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WGI to hold annual Finger Lakes wine festival

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It’s the perfect blend..each year Watkins Glen International (WGI) joins with over 90 wineries to host the largest wine tasting event in the East Coast – the Finger Lakes Wine Festival. 

This year the event will be held on July 13th-15th. 

“I know even when I moved to the Finger Lakes region there was two groups of people – there was the hardcore race fans and then there was the wine aficionados and this is a really unique event to not only get the region involved but also the whole state of N.Y.,” Mike Gardner, Public Relations Coordinator for WGI, said.

“We get a lot of inquiries from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Ohio wineries and we have to turn them down because we know the best is right here in NY state,” Chris Banker, Director of Public Relations, said. 

There won’t just be wine at the festival. There will also be regional food vendors, musicians, artists and even unique demonstrations such as fire knife dancing and ice carving.

With a little something for everyone, the festival is expecting thousands of visitors from around the country to pour into the Glen for the weekend.

There are some special events not included with regular admission including a toga party, a taster’s banquet, and enhanced wine seminars. 

The festival is offering something new this year as well – glamping, for those who want a camping experience without actually having to “rough it.” 

“Essentially we have a tent that we set up, we have beds in there, cots, and you show up and you have all your camping needs set for the weekend,” Banker said.

To make sure the weekend is both fun and safe, WGI partners with the Schuyler County Police Department to install breathalyzer checkpoints on the way out of the venue. 

So grab your toga, your bottle opener, head on down to Watkins Glen and say – wine not?

You have to be 21 older to taste, but if you’re 18 you can be a designated driver.

Tickets are available online at www.theglen.com or www.flwinefest.com. They’re $50 for a one-day pass, $55 for a two-day pass, and for designated drivers, it’s just $25. 

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