New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets Celebrates First-Ever Grape Day at The Great New York State Fair

Grape Day Delivers on the State’s Promise Made at the State’s Concord Grape Summit to Promote and Boost New York’s Concord Grape Industry


Concord Grape Food and Drink Samples, Games, Prizes and More to Be Featured


The 2018 Great New York State Fair will celebrate its first-ever Grape Day with new events and high-quality grape products that will be sampled and sold across the Fairgrounds. Held Thursday, August 23, Grape Day will include fun-filled activities to educate fairgoers about the State’s superfruit and to promote New York’s Concord grape industry. Grape Day delivers on the promise made at the State’s Concord Grape Summit, held in April of this year in Chautauqua County, to reinvigorate and boost New York’s Concord grape industry.

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “Grape Day is a great time to enjoy some of the best New York-grown products that the State has to offer. Concord grapes are big business in New York State and we look forward to educating fairgoers about the importance of our industry. I encourage our guests to stop by the Pavilion and our Taste NY Marketplace at the Fair as we celebrate our first-ever Grape Day and spotlight our Concord grape growers and processors across the State.”

Acting Fair Director Troy Waffner said, “Grape Day is a great opportunity to recognize the hard work of our Concord grape growers and processors who make a wide variety of delicious products, including juice, jam, wine, and even beer. We are excited to put the industry on display at the Fair and highlight their many contributions to our state’s agricultural industry.”

It will be Concord grape products and other delicious treats all day at the Taste NY Marketplace, with nearly a dozen businesses offering fairgoers an opportunity to try some of New York’s very best products made with Concord grapes. New Hope Mills will provide free samples of their Concord grape pancakes, while Hop2o will offer grape soft drinks, and Seeds From the Earth will offer New York grape jams and jellies. Visitors can also enjoy peanut butter fudge from Nana’s Topping and wine from the Fulkerson Winery, as well as Arbor Hill Grapery & Winery.  The Grape Discovery Center will also offer various Concord grape products, and visitors can see the “Grape Belt,” where most of the state’s grapes are grown. Artifacts will be on display allowing fairgoers to see how grapes, juice and wine were produced throughout history.  The following vendors will be providing free sample of their products at the Taste NY Marketplace in the Horticulture Building:

  • New Hope Mills – Pancakes
  • Hop2o - Soft Drink
  • Empire Brewing Company – Deep Purple– (grape beer)
  • Seeds From the Earth – Jams and Jellies
  • Welch’s – Juices, snacks etc.
  • Nana’s Topping – Peanut Butter Fudge
  • Fulkerson Winery
  • Gilligan’s Ice Cream – Craft Beverage Ice Cream – Special Concord Grape IC
  • Grape Discovery Center – Various concord grape products


David Katleski, President of the Empire Brewing Company, said, “We are thrilled to be showcasing our Deep Purple beer at the Great New York State Fair’s Grape Day. Brewing with NYS ingredients is what we farm breweries are all about. There is a bunch of NYS Concord grapes in every bottle.”

Hilary Goss, Welch’s brand manager, said, “New York farmers have been growing Concord Grapes in tough upstate weather conditions for going on 150 years. Only the best quality grapes make it into Welch’s grape juice, and they deliver the toughest antioxidants on Earth. You can see the intense nutritional power in the deep purple color and taste it in the rich sweet taste. Concord grapes strengthen your immunity, your heart, and help increase your endurance and recovery from exercise. And it’s a product you can feel good about buying because as always, 100% of our profits go back to our small, American family farmers.  We’re proud to be part of Grape Day at the New York State Fair!”

In the Pavilion behind Chevy Court, Empire Brewing Company will offer Deep Purple, its grape beer, alongside a display that shows how many grapes it takes to produce the beer. In addition, Welch’s, family farmer owned since 1869, will be providing samples of their 100% Concord grape juice from their truck. Family-friendly and educational games will help fairgoers learn about New York’s Concord grape industry and its importance to the State’s agricultural economy. Winners will receive grape-themed prizes. Visitors can also learn about the health and nutritional value of New York’s native superfruit, and guests will be able to meet grape growers and learn first-hand how juice is made.

Guests wearing purple can also enter a random drawing to win Taste NY gift basket.


About Grape Day

The first annual Grape Day builds on the Governor's promise in his 2018-19 State of the State address, to bring together agriculture, research and business leaders to develop new strategies to reinvigorate New York's Concord grape industry and boost the state's agricultural economy. It also delivers on a promise made at the Governor’s first-ever New York State Concord Grape Summit to promote and market the Concord grape and wine industry as a world leader in quality and productivity. The April summit brought together farmers, researchers, and industry leaders, as well as state officials to discuss industry growth challenges and explore new opportunities for the state’s Concord grape growers.


About New York’s Concord Grape Industry

New York is the nation's second largest Concord grape producer, and the Lake Erie Concord Belt is the oldest and largest Concord grape growing region in the world. About 30,000 acres of grape vineyards are located along the belt with the majority, more than 18,000 acres, growing in New York State. The Concord variety is used in the production of many value-added products, including grape juice, jellies and marmalades, and wine.

New York's Concord Grape industry has a significant impact on the state economy and beyond. A study conducted by the Lake Erie Concord Grape Belt Heritage Association, with assistance from Cornell University and Pennsylvania State University, estimated that each year, growers in the Concord Grape Belt produce 150,000 tons or more of Concord grapes on 30,000 acres of vineyards. Overall, grape-related production activities like growing, processing and winemaking support nearly 2,000 jobs and contribute $340 million in total economic impact.