New York Wine & Grape Foundation Partners with Vineyard Inspectors for Sustainability Pilot Program

The New York Wine & Grape Foundation (NYWGF) is pleased to announce a partnership with two Vineyard Inspectors for the Sustainability Pilot Program: Tim Martinson and Chris King.

Tim Martinson’s wealth of knowledge and depth of perspective from leading the original VineBalance workbook project combined with his 9 years as an Area Extension Educator with the Finger Lakes Grape Program and 14 years as a Senior Extension Associate for the Statewide Viticulture Extension Program make him uniquely qualified for this project.

Chris King brings a valuable perspective of VineBalance as a grower who completed the first iteration while serving as the former Vineyard Manager of Knapp Winery. Chris’s knowledge of VineBalance is bolstered by his 24 years of experience managing sustainable, organic, biodynamic, and conventional vineyards in the Finger Lakes.

Project Background 

The goal of the Sustainability Pilot Program is to trial a system for third-party certification of sustainable vineyard practices in New York State. The basis for this certification will be VineBalance 2022: V2, a grower self-assessment workbook that addresses input reduction, soil health, water protection, energy efficiency, resources and waste, ecosystem health, climate resiliency, continuous improvement, and social equity. A group of 40 growers will participate in the Pilot Program from March to May 2022. Results from the Pilot Program will inform the launch of the New York Sustainable Winegrowing Certification Program in 2023. Growers who achieve certification will be permitted to use the certification logo for special labeling and direct-to-consumer marketing. This market-based approach will provide a continuous incentive for value-added producers to purchase sustainable grapes from growers and promote direct-to-consumer sales of sustainable wines in the marketplace. 

To learn more about New York’s Sustainability Pilot Program visit

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New York Wine & Grape Foundation

The mission of the New York Wine & Grape Foundation 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.