Finger Lakes is a top wine destination

Erinn Cain

The Finger Lakes is one of the top wine destinations in the country according to the travel planning website Trip Advisor.

Trip Advisor named the Finger Lakes the fourth most popular wine destination in the United States and the top East Coast wine destination. The results are based on millions of traveler reviews and opinions on the site.

The area was ranked fourth after Sonoma County and Napa Valley in California, and the Willamette Valley in Oregon.

"We live in such a great area and such a wonderful wine region," said AJ Shear, communications manager of the Finger Lakes Visitors Connection. "It all kind of ties together nicely... As much as people love wine, they're going to come for other things to do."

He said that in addition to wineries, other tourist draws in the Finger Lakes include bed and breakfasts, shopping, restaurants and outdoor recreation.

Chrys Baldwin, education director at the New York Wine & Culinary Center in Canandaigua said the region has a long tradition of wine production coupled with a bounty of other activities that draw tourists to the region and keep them coming back for more.

We have a long history of wine production and agriculture in the region," said Baldwin. "Half the wineries in New York state are in the Finger Lakes... I think it's been a very long process. The bar is up, but it's always been strong."

One of the things that makes Finger Lakes wineries stand out, said Shear is the personal touch compared to other wine regions. It's common, he said, when you visit a winery that the person who hosts the wine tastings is the same person who made the wine.

The ranking is sure to boost the local wine industry, which now appears to enjoy the strong support of

Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Cuomo recently hosted the state’s first Wine, Beer and Spirits Summit, where he announced plans for a new marketing campaign to promote state-produced wine, beer, cider and spirits sales and tourism, as well as a series of regulatory reforms that will reduce business costs for beverage producers.

The campaign includes:

• $1 million for a new advertising campaign to promote the industry.

• A working group  to coordinate specialized, annual marketing events that partner restaurants and hotels across the state with producers of New York-produced wine, beer, spirits and food.

• Promoting New York state-produced beer, wine, spirits and cider at the annual New York State Fair and ensuring alcoholic beverages sold at New York Racing Association tracks are produced in New York.