Elmira/Corning Regional Airport

Finger Lakes Wine Festival 2012

16th Annual Finger Lakes Wine Festival

WATKINS GLEN (WENY) --   Pop the cork and pour a glass.  July 13 through the 15 marks the annual Fingerlakes Wine Festival, an attraction bringing in more than 30,000 people from across the region, state and country.

“We’re having a great time. We met a lot of neat people at the campground and it’s really just a nice time partying," says Betsy Thairgen and Ron Polson, who  made the trip up from Florida.

Throughout the weekend, wine and food tastings, cooking classes, and dozens of vendors will take over Watkins Glen International.  For local wineries, it's an opportunity to network, advertise and get their products to the people.

“This festival has grown every year, and there’s always folks coming from further and further away," says Brad Phillips, marketing director for Hazlitt Vineyards. "So for us, it’s just a great opportunity to put our wines in front of people and have them taste them.”

For local businesses near WGI, it brings an influx of customers and highlights the other attractions in the region besides wine.

“When you can start filling hotels and restaurants and that kind of thing, that’s the best thing that can happen for the local economy," says Michael Printup, president of Watkins Glen International.

Party goers say in the end, it's all about having a good time with friends and enjoying a unique piece of upstate New York.

“We have a group that we come out every year, we just come out for the toga party and the wine fest," says Anthony Colitti of Elmira Heights. "It’s the weekend without the kids, just to have a ball.”

To get more information about the festival, visit http://www.flwinefestival.com/ , or the Facebook page www.facebook.com/FLWineFest .