Past Unity Award Winners

The Unity Awards were created in 1990 as a way to recognize, encourage, and celebrate cooperation among grape growers, wineries (and their staff), researchers, retailers and others to advance the entire industry. We would like to thank all of our award winners for their tireless advocacy and support of the New York wine and grape community. They have our tremendous gratitude for all they do every day to raise the awareness of the world class products being made right here in New York.

Jim Trezise Lifetime Achievement Award

Established in 2020, and named for the first Executive Director of the New York Wine & Grape Foundation, this award recognizes individuals who have demonstrated a lifelong commitment to the New York wine and grape industry and made impactful contributions that advanced the industry.

  • John Brahm III, Arbor Hill Winery
  • John Martini, Anthony Road Wine Co.

Phyllis Feder Unity Award

This award was established in 1990 and recognizes individuals who have volunteered their time, shown exceptional leadership, and achieved recognized results in building industry co-operation and unity. This award is now named in honor of Phyllis Feder.

  • Bert Silk, the first chairman of the Foundation
  • Seaton “Zeke” Mendall, former president of the New York State Wine Grape Growers
  • Monty Stamp, long-time secretary of the New York State Wine Grape Growers (NYSWGG)
  • Vince Bedient, a NYSWGG director for over 20 years as well as the organization’s past president
  • Martha Borgeson, former Deputy Commissioner of the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets
  • Doug Knapp, former NYSWGG president and organizer of the first two editions of the Finger Lakes Wine Festival
  • Maxine Fullagar, President of Women for New York State Wines
  • Herodotus Damianos, owner of Pindar Vineyards and Duck Walk Vineyards
  • Art & Joyce Hunt, co-owners of Hunt Country Vineyards
  • John Brahm III, of Arbor Hill Grapery
  • Gene Pierce, Past Chairman of the Board for the Foundation
  • John & Ann Martini of Anthony Road Wine Company
  • Neil Simmons of Simmons Vineyards and former Chairman of the Foundation
  • Marco Borghese of Castello di Borghese Vineyards on Long Island
  • Nathan Rudgers, former Commissioner of the NYS Department of Agriculture & Markets
  • Ruth Moore, former First Deputy Commissioner of the NYS Department of Agriculture & Markets
  • Tom Davenport of National Grape Cooperative
  • Liz Stamp, Owner/Public Relations, Lakewood Vineyards
  • Bob Madill, Sheldrake Point Vineyards
  • Rory Callahan, Wine & Food Associates
  • Pete Saltonstall, King Ferry Winery
  • Richard Olsen-Harbich, Bedell Cellars
  • Phyllis Feder, Past Board Chair of the Foundation and Clinton Vineyards
  • Roman Roth, Wölffer Estate Vineyard & The Grapes of Roth
  • Larry Perrine, Past NYWGF Board Member & Channing Daughters Winery
  • Trent Preszler, Bedell Cellars
  • Alice Wise, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Suffolk County
  • Linda Pierro, Hudson Valley Wine Magazine
  • Brittany Gibson, Executive Director, Seneca Lake Wine Trail

Jim Finkle Industry Award

This award is intentionally broad in scope in order to recognize outstanding achievements in aspects of the industry not directly covered by the Unity and other awards. The area may be marketing, promotion, legislative, organizational, or other. Starting in 2016, this award was named in honor of Jim Finkle.

  • Marvin Sands of Canandaigua Brands
  • John Dyson of Millbrook Vineyards
  • Bill Wagner of Wagner Vineyards
  • Eastman Beers, former owner of Springledge Farms
  • Tom Davenport of the National Grape Cooperative
  • NYS Senator John “Randy” Kuhl
  • Juanita Spence, retired from NYSWGG and NYWGF
  • Willy Frank of Dr. Konstantin Frank’s Vinifera Wine Cellars and Chateau Frank
  • Elvin Tyler, long time grape grower and industry leader
  • Hermann J. Wiemer, of Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyards
  • Mark James of NY Farm Bureau
  • Scott Osborn of Fox Run Vineyards
  • Julie Suarez of New York Farm Bureau
  • Barbara Adams, former Executive Director of the Seneca Lake Wine Trail
  • Bill Magee, New York State Assemblyman and Chair of the Agriculture Committee
  • Catharine Young, New York State Senator, Chair Senate Agricultural Committee
  • Waterloo Container
  • New York State Wine Grape Growers
  • Patrick Hooker, former Commissioner of Agriculture & Markets
  • Cornell Cooperative Extension
  • Dennis Rosen, former Commissioner of the New York State Liquor Authority
  • Rich Erdle, National Grape Cooperative (retired)
  • Rich Stabins, Constellation Brands
  • Dan Mitchell, Fox Run Vineyards
  • Jay Hardenburg
  • Elizabeth Stamp, Lakewood Vineyards
  • Peter Bell, Fox Run Vineyards
  • Robert Ketchin, Managing Director, Ketchin Marketing

