By Lenn Thompson, Executive Editor

Empire-StateBOTTLEDNYLogoColor2011 The Long Island Wine Council estimates that 1.2 million people visited Long Island wine country last year. The Finger Lakes Wine Country promotion group estimates that 750,000 visited wineries in that region. And according to the New York Wine and Grape Foundation website, there were nearly 5 million total visitors to New York wine country in 2008.

That's a lot of people tasting — and hopefully buying — a lot of New York wine.

Empire State Cellars has the potential to dwarf that exposure when it opens later this summer at the Tanger Outlet Center in Riverhead.

"Incredibly, the Tanger Riverhead Outlet mall sees five million cars (per year). That