CANANDAIGUA, NY — After surviving repeated reductions in its state funding, the New York Wine & Grape Foundation may be running out of lives.
Not only has Governor Andrew Cuomo decided not to propose expansion of wine sales to grocery stores in his budget as a potential revenue stream, he also has zeroed out any financial aid to the foundation which is devoted to lobbying, research, marketing and education on behalf of New York State vineyards and wineries.
Foundation President Jim Trezise makes no bones about what will happen if legislators do not restore some funding as they have done the past two budgets: “We’ll be gone. Within three months by the end of June, the New York Wine and Grape Foundation will be closing its doors and it will not be coming back.”
At one time, the foundation — which is headquartered in offices here in the New York Wine & Culinary Center — was being funded by the state to the tune of $3 million annually. That has fallen to $700,000 in the current budget.
The foundation has been in operation since 1985 during which the number of wineries in the state has expanded to include 51 of the 62 counties.
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