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RIT joins in creating New York Wine and Culinary Center

Rendering of Wine and Culinary Center
An artist’s rendering of the planned New York Wine & Culinary Center, scheduled to open next summer in Canandaigua.

New York state wines, food and agriculture – and RIT – will share center stage in a collaboration involving RIT’s College of Applied Science and Technology, Constellation Brands, Wegmans Food Markets and the New York Wine & Grape Foundation.

RIT’s School of Hospitality and Service Management is leading the consortium’s educational component and will host classes on campus until the center in Canandaigua, N.Y., opens next summer.

The two-story, 19,000-square-foot facility, located on three acres on South Main Street overlooking Canandaigua Lake, will educate consumers about New York wines and foods and offer training for employees in the food, wine, hospitality, health and nutrition industries.

“In addition to attracting thousands of tourists and generating jobs, the center will increase awareness of New York’s wine and agricultural products, which will have a tremendous impact on every part of the state,” said New York Gov. George Pataki at the groundbreaking ceremony. The state has pledged $2 million in support for the center, which has an estimated total cost of $7.1 million.

In its role administering the center’s educational component, RIT has created a concentration of six courses that can be taught at the center or in a blended format (online and face-to-face).

Eric Wendorff ’94 (food management), a Wegmans chef, has joined the RIT faculty to design and instruct culinary and management courses.

“The New York Wine and Culinary Center provides a direct connection for students in researching, developing and networking with New York’s rapidly expanding wine and food industries,” says Francis Domoy, chair of RIT’s School of Hospitality and Service Management.

Programs at the center for the general public will include cooking demonstrations by celebrity chefs, lectures, concerts, and a summer “culinary camp.”

The New York Wine & Grape Foundation will relocate its headquarters from Penn Yan to the center.

Michael Saffran