A Taste of Business in The Dorsky

AMA hosts third annual wine tasting fundraiser and networking event.
AMA hosts third annual wine tasting fundraiser and networking event.

SUNY New Paltz students, faculty, staff and business community members raised their glasses in the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art and learned tips and tricks of wine making and marketing, as well as networked with each other.

SUNY New Paltz’s chapter of the American Marketing Association (AMA) held their third annual Wine Tasting Gala on Tuesday, Nov. 29 from 5 to 7 p.m. as an “unusual fundraiser.”

“We thought this would have a lot of appeal to marketing majors, but not only to marketing majors,” AMA Advisor Ted Clark said. “Students like wine, so they could learn at least how it’s made and how it’s marketed. So that’s where the educational component came in.”

To put the event together, the AMA contacted Whitecliff Winery, a local Gardiner business, and secured the museum for it’s “great atmosphere.”

The fundraiser began with a lecture by Dorsky Director Sara Pasti discussing the museum and present exhibitions, followed by the wine tasting and lesson by Whitecliff owner Yancey Stanforth-Migliore. The evening ended with a networking session where attendees enjoyed a full glass of wine.

AMA Vice President of Programming Derya Eren said she felt the wine tasting would be beneficial for students in the future.

“From a student point of view, some of the students graduate and have no experience and think, ‘How am I going to drink this wine?,’” Eren said. “She [Stanforth-Migliore] teaches you how to enjoy the wine better and rehearse how to behave in that situation. You need to experience that, it doesn’t come naturally.”

Stanforth-Migliore spoke about wine in New York and the Hudson Valley, how her winery fits in and the progress the region has made in “creating quality wine and getting recognition for it.” She also described the complexity of the business structure and how it is made up of different elements including farming, manufacturing and retail.

“I’m very proud of what we do, so I’m kind of evangelical about it. I think everybody would enjoy a good glass of wine and learning a little bit more about how to taste it and what’s produced here,” Stanforth-Migliore said. “I also think Professor Clark is on to something having a presentation like this one to the marketing students because it’s business that offers a fun application of marketing skills to make it go.”

Clark said that while marketing information was a primary purpose of the event, it also gave students the chance to meet with a variety faculty in a small group and at the same time appreciate the art they are surrounded by. Having met students who never visited the museum or don’t even know where it is, Clark believes students sometimes do not appreciate the exhibits they have access to.

Overall, Clark hoped to organize and host a unique program that would intrigue and help students in multiple ways.

“We want students to have the opportunity to network, to experience a wonderful experience and learn what wine is all about and to learn how to market a very unusual product,” Clark said. “We want that opportunity for students to talk to faculty and for faculty to talk to students and quit frankly, it’s a holiday season and in that sense, to add a little cheer.”