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Fruit of the Finger Lakes helps economy blossom

Finger Lakes wines are becoming a favorite across the country (WHAM photo)

The fruit of the Finger Lakes became a star attraction at the Lilac Festival Friday night as dozens of local wineries uncorked their best.

Kelly Kaltenbach grew up in Rochester. "It was always a pride and joy here - Upstate New York wine," she told 13WHAM News. She and her best friend, Alyssa Allen, said they chose wine night to support local wineries.

"It's so up-and-coming and a really booming industry. We're trying all local wines," said Allen.

Casa Larga Winery said the rest of the country is getting a taste of the Finger Lakes. Leslie Arduser-Brogan from Casa Larga said, "Finally, the rest of the world and country have discovered the Finger Lakes. They've realized the Finger Lakes make world-class wines."

Arduser-Brogan said we have something Napa does not. "We have even more diversity that Napa does," she said.

Many agree that New York State has helped the wine and craft beer industry boom. Nicholas Schnieder from A Gust of Sun Winery said, "The governor changed liquor laws for wineries and breweries three years ago, so it has made it really easy to expand. We've been able to increase our production and be in more places."

Many New Yorkers have no trouble toasting to that! "Amazing industry right here; so many people who are entrepreneurs, in the economy and branching out - it is nice to see," said Diana Ries.

Governor Cuomo ensures tax exemptions for breweries and wineries while making licensing a smoother process.

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