First, the New York Wine & Grape Foundation opened up the New York Wine & Culinary Center in Canandaigua. That made sense to me. The NYWGF is headquartered in the Finger Lakes and that region also has the most wineries.
But the news that the NYWGF received a state grant to explore the possibility of opening a similar, but scaled-down version in the Hudson Valley region strikes me as an odd choice.
I’m a big supporter of the Hudson Valley region and it’s wines, but why put a center there? The wineries are spread out quite a bit geographically throughout the region (the "trails" aren’t that easy to follow) and, in general, the wines just aren’t that good. There are a few producers who have impressed me, but why not put a center here on Long Island? We have many of the best wines and the same proximity to New York City.
Come to think of it, this has to be about money. You can probably get a nice chunk of land and have a building constructed up in the Hudson Valley a lot cheaper than you can here on Long Island.
But I think that a center like this one would thrive on the North Fork. The wineries are localized onto to main roads and a center seems like a great fit.
There are a lot of people in the local industry here who, when speaking off the record, feel that the NYWGF plays favorites with upstate wineries and sometimes makes the Long Island an afterthought. Hopefully that isn’t the case and that isn’t part of the reason here.