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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,

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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

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,

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

A Long History of Sustainability at Silver Thread Vineyard

Silver Thread Vineyard was established in 1982 on the eastern shore of Seneca Lake, at the heart of New York’s Finger Lakes region. At this location the bottom of the lake drops almost 200 feet below sea level, a dramatic mass of water that creates a distinct microclimate on the leeward (eastern) hillside — cooling breezes in summer, radiating warmth through the winter, and extending the length of the growing season.

vineyard at sunset

Leading by Example: Sustainability & Biodynamics at Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard

Attitudes, practices, and policies have been changing especially in the last decade with regards to sustainability. There is mounting concern for personal health, and environmental and social problems that the world is facing including sickness and disease, extinction of plant and animal species, depletion natural resources, global warming, etc.