New York's first Tuscan vineyard

Within three years, New Yorkers will be able to enjoy home-grown Tuscan wine, under a plan to plant real Italian vines in the Big Apple.

12 Nov 2007

The borough of Staten Island is to create a two-acre vineyard within its botanical gardens, using the vines from a grove in the city of Pisa.

"We're certain that both the meeting and the exchange of different cultures will be an important opportunity for the growth of both communities," said the mayor of Crespina, Thomas D'Addona, at the opening ceremony this week.

"Crespina, and indeed all the territory of the Pisan Hills, will benefit positively from the promotion of a rural Tuscany which is appreciated in America, especially in New York."

The project, at Snug Harbour Botanical Gardens, will cost $3 million, was originally rejected by a New York county judge in 2004, amid fears that it might impair the historic character of the harbour. But New York Judge William Wetzel dismissed protests as, "ringing with hysteria", and concluded that such plans would only improve the public's use and enjoyment of the harbour.

Grapes will be picked by hand at the garden, which will contain 2,100 plants divided into 58 rows. Planners hope to produce three important Italian wines, Chardonnary, Lambrusco and Sangiovese.

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