New York Sustainable Winegrowing

New York Sustainable Winegrowing is a comprehensive program that includes educational events and resources as well as an official certification process for Vineyards who are seeking to advance their environmental, social, and economic sustainability. Certification is based on science backed regionally defined standards and independent third-party audits so you can feel confident in the wine you are drinking.

Look for our Trustmark at Vineyards and wineries and on bottles in 2024 to ensure that the wine you are enjoying is environmentally sound, socially equitable, and financially sustainable. Click here for a list of certified vineyards.

Certification Standards

Certification is based on maintaining a minimum score in the VineBalance workbook. This workbook is designed to provide grape growers in New York and other regions of the Northeast with guidance in evaluating and adopting best management practices that minimize environmental impacts, reduce economic risks, and protect worker health and safety. Standards in the workbook are set by a panel of experts including academics, industry members, and extension specialists focusing on practices relevant to New York grape production. Annually, these standards undergo review and revision to ensure they are up to date with science based best practices and economic feasibility. Currently the workbook features nine objectives.  

  1. To promote the use of practices that reduce reliance on off-farm inputs. 
  2. To build, regenerate, and conserve healthy soils for future generations. 
  3. To protect surrounding reservoirs and waterways from pollution. 
  4. To improve energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 
  5. To conserve natural resources, reduce waste streams, and recycle. 
  6. To encourage healthy ecosystems, biodiversity, and wildlife habitat. 
  7. To increase climate resiliency and promote climate-smart farming. 
  8. To provide education and pathways for continuous improvement. 
  9. To foster a socially equitable and economically viable industry. 

Picture of Justin Jackson

Justin Jackson

Sustainability Program Manager


VineBalance 2024

NYWGF is pleased to announce the release of VineBalance 2024 as the latest edition of New York’s statewide code of sustainable winegrowing.

Important Dates

October 10, 2024VineBalance 2023 Released
December 30, 2024Completed VineBalance Due
February – May, 2025In-person Audits Conducted

Program Updates

Learn More

Tools and Resources


Related News

Understanding New York Wines’ Sustainability Program with Justin Jackson – Part 2

Once again, our very own Justin Jackson, NYWGF Sustainability Program Manager, sat down for an interview with the Editor of Canada’s Good Food Revolution, Jamie Drummond. In Part One, they discussed the inception of the program and what it encapsulates. This week, they talked about implementing the program, the certification of vineyards, convincing the consumer that it’s not greenwashing, and the third party auditing of certified wineries. You can find Part One right here. CLICK HERE TO WATCH PART

Understanding New York Wines’ Sustainability Program with Justin Jackson

This week our very own Justin Jackson, NYWGF Sustainability Program Manager, sat down for an interview with the Editor of Canada’s Good Food Revolution, Jamie Drummond. In Part One of this series, Justin shared insights into our New York Sustainable Winegrowing Program and its comprehensive scope. Click the link below to learn more about how sustainability practices are shaping the future of winemaking in New York. Stay tuned for Part Two next week, where Justin

The Sun That Nurtures New York’s Grapes Now Powers Many New York Wineries

The ritual of popping a cork on a bottle of wine after a long day at work or before a weekend meal comes with many things. Your favorite corkscrew. Your favorite glassware. The feeling of stress leaving your body when you hear the cork pop, you pour the wine, and then inhale the captivating aromas. The indescribable satisfaction of the first sip. What that ritual probably doesn’t come with is the question in your mind:

2024 Unity Awards: Sustainability Recipient - Rich Olsen-Harbich

Rich Olsen-Harbich began pioneering sustainable winegrowing techniques decades before it was cool.

“This Sustainability Award really validates what we’ve been doing at Bedell Cellars since 1980,” Olsen-Harbich, winemaker at Bedell Cellars, notes. “Sustainability is a zero-sum game. It is a pathway that you walk on, without an end in sight. You always want to find a way to be even more sustainable.”.

The Sustainability Award recognizes an organization or winery that has exemplified sustainable practices.

NYWGF is a Founding Member of the Sustainable Wine Roundtable

The Sustainable Wine Roundtable (SWR) is an independent, nonprofit, multi-stakeholder initiative to unite the international wine community around a consensus definition of sustainable wine. The mission of the SWR is to develop guidelines and best practices to advance sustainability in all aspects of wine production and trade. As a Founding Member, the Foundation will join with sister programs to share expertise and develop a global sustainability standard for wine. For more information, visit this link.

porto protocol logo

NYWGF Joins Porto Protocol

We are thrilled to announce that the New York Wine & Grape Foundation has joined the Porto Protocol. The Porto Protocol Foundation is an open and dynamic platform of ideas and workable solutions to combat climate change. The mission of the Porto Protocol Foundation is to drive collaborative action by bringing together a network of change makers and workable climate solutions for and within the wine world. For more information, visit this link.

The NYWGF Sustainability Program would not be possible without support from the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service, USDA Rural Development, New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, Genesee Valley Regional Market Authority, Yates County, New York State Wine Grape Growers, and John Ingle of Ingle Vineyard and Heron Hill Winery.