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NYWGF Sustainability Program Offers Soil Health Scholarships

The NYWGF Sustainability Program is pleased to offer scholarships to the Advanced Soil Health Virtual Certificate Course offered by the Cornell University Soil Health Program. This online course will take place December 4th – 11th from 8am to 11:30am and will include live sessions with soil health experts on December 6th, 8th, and 10th. Harold van Es, Cornell University Professor of Soil and Water Management, and Joseph Amsili, Extension Associate  for the Cornell Soil Health Program, will lead the course.  Healthy soil is the foundation of a healthy vineyard. It is important to practice soil health management throughout the year to reduce erosion, improve infiltration, sequester carbon,

Waterloo Container to Enhance Shrink Sleeve Capability

With an eye to the future of wine and spirit bottle labeling, Waterloo Container has invested in a new state-of-the-art repack line which includes a shrink sleeve labeler featuring the R-250 TSER Evolution labeler by PDC international Corporation. This high-speed labeler features unique mandrel design capable of sleeving non-round bottles, and a proprietary cutting system which allows sleeve application at a rate of 50 to 300 containers per minute.   The

Adirondack Winery Breaks Ground on $2.6 Million Winemaking Facility and Tasting Room at Queensbury Headquarters

Adirondack Winery held a groundbreaking ceremony Thursday at the site of its future $2.6 million, 14,100-square-foot winemaking facility and Tasting Room at the site of its current Queensbury headquarters. Once complete, the new building will provide the family run winery with the space it needs to triple its wine production over the next 10 years. The new building will house an all-new Tasting Room, where the winery plans to offer

NYWGF Issues RFP for Conference & Event Management

The mission of the NYWGF is to promote the world-class image of New York grapes and wines from our diverse regions to responsibly benefit farmers, producers and consumers through innovative marketing, research, communication, and advocacy. To accomplish our mission and meet industry needs, we are excited to be leading two (2) important events over the next year, the B.E.V. NY Conference (March 2022) and the New York Wine Classic Awards

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Community Solar Explained: What It Is and How It Works

What Is Community Solar?Community solar farms (also referred to as projects) are large, commercial-grade solar arrays shared by multiple community subscribers who receive credits on their electricity bills for their share of the power produced. Community solar farms offer residents, businesses, and municipalities an easy way to support clean, renewable energy AND save up to 10% on their monthly energy costs (with no change in utility provider). It’s easy, which

NYWGF Issues RFP for Sustainable Wine & Grape Certification Marketing Plan

NYWGF is developing a third-party certification for sustainably grown grapes and wine. The basis for this certification will be the VineBalance Guide to Sustainable Viticulture, a grower self-assessment workbook codeveloped by the Cornell Cooperative Extension and Soil and Water Conservation Committee of the New York Department of Agriculture and Markets in 2007. This workbook is widely applied across the state, but it lacks a system of third-party verification and logo

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JamesSuckling.com Publishes Review of New York Wines

Penn Yan, NY, September 21st, 2021 – Over 30 wineries participating in the New York Wine & Grape Foundation (NYWGF) International Export Program were invited to submit wines for review by JamesSuckling.com last Spring. JamesSuckling.com is an international wine publication that annually reviews and comments on wines from the world’s leading wine regions. Results are published to an audience of over 600,000 unique annual visitors.  Of the wines submitted for review by 25 wineries, 69 received scores of 90 and above. According to JamesSuckling.com “a

Multi-State Partnership Advances Sustainability in the U.S. Wine Industry through Research, Education and Promotion

Since 2018, wine industry organizations from the four states have been partnering to advance sustainability initiatives industry wide. By providing a definition and principles for the U.S. wine industry, conducting trade and consumer research, sharing information through two U.S. Sustainable Winegrowing Summits and providing education on the industry’s sustainability commitment to trade and consumers, the project has been effective in furthering the understanding of sustainable winegrowing.

Wine industry and key stakeholders join forces to define sustainability

For the first time, more than 40 key actors in the production and marketing of wine around the world have joined forces to accelerate action as sustainability challenges mount. The newly formed Sustainable Wine Roundtable (SWR) is a unique coalition of leading wine brands, small producers, distributors, retailers, environmental organisations, and others – all joined in their determination to make the wine sector a sustainability leader. From drought to flooding,

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Improve Your Yield & Quality, Lower Production Costs, and Conserve Labor & Resources with the MyEV Tool

The Efficient Vineyard approach involves measuring and collecting data on soils, canopy, crop size, and fruit quality; combining direct vineyard measurements and/or sensor data into valuable viticulture knowledge for vineyard managers; and developing variable rate vineyard prescription maps to improve yield and quality, lower production costs, and conserve labor and environmental resources. The FREE MyEV Tool has brought this vision to reality for growers and wineries.

NYWGF Issues RFP for Comprehensive New York Wine Course & Reference Guide Update

New York wines are now worldwide. They are increasingly available in the international markets of Canada, Europe, and Asia and information about the wines, and our grower community, is frequently sought after by global trade, media, and consumers wanting to learn more about our exciting, up-and-coming region. NYWGF is seeking a consultant to complete a comprehensive technical review and update of the guide, provide copy editing for tone and voice and, finally, core educational modules to serve global trade and consumer audiences.

