While most of us might argue that every month is a good month to celebrate and drink Finger Lakes wine, August 2021 seems like a good time to bring back the festivity in an official capacity.
Debuted in 2013, Finger Lakes Wine Month was observed in May and, as a marketing promotion, its existence has been that of a shape shifter. In its first life we toasted via Twitter tastings with groups gathered at area restaurants, as everyone was beginning to understand how hashtags worked. The celebration transformed into Riesling Month which was moved to the fall, and in the following few years things got pretty quiet.
But today, our wineries have so much to celebrate. Not only have they come through arguably the most trying times of our generation, but they’ve emerged even better. Hospitality programs have been carefully considered and thoughtfully redesigned. Tasting room spaces have been updated, and in some cases tasting bars have completely disappeared. Guests are lingering longer on winery lawns, making a day of hanging out instead of bar-hopping, and it’s a change many are thankful for.
Essentially, the Finger Lakes wine region deserves to celebrate and pat itself on the back. Area restaurants and bottle shops deserve to be recognized for – despite their own challenges – their continued support of the local wine industry. Locals and visitors also deserve appreciation for their patience and kindness as we transition and settle into our new normal.
So… a few months into 2021, in true Finger Lakes fashion, our regional marketing organizations teamed up to work together and reboot Finger Lakes Wine Month in August 2021. The Finger Lakes Wine Alliance, along with the wine trails of Canandaigua, Keuka, Seneca and Cayuga, Finger Lakes Wine Country, and the New York Wine and Grape Foundation are collaborating to make this truly a region-wide promotion.
The team of organizers saw 2021 as a great year to start small and mainly focus on tourism, but future years offer many opportunities to expand. Ideas and plans are already percolating, including in-store tasting blitz events and a regional restaurant week for 2022. Long term planning may include larger events at wineries and even a grand tasting or gala to culminate the month-long celebration.
The website www.flxwinemonth.com and social media sites, @flxwinemonth on Instagram and Facebook, will help provide information about events and promotions happening in the region throughout the month. Wineries were encouraged to find a way to celebrate that fit with their winery culture; events include everything from yoga and live music to happy hours and vineyard tours. FINGER LAKES WINE MONTH flags will be seen flying high at participating wineries all month long. More and more calendar events and promotional listings are added to the website daily as we see the excitement across the region grow.
To proclaim that the month of August from here forward is Finger Lakes Wine Month will not only give us a reason to kick up our heels a little with a glass of delicious and refreshing cool-climate wine, but it will give us a reason down the road to reflect back on how much the world changed and the significant sacrifices made by our wine region to move forward in a new way. While the work is not done, everyone deserves a moment to celebrate where we are now. Let’s meet up for a dinner or a specialty tasting or music or vinyasa and drink it all in!