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Day two of the 12th annual Dutchess County food and wine festival begins Sunday. Our Eva McKend paid a visit Saturday and shows how important this event is to the Hudson Valley.
RHINEBECK, N.Y. -- For more than a decade, the Hudson Valley Food and Wine Festival has offered people the opportunity to sample the best wines New York state has to offer. Mary Riechle makes the trip with her husband every year from Connecticut.
"We were here six years ago and every year with the bus company. We've been saying we want to go back to Hudson Valley because the first time we came, it was awesome," Riechle said.
Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy traveled by train to Dutchess County to show support for tourism efforts like this festival. Last month, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced an aggressive state tourism campaign committing nearly $60 million. It's a much needed boost for struggling upstate economies.
"There's not one single answer. There's not one silver bullet for the economic transformations. It's many things and what the Governor's focused on now is creating jobs on many different areas around the state, he recognizes tourism does two things; it shows off our beautiful state, it also creates jobs," said Duffy.
"Tourism is one of the number one industries in New York State and we are so appreciate of the Governor and his support for tourism and what this means for us in the Hudson Valley is really an opportunity to showcase all the food products and wine and spirit products that we have here," said Mary Kay Vrba, Dutchess County Tourism Exeutive Director.
Millbrook Vineyard and Winery was recognized as having the best wine in the Hudson Valley. The owner says the festival and his winery has come a long way.
"From 1976, we were just founding the idea, planted the plants. We started with 500 cases and now this year will make, if the weather will hold out, will make 12,000 cases of wine in Millbrook, New York," said John Dyson, Millbrook Vineyard and Winery owner.
Festivals like these are trying to tap into the large New York City population, encouraging people to travel and spend their money upstate.