John H. Brahm III Grower Award

Given for the first time in 1993, this award recognizes an individual for dedication and contributions to the New York grape industry.

  • Ernest Pinneo of Keuka Lake
  • Warren “Baldy” Morse of Keuka Lake
  • Jim Hazlitt of Seneca Lake
  • June Pendleton of Rushville (former NYSWGG President)
  • Monty Stamp of Seneca Lake
  • Ron Guzzetta of Western New York
  • Phyllis Bauer of Keuka Lake
  • Doug Miles of Seneca Lake
  • David Mudd of Mudd Vineyards on Long Island
  • Dennis Rak of Western NY
  • Vince Bedient of Bedient Vineyards
  • Jim Bedient in the Finger Lakes
  • Louis & Donna Gridley of Keuka Lake
  • The Tones Family of Clearview Farms
  • The Simmons Family of Simmons Vineyards
  • Steve Mudd, Mudd Vineyards
  • Herman Amberg, Grafted Grapevine Nursery
  • Jim Joy, JM Joy Farms
  • Richard Gerome, Jerome’s U-Pick
  • Michael Migliore, Whitecliff Vineyard
  • Sayre Fulkerson Fulkerson Winery
  • John Graziano, Millbrook Vineyards & Winery
  • Tina Hazlitt, Sawmill Creek Vineyards
  • John and Josephine Ingle, Heron Hill Winery
  • Donna Rudolph, Bedell Cellars
  • Cameron & Timothy Hosmer, Patrician Verona Vineyards

Winery Award

Established in 2002, this award recognizes a winery that has made major contributions to advancing the image and reputation of the New York wine industry.

  • Swedish Hill Vineyards of Cayuga Lake
  • Millbrook Vineyards and Winery of the Hudson River Region
  • Paumanok Vineyards of Long Island
  • Wagner Vineyards of Seneca Lake
  • Thousand Islands Winery
  • Glenora Wine Cellars
  • Wölffer Estate Vineyard of Long Island
  • Red Newt Cellars of Seneca Lake
  • Konstantin Frank Wine Cellars of Keuka Lake
  • Fox Run Vineyards
  • Liberty Vineyards & Winery
  • Coyote Moon Vineyards
  • Bedell Cellars
  • Boundary Breaks
  • Three Brothers Wineries & Estates

Research Award

This award recognizes major contributions in the area of grape growing processing, and wine research.

  • Charles Fournier & Dr. Konstantin Frank
  • Nelson Shaulis, PhD
  • Fred Taschenberg, PhD
  • Mary Plane
  • Tim Dennehy, PhD
  • Thomas Henick-Kling, PhD
  • Robert Pool, PhD
  • Bruce Reisch, PhD
  • Leroy Creasy, PhD
  • Thomas Zabadal, PhD
  • Alice Wise
  • Helen Fisher, University of Guelph
  • Ming Mei Chang
  • Curtis Ellison of Boston University Medical Center
  • Alan Lakso, PhD
  • Dean Susan Henry of Cornell University
  • The Vineyard Laboratory at Fredonia
  • Tim Martinson, PhD
  • Terry Bates, PhD
  • Wayne Wilcox, PhD
  • Andrew Landers, PhD
  • Greg Loeb, PhD
  • Martin Goffinet, PhD
  • Brad Rickard, PhD
  • Marc Fuchs
  • Justine Vanden Heuvel
  • Marilyn Konopka
  • Cornell AgriTech
  • Hans Walter-Peterson, Cornell CALS
  • Jennifer Phillips Russo, Lake Erie Regional Grape Program, Cornell Lake Erie Research & Extension Laboratory

Sustainability Award

Established in 2019, this award recognizes an organization or winery that has exemplified sustainable practices.

