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Introduction

Food and wine traditions in the Hudson Valley are older than the United States itself. With a wine-making tradition extending back to the 17th Century, the Valley hosts America’s oldest vineyard and the oldest continuously operating winery. Until the opening of the Erie Canal, the Hudson Valley’s abundant production of wheat, barley and other foods caused many to refer to the region as America’s Breadbasket. These traditions created a scenic beauty that gave rise to the Hudson River School of painting and produced what the U.S. Congress named “the landscape that defined America.”

Now a new generation of specialty growers is revitalizing farming in the Valley, bringing fresh fruits and vegetables to Valley residents and adding them to the menus of the most sophisticated restaurants in New York City. The Valley’s wineries are playing a central role in this revival, with 42 wineries along both banks of the Hudson growing 1,000 tons of grapes annually.

GrapesThis renaissance in Hudson Valley food and wine is contributing to the region’s overall quality of life. The resulting open space, scenic vistas, and bounty of high-quality food and wine are important ingredients in the region’s thriving tourism sector and also play a central role in attracting and retaining a talented workforce which enables the region to compete in a variety of industries in the global economy.

The Hudson River Valley Wine and Culinary Center is being created to celebrate these rich food and wine traditions and interpret them for 21st Century. Using conservative assumptions, it is anticipated that the Center will able to cover its operating costs within six years of operation and typically generate $4.4 million annually in direct spending in the Hudson Valley economy which would in turn generate up to 45 jobs in the region and total direct and indirect spending of up to $5.9 million.

 

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