New York Wine and Grape Foundation to Update VineBalance for Statewide Sustainability Program

The New York Wine & Grape Foundation is developing a third-party certification for sustainably farmed grapes and wine. The purpose of the RFP is to provide high level strategic and structural recommendations for certification design based on sustainability best practices, while balancing the small-scale and independent nature of New York’s wine industry. The ideal candidate will be experienced in East Coast climate and agriculture, viticulture and enology, international standards of sustainable winegrowing, and environmental certifications deployed by other agricultural industries. The VineBalance RFP is available here and responses are due by June 30, 2021.

Finger Lakes Wine Festival Postponed to July 8-10, 2022

Watkins Glen International today announced that the Finger Lakes Wine Festival originally scheduled for July 9-11, 2021 has been postponed to July 8-10, 2022 due to New York State COVID-19 guidelines. Ticketholders will automatically receive a credit for the full amount of their Finger Lakes Wine Festival purchase, plus an additional 20 percent of the total amount paid for those experiences, in their Watkins Glen International account by May 5.

Governor Cuomo Announces State Will End Food and Beverage Service Curfew


This announcement on food and beverage service and catered events builds on the Governor’s recent measures to further re-open the economy amid a steady decline in New York’s COVID-19 positivity and hospitalization rates. On April 26, Governor Cuomo announced that spectator capacity at large-scale outdoor event venues, including professional and collegiate sports and live performing arts and entertainment, will increase from 20 to 33 percent beginning May 19. This increase will coincide with the previously announced increase in large-scale indoor event venue capacity. Social distancing, masks, health screenings and all other State health and safety protocols remain in effect.

New York Wine & Grape Foundation Seeking Nominations for Board of Directors

Every May the New York Wine & Grape Foundation (NYWGF) Board of Directors meets to elect members of the industry to board seats with expiring terms. The term of office for directors is three years and there are currently 21 members of the Board of Directors. Thirteen (13) board seats are statutorily mandated by the law that created NYWGF in 1985, and there are eight (8) at large board seats. NYWGF aims to establish a Board comprised of Directors representing a diversity of regions, business sizes and models, demographics, and functional expertise.

Buttonwood Grove Winery announces addition of Carmela Barbagallo as Director of Wholesale Sales

photo of Carmela Barbagallo

Buttonwood Grove Winery is excited to announce the addition of Carmela Barbagallo to their team as Director of Wholesale Sales. Her focus will be on increasing wholesale distribution in New York and Ohio, and creating distributor relationships in additional states to broaden distribution channels. Additionally, she will work with partner organizations such as the New York Wine and Grape Foundation and Finger Lakes Wine Alliance to broaden Buttonwood Grove’s participation in multiple marketing programs.

New York Wine and Grape Foundation Welcomes Renowned Climate Scientist Dr. Brenda Ekwurzel to Give Climate Change Presentation to East Coast Wine Community

How is climate change affecting us today and over our lifetime? These are important questions for the wine and grape community to ask. Climate change has the potential to impact everyone in the wine supply chain from vineyard managers in the field to consumers enjoying a glass. Join us to learn the science behind climate change, discover the potential of climate-smart farming, and reflect on the importance of supporting sustainable winegrowers for future generations of New York wine.

Top Awards Announced from the 2021 New York Wine Classic

Last night, the New York Wine & Grape foundation announced the top winners of the 35th annual New York Wine Classic, a nationally recognized competition highlighting the best of New York’s wine. Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul made the announcement during a special live virtual event.  This year, the Governor’s Cup, the most esteemed award given at the Classic, was presented to Pindar Vineyards for its 2019 Dr. Dan’s Signature Collection, Gewurztraminer from the Long Island region. In addition, Paumanok Vineyards from Long Island was presented with the ‘Winery of the Year’ award.

The New York Wine & Grape Foundation Announces “Best of Class” from the 2021 New York Wine Classic

Known as “The Oscars®” of New York wine competitions, the Classic is organized by the New York Wine & Grape Foundation. New this year, NYWGF partnered with the Beverage Testing Institute (BTI) to judge wines submitted from across New York state. A total of 1 Platinum, 138 Gold, 355 Silver, and 104 Bronze medals were awarded by BTI’s trained sensory panel comprised of beverage directors, sommeliers, top bartenders, retail buyers and educators.

USDA Offering Two Webinars in March for Beginning Farmers in New York State


To institutionalize support for beginning farmers and ranchers and to build upon prior agency work, the 2018 Farm Bill directed USDA to create a national coordinator position in the agency and state-level teams for four of its agencies – Farm Service Agency (FSA), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Risk Management Agency (RMA), and Rural Development (RD).

Lift black voices, and more ways to celebrate Black History Month

To continue to raise awareness of black voices in our community, and to give you more ways to celebrate Black History Month, we encourage you to check out the resources below. A particular note for winery and growers, The Oregon Wine Board has promoted the free Starbucks “To Be Welcoming,” series to their community, and they are hosting thoughtful seminars on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the upcoming 2021 Oregon Wine Symposium.

