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.  

The grower committee brings together a group of winemakers, vineyard managers and owners from across the state, including seven growers from the Finger Lakes who will serve as the pilot vineyards for the fledgling sustainability certification in 2022. Other committee members hail from Long Island, Lake Erie, Niagara Escarpment, Hudson Valley, and Champlain Valley. Each committee member brings a unique perspective, including several who have participated in other sustainability programs such as the Ontario Sustainable Winegrowing Charter, International Wineries for Climate Action (IWCA), Long Island Sustainable Winegrowing (LISW), California Certified Sustainable Winegrowing (CCSW), Sustainability in Practice (SIP), and Fish Friendly Farming. The committee is charged with bringing a grower perspective to the development of the sustainability program, including a review of the original VineBalance workbook and other industry best practices in sustainable winegrowing. 

The Technical Review committee comprises viticulture and enology experts from Cornell University and Cornell Cooperative Extension as well as Yates County Soil and Water. Two members of the committee, Tim Martinson and Tom Eskildsen, where involved in the development of the original VineBalance workbook. The committee is charged with reviewing the standards necessary to achieve sustainability certification. This includes advising regionally relevant pest, disease, weed, and nitrogen management protocols for the certification program. A complete list of committee members can be found below: 

Grower Sustainability Advisory Committee 

Finger Lakes 

  • Suzanne Hunt (Chair) – Co-Owner and Director of Sustainability, Hunt Country Vineyards 
  • Paul Brock – Owner & Winemaker, Silver Thread Winery 
  • Mike Colizzi – Owner & Vineyard Manager, Kashong Glen Vineyard 
  • Cameron Hosmer – Owner, Hosmer Winery 
  • John Ingle / Jordan Harris – Owner / Winemaker, Heron Hill Winery & Ingle Vineyard 
  • John Wagner – Owner, Wagner Vineyards Estate Winery 
  • Josh Wig – Co-Owner, Operations & Wholesale, Lamoureux Landing Wine Cellars 

Long Island 

  • Richard Olsen-Harbich – Winemaker, Bedell Cellars 
  • Ria D’Aversa – Vineyard Manager, McCall Wines 

Hudson River Region 

  • J Stephen Casscles – Owner, Cedar Cliff Vineyard, Author, Grapes of the Hudson Valley 
  • Matthew Spaccarelli – Vineyard Manager, Fjord Vineyards, Winemaker, Benmarl Winery 

Niagara Escarpment 

  • Duncan Ross – Co-Owner, Arrowhead Spring Vineyards 

Champlain Valley 

  • Norliah Asma-Kalmar – Co-Owner, Four Maples Vineyard & Winery 

Lake Erie 

  • Andrew Knight – Knight Vineyards 

Technical Review Committee 

  • Justine Vanden Heuvel – Professor in Horticulture, Cornell University 
  • Hans Walter-Peterson – Extension Associate, Cornell Cooperative Extension 
  • Jennifer Russo – Extension Associate, Cornell Cooperative Extension 
  • Tim Martinson – Senior Extension Associate, Cornell Cooperative Extension 
  • Tom Eskildsen – Senior District Technician, Yates County Soil and Water 
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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.