The Wine Bloggers Conference recently caught up with Laury Poland, President of the Finger Lakes Wine Country Tourism Marketing Association, an Elite Sponsor of the 2015 conference. New York was named the 2014 “Wine Region of the Year” by Wine Enthusiast magazine and we are pumped to be in the Finger Lakes next summer. The Finger Lakes area is also a great wine country destination during the winter months and holiday season. Thanks, Laury, for taking the time to dive into what makes the Finger Lakes so special and giving us all great things to look forward to at the 2015 Wine Bloggers Conference!
Holiday Q&A with Laury Poland
Q: What do you think makes the Finger Lakes wine area so awesome during the holiday season?
A: The Finger Lakes region in upstate New York is a spectacular place to be any time of year, but the more peaceful months from Thanksgiving until springtime are some of my favorites in Finger Lakes Wine Country. Our friends who visit the region during the winter months are treated with gifts of time, attention and savings.
Time because there are no lines, less waiting and fewer cars, giving permission for the visitor to absorb the breathtaking beauty that is the Finger Lakes. Precious time seems to stand gloriously still during our winters, allowing folks to breathe in the fresh air and the local experience with more intention and meaning.
Attention because those interested in delving deeper into the appreciation of wine can learn first-hand from the masters. In winter, casually chatting with vineyardists and winemakers—now finally blessed with time themselves following a busy harvest season—is commonplace.
Savings because of the significant affordability of the region during the peaceful season, especially after the wallet-draining holidays when all we want to do is get away and relax at a great price.
There’s an opportunity right now to take advantage of substantial savings through Winter in Wine Country. Book a Winter in Wine Country package through March 31, 2015 and receive discounted rates—even free nights—with participating accommodations. At check-in you will receive the Palate Passport, your ticket to winter savings, offering great discounts, deals, and experiences from many popular attractions, wineries, shops and restaurants.
Q: What makes the Finger Lakes wine area so awesome to visit the rest of the year?
Finger Lakes Wine Country is truly a four-season destination, with something happening every day of the year.
After Winter in Wine Country, our area comes alive as the days get longer and warmer. In some places daffodils or forsythia herald spring; in wine country, it’s bud break. Bud break is when the grape starts its annual growth cycle, signaling the commencement of the next eagerly anticipated vintage—now the excitement begins!
Visitors will be able to enjoy the 100,000-square-foot North Wing addition of the Corning Museum of Glass, which includes a new 26,000-square-foot contemporary art gallery building as well as one of the world’s largest facilities for glassblowing demonstrations and live glass design sessions. The $64 million project, which was fully funded by major benefactor Corning Incorporated, will open to the public March 20, 2015.
Summertime in the region is all about the outdoors. When visitors join us during the warmer months, their only problem is they run out of time. The choices are endless! Sail, swim or ski the lakes. Hike, ride, walk, jog or run our seemingly infinite miles of trails. Pack a picnic lunch and relish the sights of our 1000+ waterfalls and gorges. Feel the excitement of road racing and NASCAR at Watkins Glen International. Indulge in gourmet meals featuring impeccably prepared regional cuisine, unbelievably rich local cheeses and exquisite chocolates. Weave in the tastes of exceptional craft-brewed beers, small batch distilled spirits, freshly fermented ciders and impeccable wines which consistently earn international acclaim and recognition.
In the autumn months, the Finger Lakes region is a vibrant display of color and activity. Fall foliage is undeniably vibrant and alluring—even spiritual—ushering in our busiest season of all.
Experience the region’s glass influence by wandering through Corning’s Gaffer District—a walkable area of historic brick-lined streets dotted with wonderful shops, restaurants and galleries. This quaint neighborhood takes its name from the gaffers—or glassblowers—who pioneered the region’s vital glass industry which continues to flourish to this day.
As the leaves begin to turn, the vineyards and the farms come alive with harvest and the hum of the action drums up energy and excitement. Fall festivals are everywhere and road side stands are filled with the bounty of the Earth—our reward for rich glacial soils, moderate temperatures, light rains and glorious rays of sunshine. Crisp apples, pick-your-own berries and grape pies are must haves when visiting the Finger Lakes.
Q: What is everyone at Finger Lakes Wine County looking forward to in 2015?
A: The Finger Lakes region has something to offer every month of the year. The City of Corning looks forward to hosting the 2015 Wine Bloggers Conference, welcoming 330 or more of our closest friends to experience Finger Lakes Wine Country in August. Corning is just 11 short miles from Elmira Corning Regional Airport (ELM), the most convenient transportation provider for #WBC15 and for all visitors to Finger Lakes Wine Country.
The wines bloggers and travelers taste while they’re in Upstate New York reflect the diversity of the region. Riesling grapes produce wines that range in style from bold, dry and minerally to superb expressions of peach and apricot. Other aromatic whites such as Gewürztraminer and Pinot Gris also thrive in the Finger Lakes. Sparkling wine, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, Lemberger and Ice wines round out the region’s exceptional wine portfolio.
Bloggers will experience the outstanding wines produced throughout the Finger Lakes, along with the genuine warmth and hospitality that comes second nature to the folks who call this remarkable place home. The entire region is gearing up to welcome wine bloggers—and all our visitors—as they experience the beauty, feel the history and taste the wine of Finger Lakes Wine Country.