In order to support the next phase of our Sustainability Program in 2022, NYWGF is developing a third-party certification for sustainably grown grapes and wine. The basis for this certification will be a grower self-assessment followed by third-party verification according to the latest edition of VineBalance, a workbook that addresses input reduction, soil health, water protection, energy conservation, resources and waste, ecosystem health, climate resiliency, continuous improvement, and social equity. Growers who achieve certification will be permitted to use the program logo for special labeling and direct-to-consumer marketing.
From March to May of 2022, the NYWGF will begin a Pilot Program to test the mechanism for certification with a group of approximately twenty-five (25) grape growers. The Pilot Program will be headquartered within Yates County but open to growers across the state. Roughly 80 percent of the participating growers will be located within the Finger Lakes American Viticultural Area (AVA) with an additional 20 percent located in outer regions such as the Lake Erie, Hudson Valley, Niagara Escarpment, Long Island, and Champlain Valley AVAs.
NYWGF is seeking an independent contractor to serve as a third-party verifier to perform vineyard site inspections during the Pilot Program. The role of the Sustainable Vineyard Inspector will be to travel to participating vineyards and verify growers’ self-assessment of their sustainability practices using the latest edition of the VineBalance workbook.
The Sustainable Vineyard Inspector will review completed VineBalance workbooks for approximately twenty-five (25) grape growers and perform on-site inspections to verify the accuracy of grower self-assessments. During these site visits, the inspector will provide one-one-one consultation to educate growers about sustainable management practices, clarify any inconsistencies between the grower and inspector assessments, and provide guidance for continuous improvement.
Proposals should be submitted electronically to:
Sustainability Program Manager
Email: [email protected]
Questions regarding this RFP should be directed to [email protected] no later than 5:00PM on Monday, February 14, 2022. All proposals are due by 5:00PM on Monday, February 21, 2022.
NYWGF reserves the right not to award a contract if, in the opinion of the evaluators, no suitable proposal is received. NYWGF is not liable for any costs associated with any company’s response to this RFP.