New York Grows Fine Wine & Itís Healthy Too

May 9, 2005

Assemblyman William Magee (D-Nelson) and State Senator David J. Valesky (D-Oneida) have introduced legislation that will allow New York winemakers to note the high levels of antioxidants on red wine bottle labels.

Studies have long shown the link between moderate red wine consumption and increased heart health, with benefits attributed to naturally occurring antioxidants like resveratrol. This legislation follows a recent study by Cornell University that found the red wines produced in New York State have higher levels of the antioxidant resveratrol than wines produced in other states. In particular, the Pinot Noir wines produced in New York contain more resveratrol than similar wine produced in California and abroad. New York’s Merlot and Cabernet Franc wines also showed higher levels of the antioxidant. Researchers attribute the higher concentrations to New York’s humid climate.

"This bill will let winemakers tout the existence of antioxidants on New York wines," said Valesky, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Agriculture Committee. "People need to know that the wine grown and produced right here in New York State have higher can improve their heart health."

"We know New York produces the best quality and best tasting wine," said Assemblyman Magee, Chair of the Assembly Agriculture Committee. "And now we can say that New York wine, in moderation of course, provides greater health benefits. By permitting New York wineries to market wines with the antioxidant content noted on the label it will also serve to highlight our wines in a competitive market where we compete with wine from all around the world.

The legislation will ad a new section to the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law that allows wineries to place antioxidant labels on New York wines sold in New York State.

"We need to get the word out that New York State’s Red Wines are even better for you than other red wines," Said Senator Valesky. "If these labels also help sell a wonderful New York product, that will benefit the state economy. Moderate wine consumption is good for the heart and that’s good for the upstate economy."