Finger Lakes Wine Festival starts with Toga Party

Staff Writer
The Chronicle Express
Tom Smith and Stacey Ruth moments after the two were crowned King and Queen at the Launch of the Lakes Toga Party at the Finger Lakes Wine Festival in 2008.

The Finger Lakes Wine Festival presented by Yancey’s Fancy New York’s Artisan Cheese, July 17-19, will feature several cooking demonstrations, culinary classes and wine seminars to educate and entertain people attending the festival. 

Nearly 20 classes, demonstrations and seminars will take place throughout the weekend at Watkins Glen International.  All of these activities will be located on the second floor of the track’s media center.  Same-day sign-ups will begin promptly at 10 a.m. in the media center, and attendees are encouraged to sign up early, as all activities have limited seating.

Culinary classes will feature the work of three local chefs as they present quick dishes utilizing regional ingredients.  Chef Instructor Eric K. Smith of the New York Wine and Culinary Center, will join Chef Paul Mach of Penn College and a team of Cargill Chefs to teach attendees everything from pairing beer and food, and cooking with seasonal New York State ingredients, to utilizing Cargill Salts to add flavor to recipes.

Cooking demonstrations will be presented by the Finger Lake Culinary Bounty.  These six sessions will feature chefs from local wineries, restaurants and regional companies, who will prepare dishes that feature NYS ingredients or a Finger Lakes region wine pairing.

A variety of wine seminars will be presented by the New York Wine & Grape Foundation.  These seminars will teach attendees about a variety of topics, including pairing wine with cheese and chocolate, understanding the winemaking process, and provide a sampling of wines from across our great state.

Located in the heart of Finger Lakes wine country, the Finger Lakes Wine Festival presented by Yancey’s Fancy New York’s Artisan Cheese, takes place July 17-19, 2009, and promotes New York wines and agricultural products. 

Over 80 wineries will be in attendance, in addition to a variety of vendors from across the country—representing artisans, jewelers, culinary products, displays and wine accessories.  The celebration kicks-off Friday evening, July 17, with fireworks, wine, and togas at “Yancey’s Fancy Cheese Launch of the Lakes,” and continues Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The festival encourages bus group participation and is coach friendly. Camping on Festival grounds, shuttle service to area hotels, and plenty of free parking are all available.  For tickets and information, please contact the FLWF ticket office at 866-461-7223 or log on to the official Finger Lakes Wine Festival website at