|Bill Wagner at the Winery, 1979|
After passage of New York's "Farm Winery Act" back in 1976, a few hard working entrpeneurs and visionaries got started building what is now the Finger Lakes' booming wine industry. Today, wine tourism is a rare success story in Central New York's otherwise depressed economic landscape.
Our readers may have been under the impression that the wineries' current good fortune is the result of decades of hard work. We might recall our neighbors risking their life savings, freezing in the mud while they fought our notorious weather to plant and establish those fussy grape vines.
Come to find out, we were wrong. In this morning's USA Today, Elizabeth Weise explains the real reason for the region's climb to prominence - global warming.
Warming overall has meant that areas not generally associated with wine are becoming bigger players in the industry. Among them...
•The Finger Lakes wine country in Upstate New York, where the wine industry has taken off since the 1970s, says David Wolfe, a specialist in agricultural climate change at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.We'd like to invite Ms. Weise to visit our area this February. That's the best time to don snowshoes, trudge out into the vineyards, and tell the bundled-up locals trimming and tying the vines how the credit for the FL wine industry taking off belongs, not to them, but to global warming.