• Wine & Grape Foundation breathing again

29 Mar

It appears that last-minute maneuvering has saved the New York Wine & Grape Foundation.

The industry lobbying and education group had been zeroed out of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposed 2011-2012 state budget, which foundation president Jim Trezise said would mean its quick demise.

However, $713,000 has been inserted into the budget by the state Legislature’s Joint Budget Subcommittee on Environment, Agriculture, and Housing, Assemblyman Dan Losquadro, a Long Island Republican, said today.

Among its numerous activities, the Wine & Grape Foundation created and runs the annual New York Wine & Food Classic, a competition for New York wines that helps popularize New York wines and helps winemakers market their products.

A call to the Foundation office in Canandaigua for comment was referred to Trezise, who was said to be working outside the office today. No response has yet been received to a message left with him.

The subcommittee also added $500,000 for the state’s Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program, which will aid vineyards throughout the state.

The grape, grape juice and wine industries contributed more than $3.76 billion in economic benefits to New York’s economy in 2008, according to a study by the Napa Valley-based Stonebridge Research Group LLC, released in January.

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