The Finger Lakes Riesling Festival has expanded to become the New York State Wine Festival

CANANDAIGUA — Launched in 2008, the annual Finger Lakes Riesling & Craft Beer Festival has a new name and a new focus. Now dubbed the New York State Wine Festival, the event — set for Aug. 12-13 at the New York Wine & Culinary Center in Canandaigua — is focused on highlighting all wines of the Empire State rather than merely Riesling.

“This event has gotten better each year since we started it in 2008, and that’s going to continue now as the New York State Wine Festival,” stated Lauren Dixon, CEO of Dixon Schwabl, which produces the event. “Wine is so tightly woven into the fabric of the state and the people who live here, so this event will do more to recognize that incredible depth of passion.”

Wine production represents a $4.8 billion industry in New York; over the past 40 years, the number of wineries and wine producers in the state has grown from 19 to more than 400. The festival seeks to reflect that overwhelming growth.

In addition to sampling a vast variety of wines, guests will have options from select food vendors picked to complement the wine-tasting experience, and Culinary Center chefs will perform interactive cooking demonstrations.

The festival will continue to serve as a fundraiser for the New York Wine & Culinary Center and the Canandaigua Family YMCA. To date, the event has raised nearly $250,000 for the organizations.

“Sometimes people forget just how impressive wine production in New York truly is. This event gives them a chance to see it all in one place in a beautiful setting with great food to pair with it,” Dixon stated. “It doesn’t matter what your favorite style of wine is, because you’ll find it here. And don’t be surprised if you have a new favorite by the time you leave.”

For more information, visit nyswinefestival.com.