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Schumer meets with Finger Lakes wine leaders to talk economic impact, legislative priorities

  • / Updated:
  • Josh Durso 

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer met with leaders of the wine industry late last week in the Finger Lakes to talk issues facing the industry.

Among those in attendance were leaders of WineAmerica, the National Association of American Wineries, Waterloo Container, and more.

WineAmerica’s National Economic Impact Study of the wine industry, plus a pair of legislative priorities were atop the meeting agenda.

The USPS Shipping Equity Act would allow the postal service to ship wine directly to consumers like FedEx and UPS have for years.

“New York’s wine industry is an economic powerhouse, and I’ve been proud to secure critical advances to grow this industry to new heights,” Schumer said in a statement. “It was a pleasure to visit with industry leaders at Waterloo Container to discuss firsthand the fruits of our labors to further cement New York’s role as a worldwide leader in wine production.”

WineAmerica President Jim Trezise said he was pleased with the meeting.

Finger Lakes Partners (Billboard)

“We are truly honored that Leader Schumer took time out of his incredibly busy schedule to meet with us,” he said. “The night before, he had attended the White House state dinner with French President Emmanual Macron after getting the Senate to vote on averting a potentially catastrophic rail strike and passing the historic Respect for Marriage Act. And yet he still makes time for us. That is truly representative democracy.”

Trezise presented an infographic on the wine industry’s impact in New York State. A total of $14.9 billion, with 470 wineries contributing to 92,371 jobs and $5.6 billion in wages. It accounts for 5.6 million tourist visits and $1.9 billion in tourist expenditures.

The wine industry’s total economic impact on the national level is $276 billion, 25% above the $220 billion in 2017 based on two studies commissioned by WineAmerica and conducted by John Dunham & Associates, a prominent economic research firm focused on public policy.