YORK, NY — Since the first successful commercial winery in New York State was located in the town of York, right here in Livingston County, it is time that we reclaimed our economic history by extending the wine trail throughout our county.
New York State is rising fast in the wine business, winning awards and gaining an identity. The wine business is not just about selling wine. It’s about selling a lifestyle, a history, and a culture.
In Tuscany they call it agriturismo, that is, agro-tourism, and they were a little too good at selling it.
Back in the 1970s, the major cities and market towns of Tuscany became overrun with tourists to the point that quality of life for the locals began to suffer. They seized upon an ingenious strategy to solve the problem. They dispersed the tourism into the countryside by developing tourist locations in the small towns. This not only eased the crushing pressure on the population centers, but it shared the wealth and profit of tourism in the rural areas.
There are all kinds of vacations. Sometimes we define our options too narrowly. We all know about beach vacations, gambling vacations, and museum vacations. We know about state parks and Broadway shows. But other folks around the world know about taking vacations in farm country. These vacations are slow paced and relaxing. You taste the local wines and tasty delights. You discover great little stories from the local history. You follow your interests and find a little corner of the countryside to call your own for a few days. This is called agro-tourism. It’s more than just a wine tour.
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