Thursday, January 24, 2013

Inaugural Wine Symposium Comes to Finger Lakes March 23; Features Riesling Challenge

Seneca Lake, Geneva, N.Y.

Seneca Lake, Geneva, N.Y. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Geneva, N.Y. – Aimed at wine enthusiasts, the inaugural Wine Symposium of the Finger Lakes will be a world-class wine and food experience held in the heart of the Finger Lakes, in Geneva, N.Y., march 23. Attendees will learn from and taste wines alongside international experts and, in the process, learn about the Finger Lakes American Viticultural Area (AVA) in the context of the world’s key wine producing regions.

“The Finger Lakes is being recognized as a world-class cool-climate winegrowing region. The stature of the Wine Symposium and Riesling Challenge wine competition will further our reputation by establishing a premier celebration of wine and food within the Finger Lakes,” explains Bob Madill, co-chair of the Wine Symposium of the Finger Lakes and member of the Finger Lakes Wine Alliance.

This event, scheduled for March 23, 2013, will begin with a structured tasting on the principles of pairing food and wine presented by Walter Scheib, White House executive chef (1994-2005), and James Treadwell, one of Canada’s top sommeliers and co-owner of Treadwell Farm-to-Table cuisine in Port Dalhousie, Ontario.

The Wine Symposium of the Finger Lakes will take place in the Scandling Campus Center, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Geneva, N.Y. Tickets are $150 per person. More information about the event, including sponsorship and registration, is online:

Seminar programs will be presented by acclaimed industry experts Thomas Pastuszak, wine director of The NoMad Hotel in New York City, and Dan Berger, award-winning syndicated Los Angeles wine columnist, who will focus on white and red cool-climate wines, respectively.

The symposium includes the inaugural Finger Lakes AVA Riesling Challenge wine competition, to be held at the New York Wine and Culinary Center in the weeks leading up to the symposium. Awards will be presented to the winners of the Finger Lakes AVA Riesling Challenge at the Wine Symposium luncheon.

The luncheon will be a five-course dining experience during which Scheib, as keynote presenter, will entertain and inform attendees about a side of food and wine few individuals have the opportunity to experience — cooking in the White House for two presidents, over an 11-year span and for world leaders as well as the First Families.

Finger Lakes wineries will present a walk-around tasting of their wines, including those named winners of the Finger Lakes AVA Riesling Challenge.

“Local winery owners and area business people believe in the ever-growing importance of the Finger Lakes wine industry, and the increasingly prominent role it is playing as a regional driver of investment, employment and tourism,” explains Dave Bunnell, co-chair of the Wine Symposium of the Finger Lakes and president of Geneva Growth. “The national and international acclaim the region’s wines are receiving go far in explaining how the Finger Lakes region will continue its march to prominence in the world of wine.”

The Finger Lakes wine industry has been making inroads in the national and international marketplaces, with wines from the region recently receiving representation across the U.S. as well as Europe and Asia. Finger Lakes wines have earned coveted international awards, and renowned international wine writers and sommeliers have been organizing tastings in New York City that include wines from this region.

“When coupled with advances being made regionally in the production of beer, spirits, cheese, chocolate, sauces and other artisan foods, there is ample evidence to support the premise that this area is indeed enjoying a rebirth,” adds Bunnell.

The Wine Symposium of the Finger Lakes is the collaborative effort of Geneva Growth and the Finger Lakes Wine Alliance, with support from the New York Wine and Culinary Center, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, the City of Geneva and the Geneva Area Chamber of Commerce.

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