WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (July 14, 2016) - Women for WineSense FLX Chapter is thrilled to announce that it is sponsoring and presenting the eight wine seminars of the  2016 Finger Lakes Wine Festival, which will be held this weekend, July 15-17, at http://www.theglen.com/?homepage=true, and invites attendees to have a deeper wine experience at the Festival by attending one or more of these seminars.

There will be four seminars on Saturday starting at 10:30am and four on Sunday, starting at 11:30am - with two free seminars and two paid seminars each day - all of which include wine tastings as part of the material covered. Each seminar will be lead by speakers from the Finger Lakes Chapter of Women for WineSense, a national organization committed to offering outstanding educational programs and mentoring and networking opportunities to wine enthusiasts and industry professionals with chapters throughout the country's top wine regions.

As expected, the seminars will delve deeply into the whites the Finger Lakes has become famous for - its Rieslings, Chardonnays and Sparkling Wines. But there will also be three seminars exploring the dry reds of the region, which are taking their rightful place on the world stage; and more surprisingly, the hybrid grapes of the region, which are emerging as American originals on the world wine scene and are gaining the interest and respect from wine writers and critics around the world.

Marti Macinski, Vice President of the FLX Chapter and Chair of the Seminar Committee, is very pleased about the collaboration between Women for Wine Sense and the Finger Lakes Wine Festival, and the educational opportunity it has created for Festival goers. "We know there are many Festival folks who are thirsty for information even more than for wine," joked Macinski. But on a more serious note, she emphasized, "Many will be astonished to learn that the Finger Lakes grows so many dry red grapes, that there are 3 seminars devoted to these wines alone - all with different reds!"

The seminar about hybrid wines is particularly interesting and unexpected. Hybrids are grape varieties that are the product of crossing two or more vitis (grapevine) species. In the Finger Lakes, this has historically meant crossing a European grape with a native American grape to create a more diseases resistant grape that can perform in cooler climates. Until very recently hybrid grapes have been overlooked or looked down upon by the wine community. However, recent comments from noteworthy NY Times wine writer Eric Asimov offered hope that hybrid wines are worthy of respect, and trendsetting wine writer Stuart Pigott has challenged his readers to learn more about these wines. And this has Macinski, who also owns Standing Stone Vineyards on Seneca Lake - and other hybrid wine producers on the East Coast - very excited.

"Many of us who produce wines have put our hybrid wines behind the scenes because of the lack of respect and legitimacy given to them by the wine community. But we have always known just how good these wines can be, and are excited the world is finally taking notice," Marti explains. "We believe this may be the first seminar at a serious event to offer insight to the world of hybrid grapes turning into fine wines, and we can't wait to share these 'unsung heroes' with the wine lovers in attendance."

Each day, the two free seminars take place downstairs in the Media Center. Designed to be informative, fun and casual, these seminars and wine tastings will be led by Women for WineSense members and paired with gourmet olive bread for the red wines, Yancey Fancy cheese with the Chardonnays and Cheezits of many flavors with the Dry Rieslings.

The four paid seminars take place upstairs in the Media Center, and offer a more in depth analysis and tasting in a classroom setting. Taste wines in comparative flights, paired with food prepared by the New York Wine and Culinary Center. Topics include: Dry Red Wines, Sparkling Wines - both method champenoise and charmat, Single Vineyard Rieslings, and the Hybrid Wines.

Tickets for the paid seminars can be purchased online on the Finger Lakes Wine Festival website or at the door prior to the seminar, space permitting. The free seminars are first come, first seated. Full seminar descriptions can be found online under the Festival's Special Events tab.

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