B.E.V. NY Presents: Keynote Speaker, Jancis Robinson

Jancis Robinson holding a wine glass

Voted the world’s most influential wine critic in polls in the US, France and internationally in 2018, Jancis views herself as a wine writer rather than a wine critic. She writes daily for and weekly for the Financial Times. She is founder-editor of The Oxford Companion to Wine, co-author with Hugh Johnson of The World Atlas of Wine (4.7 million copies sold just before the 8th edition was published in October 2019) and co-author of Wine Grapes, each of these books recognised as a standard reference worldwide.

January Fireside Chat with Sam Filler & Special Guests

Glass of wine against cozy fireplace background, hygge concept.

Our Fireside Chat in January was focused around the New York Grape Growers. Topics include an update on new Grower Membership Tiers and the benefits provided within each. We also talked about NYWGF’s new marketing campaign roll-out plan. We welcome you to share your ideas on how we can best shine a spotlight on New York’s growers.

Electronic Filing Now Available for Alcoholic Beverage Tax Return

New York State recently updated the Alcoholic Beverage Tax Return to allow for electronic filing beginning with returns due January 20, 2021. NYS has created the MT-456 which replaces the MT-50 but remains very similar in the required information needed and added fields that can be filled in electronically. Please note- you will first need to save the form to your computer before you begin filling in information, or else the data you input will not save.

New Member Benefit: Finance, Accounting & Tax Resources

To assist our members with critical questions about tax planning, inventory accounting, general accounting, excise tax/TTB issues, sales tax, and more the New York Wine & Grape Foundation is pleased to offer a new benefit for Members, in partnership with Mengel, Metzger, Barr & Co. LLP. Beginning in December 2020, members will have access to financial and tax guidance in webinar form, as well as through individual consulting for their specific needs provided via a 60-minute one-on-one session.

One-on-One Coaching with Sandra Hess & DTC Wine Workshops Consulting Agency

DTC wine workshops logo

As a reminder, for NY Drinks NY participants, virtual workshops will be supplemented by an individual coaching session with a member of the DTC Consultant Network, led by Sandra Hess. Each winery will be provided with a 1.5 hour online coaching session to address a challenge or opportunity of their choice. Network consultants work to ensure your team uses the ideal blends of tools, talent and technologies to achieve direct to consumer wine sales success.

Year-end Planning and Current Hot Topics

We are happy to be welcoming Anthony Sandonato from Mengel Metzger Barr & Co. LLP back for our annual tax & finance year end webinar. During this session Tony will help clarify any continued confusion that still exists in relation to Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, and loan forgiveness issues. We will also explore year-end tax planning and inventory strategies, and learn some tips for 2021 planning in light of COVID-19’s continued financial impact.

Hudson Valley Wine tasting Passport is here!

Kick-off 2021 with a self-guided wine tasting tour through Hudson Valley wine country. The Shawangunk Wine Trail’s Hudson Valley Wine Tasting Passport is the perfect choice for local and regional wine enthusiasts to enjoy a variety of the finest wines produced in the Hudson River region and to discover new favorite’s along the way!

New York Wine & Grape Foundation issues RFP for Grape and Wine Research

For 35 years, NYWGF has annually distributed funds to projects that provide the New York State wine and grape industry with short-term solutions and long-term strategic directions. Click here for a list of previously funded projects.

The Research Committee of the Board of Directors now welcomes new proposals for 2021. Proposals will be due by January 25th, 2021.

Meadowdale Farm Winery Wins Gold!

selection of wines from Meadowdale Farm Winery

Meadowdale Farm Winery’s Ice Cider has been awarded a Gold Medal in the recently completed 2020 New York International Wine Competition.

The winery is located at Black Creek Farm on Fryer Lane in Altamont, NY. The New York International Wine Competition also named Meadowdale Winery the “New York Ice Cider Winery of the Year” for 2020.

We took the 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge

By now you may have heard that thousands of individuals and hundreds of local organizations have joined together to take a community-wide 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge. The New York Wine & Grape Foundation is dedicated to learning and taking action to create an equitable community for all, so over the past month, our staff has committed to furthering our understanding of power, privilege, supremacy, oppression, and equity with the help of the United Way of Greater Rochester.

Happy Thanksgiving!

On this Thanksgiving Eve we want to take the opportunity to express how thankful we are for the continued support of the amazing wine and grape community here in New […]

Halloween Candy & New York Wine Pairing

Whether you steal a piece when no one’s looking, or you go full-tilt with a bucket all to yourself, we know you’re going to be digging into some Halloween candy this weekend. While you’re enjoying the sweet treats, we invite you to add a glass of your favorite New York wine! We know candy and wine isn’t exactly a traditional pairing… but why not have a little fun in the spirit of the season? We’ve listed some ideas to get you started, featuring the winners of last years New York Wine Classic.

