Since its creation in 1985, NYWGF has sponsored an ambitious and comprehensive program in close coordination with the industry and academia. As with the promotion program, private sector funding is required to leverage the state matching funds. NYWGF’s annual research budget is normally between $350,000-$500,000 to support dozens of individual projects, mostly conducted by Cornell University’s New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva.
The private sector funds come from various organizations, businesses and individuals to support the three main areas of research: viticulture (grape growing), enology (winemaking), and wine and health. The state matching funds are allocated in proportion to the respective amounts of private sector funds supporting each category.
Particularly in the case of viticulture, NYWGF’s research committee and Board of Directors solicit recommendations from the Lake Erie Regional Grape Research and Extension Program, an industry committee of processors who conduct a thorough review of all proposals submitted. Once NYWGF receives their recommendations, the Foundation’s research committee makes final allocations to individual projects.
Like the promotion program, the research program is enhancing NYWGF’s overall strategic goal: “To have the New York grape and wine industry recognized as a world leader in quality, productivity, and social responsibility.”