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NY Wine Festival grows in flavor, stature

Dan McIvor, left, and Kim Smith, right, of Albany, enjoy a taste of a Millbrook Winery white wine at the NY state wine festival on Sept. 24.

Dan McIvor, left, and Kim Smith, right, of Albany, enjoy a taste of a Millbrook Winery white wine at the NY state wine festival on Sept. 24. Photo by Jason Emerson.

— Festival attendees not only got to taste wine, but also vote for their favorites for the People's Choice awards. The winners were: Red wine — Dr. Konstantin Frank's Merlot; Best white — Long Point Winery Vidal Blanc; Best overall wine — Ravines Meritage.

Also at the festival, Mirbeau sold official wine festival wine glasses for $3 each, with 100 percent of the money being donated to the PARCS Austin Park playground renovation project. More than 300 glasses were sold and more than $900 was raised, Pulito said. Mirbeau ordered 500 wine glasses for the event, and will continue to sell the remaining glasses over the next month in its wine bar and spa to continue to try to raise money, he added.

For next year’s festival, Mirbeau already has plans to make the event bigger, better and more accessible to attendees. The goal is to have more than 20 wineries participate in 2012, with a stronger presence of both Long Island and Hudson Valley wineries; to partner with a second or even a third additional tasting location in the village, in addition to the Village Bottle Shop, to bring more visitors into the village; to hire larger shuttles to meet the increasing demand to travel to the off-site tasting locations; and to increase the size of the festival by at least 200 people.

“We were thrilled with everything this year, and next year some of the feedback we received will allow us to get even better,” Pulito said.

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