Hosmer Winery Featured in Wine & Spirits Top 100

text logo for wine and spirits magazine

Hosmer Winery’s Rieslings receive recognition in both Top 100 Wines of 2020 and Top 100 Best Buys of 2020. Hosmer Winery is known for its wide portfolio of estate-grown Rieslings. In the most recent Special Issue of Wine & Spirits, not one, but two of Hosmer’s Rieslings are recognized in their Top 100 series.

New USDA Survey to Measure Areas for Improvement


WASHINGTON, Aug. 7, 2020 – WASHINGTON, August 7, 2020 –The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced a new annual survey of farmers, ranchers and private forestland owners. The survey […]

Sea Scallops Stir Fry

close-up image of sea scallops stir fry with rice

This month’s recipes are inspired by the fantastic seafood and duck available on Long Island. Choose Local F.I.S.H. (Fresh. Indigenous. Sustainable. Healthy), an initiative of the Cornell Cooperative Extension Marine […]

Long Island Duck Meatballs

duck meatballs in bowl

This month’s recipes are inspired by the fantastic seafood and duck available on Long Island. Choose Local F.I.S.H. (Fresh. Indigenous. Sustainable. Healthy), an initiative of the Cornell Cooperative Extension Marine […]

Long Island Steamed Mussels

steamed mussels in a bowl

This month’s recipes are inspired by the fantastic seafood and duck available on Long Island. Choose Local F.I.S.H. (Fresh. Indigenous. Sustainable. Healthy), an initiative of the Cornell Cooperative Extension Marine […]

Cheesecake Blintz with Concord Grape Sauce

Cheesecake Blintz with Concord Grape Sauce

This month’s collection of delectable recipes is inspired by May Is American Cheese Month! and the onset of one of the most beloved holidays of the year and unofficial start of the […]

Grilled Chicken with White BBQ Sauce

BBQ chicken on a grill

This month’s collection of delectable recipes is inspired by May Is American Cheese Month! and the onset of one of the most beloved holidays of the year and unofficial start of the […]

Blueberry Cobbler

blueberry cobbler on a plate

An easy dessert to pair with a glass of New York wine. We’ve offered our suggested parings but encourage you to discover what New York wine you like best!

You’re Invited to Join the NYWGF Export Program

london skyline

Have you ever wondered how some New York wineries are selling their products successfully in international markets and garnering worldwide press? Much of the behind the scenes work is done […]

FAQ: Outdoor Tastings For New York Wineries

glass of red wine with a vineyard in the background

Recently Governor Cuomo announced that outdoor dining would be permitted starting June 4th at restaurants located in regions currently in Phase 2 for reopening. Those regions currently include: the Capital […]

New York Wines: May 2020 Best Buys

different colors of wine being poured into glasses

Love Scoring Deals? Check out this month’s New York Wine Best Buys…. New York wineries produce a myriad of world-class, quality wines that are impressive on their own, but even […]

New York Winery Spotlight: Lakewood Vineyards

Nestled just off the southwestern shores of Seneca Lake in the heart of New York’s magnificent Finger Lakes wine country is where you’ll find Lakewood Vineyards. Once a run-down peach and apple orchard, this multi-generational, family-run winery celebrated its 30th Anniversary […]

Organic Carrot-Ginger Soup

As we find ourselves cooking at home much more these days, one thing is certain… deciding on a dinner menu can be a daunting task. If you’re not quite sure […]

New York Wines: April 2020 Best Buys

Love Scoring Deals? Check out this month’s New York Wine Best Buys… New York wineries produce a myriad of world-class, quality wines that are impressive on their own, but even […]

New York Wines to be Featured by the LCBO

lakeside vineyard at sunset. caption reads: Taste NY Wines. Diverse. Bold. Cool Climate.

Six New York Wines to be released Online through the LCBO Destination Collection in AprilAdditional Offerings Available through Vintages Catalogue in May Wines from New York Featured in Ontario for the […]

Sunday Brunch…Liberated!

Eggs Benedict with Champagne…Mimosa with Fruit Crepes…Sorry, but you’ll have to wait until noon!

That has long been the situation in New York State…until this week when Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation to liberate Sunday brunch, along with several other measures to further advance New York’s craft beverage sectors, including wine.

Washington Gets a Taste of New York

On Wednesday, September 14 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand will host “New York Farm Day” in the elegant Senate Kennedy Caucus Room at the crest of Capitol Hill. Attendees will include other Senators, the New York Congressional delegation from the House of Representatives, members of the Committees on Agriculture and the Congressional Wine Caucus, legislative chiefs of staff, agricultural specialists in Congress and the Administration, members of the Washington media, top area restaurants and fine wine shops.