Press Release 6/19/16

Geneva, NY - After three years of hard work and acknowledged success, the Board of Directors of the Wine Symposium of the Finger Lakes has announced that it is going to take a break this year. With its annual event, the first of which was held in 2013, the Wine Symposium has sought to provide a unique stage for celebrating the exceptional wines and wineries of the Finger Lakes wine region.

In addition to its annual "Grand Tasting", where the winners of its Finger Lakes-only wine competition have been showcased, the Wine Symposium has offered wine seminars, discussion panels, and unique food and wine tasting experiences. The weekend event was held on the campus of Hobart William Smith Colleges its first two years, but was moved to downtown Geneva last year, where several of the City's leading restaurants were featured.

"The Wine Symposium was conceived and executed as a serious wine event for the region, and that goal was achieved thanks to the financial support and countless hours of volunteer effort contributed by many area businesses and wine enthusiasts" said Dave Bunnell, president of Geneva Growth, the local Geneva organization that began promoting the idea in late 2012. "If the City of Geneva, Hobart William Smith Colleges, The Finger Lakes Wine & Culinary Center, and key members of the Finger Lakes Wine Alliance had not seen the value in what was being proposed, the Wine Symposium would never have happened" he said.

Like similar events in most of the great wine regions in the United States and elsewhere in the world, the Wine Symposium of the Finger Lakes was seen as a platform for raising awareness of the fine wines being produced here. Its programs have brought a number of nationally and internationally-known wine experts and critics to the area, such as Joshua Green, Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of Wine & Spirits Magazine, Dan Berger and Dave McIntyre, wine writers for the Los Angeles Times and Washington Post, respectively, and Pascaline Lepeltier and Christopher Bates, both master sommeliers, to name just a few.

At last year's event, Ms. Lepeltier declared her belief that the Finger Lakes area was "the most intriguing wine region in the world". This statement typifies the sentiment being expressed on an increasingly frequent basis about the excellence and importance of the Finger Lakes wine making region, and a key element of the Wine Symposium's mission has been to reinforce and extend the region's growing reputation.

During the next few months, the Wine Symposium's Board of Directors will assess its programs and collaborative partnerships to determine how best it can serve the interests of the Finger Lakes wine making community and its various constituencies. It is the belief of the Board that, to be successful over the long term, an event of the nature being attempted by the Wine Symposium must have the active and engaged support of the regional industry, and a primary focus will be to determine whether such support aligns with the priorities of the area's leading wineries.

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