  • Long Island Sustainable Winegrowing
  • Hunt Country Vineyards
  • Timothy Martinson, Cornell University, College of Agriculture & Life Sciences

Ron Reals Distributor Award

This award, first presented in 2005, recognizes achievement in distributing and promoting New York wines. Starting in 2016, this award was named in honor of Ron Reals.

  • Ron Reals, Finger Lakes Premium Wines
  • Sandy Waters, Eber Brothers
  • Bill Crandall, Eber Brothers
  • Opici Wine Group
  • Winebow
  • Cheryl Dianetti
  • Gretchen Geiger
  • Upstate Wine Company
  • Phil Adams
  • Dina Opici
  • New York Wines Sarl, Luxembourg
  • John Iszard
  • Mike Lofgren, Empire Merchants North
  • Karen Aumick, Empire Merchants North

Restaurant Award

This award recognizes excellence in promoting New York wines in a fine dining experience.

  • Pierces 1894 Restaurant in Elmira Heights
  • The Desmond in Albany
  • The Hudson River Club in New York City
  • Turback’s of Ithaca
  • Ross’ North Fork Restaurant of Southold
  • Belhurst Castle in Geneva
  • Home Restaurant in New York City
  • The Prospect Restaurant at Scribner Hollow Lodge in Hunter
  • The Village Tavern in Hammondsport
  • Carmine’s in Albany
  • Gramercy Tavern in New York City
  • Thomas Pastuszak in New York City
  • The Asa Ransom House in Buffalo
  • The View at the Marriott Marquis
  • Ports Café in Geneva
  • Chuck Hunt of the New York State Restaurant Association
  • Red Newt Bistro in Hector
  • Megu in New York City
  • The Taste of New York Restaurant, New York Wine & Culinary Center
  • Suzanne Fine Regional Cuisine in Lodi
  • Blue Pointe Grille at the Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel
  • Tom Schaudel, Alure, aMano, Jewel, Petulant Wino
  • The Marshal, New York City
  • Graft
  • The Tailor & The Cook, Utica, NY
  • Brown Hound Downtown, Trish Aser
  • Scott Signori, Stonecat Café

Retailer Award

This award is presented to wine stores which do an exceptional job in educating consumers about the quality and variety of New York wines.

  • Northside Wines & Spirits, Ithaca, NY
  • House of Bacchus, Rochester, NY
  • GCP Discount Liquors, Horseheads, NY
  • McAdam Buy Rite, New York City
  • Wines & Spirits of Slingerlands
  • Century Discount Wines & Liquors, Pittsford, NY
  • Vintage New York, Manhattan
  • The Wine Sellar, Buffalo, NY
  • Zachys, Westchester, NY
  • Astor Wines & Spirits, New York City
  • Burt Notarius of Prime Wines Corporation, Western NY
  • Altamont Wine & Liquors, Altamont, NY
  • Marketview Liquor, Rochester, NY
  • The Greene Grape, New York City
  • Bombace Wine & Spirits, Don Bombace, Farmington, NY
  • The Wine Room, Neil Kratzer, Buffalo, NY
  • Jay Roelof of Suburban Wines & Spirits, Yorktown Heights, NY
  • Ryan’s Wine & Spirits, Canandaigua, NY
  • Whole Foods Market Wine Store, New York City
  • Pedulla’s Wine & Liquor
  • Exit 9 Wine & Liquor Warehouse, Mark O’Callaghan
  • Grapevine Farms Wine Cellar, Cobleskill, NY
  • The Premier Group

Consumer Award

Established in 1998 for enthusiastic support of the New York wines industry and for exemplifying the use of wine as part of a happy, healthy lifestyle.

  • George Tillson
  • Chuck & Grace Lincoln
  • Dottie & Joe Mugavero
  • Lynne Montgomery
  • Michael Warren Thomas
  • Dick Ehrlich
  • Mike Rusinko & Carol Chester
  • Phyllis Bauer
  • Charlene Ryder
  • Women for New York State Wines
  • Peter Parts
  • Bob Lewis
  • June Phillips
  • Thomas Pellechia
  • Cheryl Gnade-McGrattan
  • Judi Betts
  • Lorraine Hems
  • Tracy Schuhmacher
  • Don Cazentre
  • Greg and Jeanne Gardner
  • Maiah Johnson Dunn