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Staten Island senator calls Glenora wine “wretched”

Two upstate Senate Republicans are calling for a leading Senate Democrat, Senator Diane Savino of Staten Island, to apologize for comments she made earlier today that were critical of New York’s wine industry.State Senator George Winner (R-C-I, Elmira), who represents a prominent wine-producing district in the Finger Lakes, and Senator Cathy Young (R,I,C-Olean), ranking Republican on the Senate AgricultureCommittee, said that Savino’s comments to the New York Daily News “were uncalled for and surprisingly disrespectful to a leading state industry.”An entry on today’s Daily News blog, “The Daily Politics,” reports that Savino, who unexpectedly attended a Senate Republican Campaign Committee (SRCC) fundraiser in Albany last night, told the News’ Elizabeth Benjamin, “I ate their salami and I drank their wine; it was wretched.”Winner said that the wine served at last night’s SRCC fundraiser came from an award-winning Finger Lakes winery, Glenora Wine Cellars, located in Dundee (Yates County).Winner and Young released the following, joint statement:”Senator Savino’s comments were uncalled for and surprisingly disrespectful to a leading state industry and one of New York’s many fantastic wineries.”The rise of New York’s wine industry is one of our state’s most remarkable success stories, and the men and women responsible for that success deserve better than to have a leading state senator disparage their life’s work.”Our wineries support a statewide industry that generates billions of dollars in economic activity, accounts for thousands of meaningfullivelihoods, forms the backbone of tourism from Long Island to the Hudson Valley to the Finger Lakes and across upstate, and brings national and international acclaim to New York.”We won’t pass judgment on Senator Savino’s taste in wine, but her comments were tasteless.”We think Glenora and all New York winemakers deserve an apology, and we hope that Senator Savino quickly gains a better understanding and appreciation of this mainstay of New York State’s culture and economy.”New York is now America’s third-largest wine producing state, with more than 250 wineries statewide. The industry employs 18,000 workers and annually generates $3.4 billion for the state economy. Over three million people visit the state’s wineries every year. One-third of these visitors come from out of state.

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