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The Triple Bottom Line of Vineyard Sustainability

How do we measure the sustainability of the New York wine and grape industry? In sustainable agriculture, performance is measured using the “triple bottom line” framework. In addition to financial accounting, the triple bottom line framework also recognizes environmental and social returns. Over the past month, the NYWGF Grower Sustainability Advisory Committee has been collectively working to define the triple bottom line of sustainability for the New York wine and

Future VineBalance Updates to Address Biodiversity and Social Equity

The first layer of this analysis evaluates the broader categories of sustainability addressed by each program to identify what all programs have in common, where VineBalance exceeds other programs, and where it falls short in addressing certain priorities. The categories of sustainability that all three programs share are soil health, water conservation, and pest management. One area where VineBalance goes deeper that other programs is pesticide management. For example, VineBalance includes questions about the security of pesticide storage, certified applicator supervision, and the recyclability of pesticide containers. Key areas where VineBalance falls short include management strategies for biodiversity and worker health and safety.

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NYWGF Announces Sustainability Program Mission Statement and Objectives

The New York Wine & Grape Foundation is pleased to announce the release of a Mission Statement, Vision Statement and Objectives for our new statewide sustainability program. These guiding statements were collectively developed by our Grower Sustainability Advisory Committee and Sustainability Program Manager.

NYWGF Announces New Sustainability Committees

The New York Wine and Grape Foundation is pleased to announce the formation of our new Grower Sustainability Advisory Committee and Technical Review Committee. These two committees will work together with our Sustainability Program Manager to establish our statewide sustainable winegrowing certification program.  

Chris Serra to Lead VineBalance Update

This week marked the official start of our VineBalance update project, which was awarded to Chris Serra, Executive Director of LIVE. Chris is a great fit for this project with 14 years of experience leading an internationally recognized third-party certification in sustainable winegrowing for Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. Chris consulted on the development of Long Island Sustainable Winegrowing (LISW) and has been instrumental in providing guidance on other certification efforts, including one for the Great Lakes.

New York Wine & Grape Foundation Releases 2020-2021 Annual Report

Today, the New York Wine and Grape Foundation released their Annual Report for the 2020-2021 State Fiscal Year. The Annual Report provides a summary of the Foundation’s operations and accomplishments during the fiscal year. The report also includes information on the amount of funding designated for applied research and the types of research conducted; and the amount of funding designated for promotion, and the effectiveness of the promotional program.

Finger Lakes Wine Alliance announces Finger Lakes Wine Month Reboot!

The Finger Lakes Wine Alliance, in partnership with the Wine Trails of Canandaigua, Keuka, Seneca and Cayuga Lakes, Finger Lakes Wine Country, and the New York Wine and Grape Foundation, invite you to join in the reboot of FINGER LAKES WINE MONTH this August!

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Farm Service Agency Now Accepting Nominations for County Committee Members

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) began accepting nominations for county committee members on June 15. Elections will occur in certain Local Administrative Areas (LAA) for these members who make important decisions about how federal farm programs are administered locally. All nomination forms for the 2021 election must be postmarked or received in the local FSA office by Aug. 2, 2021. “We need enthusiastic, diverse leaders

Grower Survey Results and Sustainability Advisory Committee Nominations

This has been an exciting year for sustainable winegrowing in New York! The development of a statewide sustainable winegrowing certification program is finally under way. This program is the culmination of numerous of efforts by growers, extension agents, and industry associations over the past decade. We have now a reached a critical mass of consumer demand, industry support, and institutional backing to make it happen.

Incentives are available to help your vineyard save with solar!

Going solar is a strategic way for wineries cut overhead costs by producing their own electricity, on-site. Thanks to New York State grants and Federal tax incentives, overall costs can be reduced by more than 75% after all incentives are utilized. In fact, many businesses are seeing a payback period of under five years on a solar project that produces free electricity for over 35 years!

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.

NYWGF taking steps toward a more equitable, inclusive, & sustainable future.

June marks the start of Pride Month when our nation celebrates the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ+) community. Brittany Gibson, Executive Director of the Seneca Lake Wine Trail, shared an excellent article earlier this week with her members on how they can support Pride Month activities. And CNET posted a comprehensive article on how to get involved with Pride Month both personally and from a business perspective. Everybody enjoys celebrating life, so let us throw open the doors to our “Big Tent” and invite everyone in to discover how New York wine always makes the best compliment to any occasion.

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.

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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.

Support for sustainability continues to grow in wine and grape industry

The energy behind the sustainability movement in the grape and wine industry continues to build across the United States. Last week, NYWGF partnered with the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance to virtually host the second U.S. Sustainable Winegrowing Summit. Over two hundred people joined the summit to hear remarks from journalists Ray Isle and Julia Coney, viticulturists, winemakers, and marketing leaders. NYWGF’s participation in planning these summits began in 2017, which instigated our own efforts to revitalize VineBalance and establish a statewide sustainability certification program. Sustainability presents our nation’s grape growers the opportunity to seize a leadership position and demonstrate how agriculture can be part of the solution to climate change.

hand with yellow painted finger nails, holding a glass of white wine, blurry vineyard in the background.

