’s Finger Lakes region is well known for its wines and for its artesian foods. Cheese and strawberries complement the locally grown wines very well, and the Seneca Wine Trail is growing in popularity. In Fall 2006 the region will unveil a wine and food center that will hopefully draw attention to the regions many wine and food opportunities. Barbara Pierce is the point person on the project, and she describes the upcoming project in glowing terms.

Miranda Marquit: What will be the purpose of the new wine center?

Barbara Pierce: The center will serve as a gateway to the food and wine offered by New York state. Tourists and New Yorkers alike can learn about the history of agribusiness and agritourism in the state, and be directed to the areas of the state, including Long Island and the Hudson Valley, that offer good food and wine. Additionally, building the new center provides jobs in the Finger Lakes region, and serves as an educational facility for culinary students and the public.

MM: What are some of the features planned for the center?

BP: Two kitchens: a demonstration kitchen and a hands-on learning kitchen. Classes will be offered for a reasonable fee. A special bar allows the public to sample wines as well as other foods from New York. Pairings such as champagne from the wineries and strawberries grown in New York will be offered. A concierge desk, staffed with knowledgeable people, can answer inquiries about agritours, wine trails, and things to do in every section of the state.

MM: How much did you draw on inspiration from Copia in Napa Valley and the Australian wine center?

BP: The look is New York’s own. Tim Tyskicwicz (the architect from Victor, N.Y.) designed it in a rambling farmhouse style, and it looks very much like what you would see in our state. We didn’t want to be just like other wine centers, but we did look to Copia and the National Wine Centre of Australia to see what worked for them, and to figure out what failed. What we have is unique and expressive of the flavor of New York.

Wine and culinary centers are popping up in many places, and it appears that in New York’s Finger Lakes region that there will be plenty to taste, as well as to see and do.

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