The Value-Added Argument for Sustainable Winegrowing in New York

The landscape of consumer goods has shifted seismically over the past two decades due to growing environmental awareness and desire for ethically produced products. The millennial generation, born between 1981 and 1996, lead the way. Millennials now make up the largest portion of the world’s population, presenting the greatest growth opportunity for the U.S. wine industry. In order to realize this growth, the wine business must inspire millennials and measure up to their generational values. In addition to an emphasis on climate change, this cohort is more health conscious, socially aware, and ethnically diverse than previous generations.

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.

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

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.

Fox Run family stands with Bottle Crusher machine.

Fox Run Becomes First NY Winery to use GLSand Bottle Crusher

As a producer of nearly 240,000 bottles of wine each year, Fox Run Vineyards knew they had to do more to keep glass out of area landfills. Enter the Expelco GLSand Bottle Crusher: a compact machine designed to crush glass bottles into environmentally usable sand. Fox Run is the first winery in New York State to adopt and use this new technology.

Inaccurate and out-of-date vineyard survey data threatens the New York State grape industry.

A positive business climate for New York grape growers and vintners depends on maintaining up-to-date statistics on statewide vineyard acreage, varietals planted, and annual production. Accurate data supports NYWGF’s effort to market the grape and wine industry effectively, and it facilitates how our board prioritizes research investments. And, survey data on production can provide benchmark production figures to compare against other US grape growing regions and between regions within New York.

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.

The Potential and Practicality of Regenerative Winegrowing in New York Vineyards

The practical benefits of building soil organic carbon have been recognized by farmers for generations, though perhaps not for the purpose of combating climate change. Undisturbed soils, rich in ground cover, have higher organic matter, microbial biodiversity, and water infiltration, making them better suited to agriculture.

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.

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Welch’s launches ‘game-changing’ ingredients for New York winemakers

The Welch’s Concord grape juice brand is world-renowned and has been a staple of breakfast tables in millions of American households for more than a century. Now, in an exciting new diversification, Welch’s ingredients division has commercially launched a new de-characterized grape juice ingredient for New York State winemakers.

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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).

Don’t call it a pivot. For New Yorkers, adaptation is in our roots.

Next month will mark one year since the COVID-19 pandemic reached New York state. An unprecedented year? You can say that again! (Actually, do me a favor and don’t ever say that again.) But for all the uncertainty, stress, and heartbreak of this past year, the perseverance of our fellow New Yorkers is something we know we can always count on.

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.

woman holding glass of red wine to her nose to smell aroma. Blurry image of a man is seen in background.

Adaption and innovation to be key themes at upcoming Cornell virtual event for the wine and grape industry

Despite the pandemic, wine and grape producers, managers, researchers and industry professionals will have access to expertise spanning many different business, enology and viticulture topics at the upcoming B.E.V. NY [Business. Enology. Viticulture.] conference from March 3-5. All sessions will be virtual with a focus on how to not only adapt but innovate all levels of operations.

Jancis Robinson holding a wine glass

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

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 JancisRobinson.com 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.

NYWGF Remains Focused on Connecting New York’s Wineries with Industry Leading Experts

In his budget proposal, Governor Cuomo restored NYWGF’s funding to its pre-COVID amount. While two months remain until the Governor and Legislature agree to a final state budget, this commitment from the Governor provides NYWGF the assurance to properly plan an organizational budget and programming plan for the upcoming fiscal year.

The Next Big Audience: Millennials are coming into their own as wine consumers

Brittany Gibson, Executive Director of the Seneca Lake Wine Trail, provided her members an excellent summary of the panel’s discussion on changing wine consumer demographics. She described her main take away as, “Millennials are coming into their own as wine consumers. They are the next big audience.” Brittany provided the following summary on the report’s description of “Millennial values”…

Glass of wine against cozy fireplace background, hygge concept.

January Fireside Chat with Sam Filler & Special Guests

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.

The State of the Wine Industry: SVB Report & Leveraging Data

This year’s report presents an optimistic vision for the year ahead; compared to a dourer outlook last January with first decline in the growth in wine consumption reported in 20 years. The COVID-19 crisis accelerated changes in tasting room service and how wine is sold online. SVB predicts that we are moving into the golden age of wine e-commerce.

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

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.

Quality winemaking starts in the vineyard

I remember early in my career working in New York’s farm based beverage industry a conversation that I had with Chris Gerling at an introduction to distilling workshop at Catskill Distilling Company. Admittedly, I was super green behind the ears when it came to wine making and really any fermentation process. Chris properly schooled me when he simply described how to make a quality wine, “You can’t make good wine from bad grapes, but you can make bad wine from good grapes.” Reading between the lines, he helped me deduce that quality winemaking starts in the vineyard.