Field Notes

News and Updates from the New York Wine & Grape Foundation

Sustainability

The First Trustmarks Are Showing Up on 2023 Bottles

It’s been a long time coming, but New York State wineries now have a way to let consumers know on their wine bottles if the wine is produced using sustainably grown grapes. Wines made with at least 85% of the grapes coming from vineyards certified in 2023 through the New York Sustainable Wine Growing program of the New York Wine & Grape Foundation are the first to add the prestigious

EV Make-Ready Opportunities

Are you considering EV charging at your establishment but concerned about costs and complexities? EV programs support all aspects of a community — from your property to downtown retail and entertainment, to hotels, workplaces, and highway fast-charging. It’s estimated that 30% of drivers will be in EVs by 2030. As one of 6 Joint Utilities offering EV incentives throughout New York state, National Grid is here to help! Learn how its commercial

Harvesting Sustainability: Empowering Staff to Sell

Join us for an engaging and educational training session dedicated to sustainable practices in wine production. This webinar is designed to educate and empower staff with the knowledge and skills necessary to implement and promote eco-friendly practices throughout winery operations and turn them into profitable sales. This training is open to all staff members, from winemakers to administrative and sales teams. About Our Presenter… Julie Purpura Julie Purpura has spent

Elevate Your Brand with the New NYWGF Printing Storefront

The New York wine industry is making waves on the world stage, and it’s all thanks to the hard work and dedication of industry professionals like you. From what you grow in the vineyards, craft in your cellars, and sell in your stores, your efforts are key to the rising prominence of New York wines. However, there’s always more we can do to tell the New York wine story more

New York Sustainable Winegrowing Program Welcomes Nineteen New Certified Vineyards

Contact: Valerie Venezia-RossPhone: 1 (518) 229-3765Email: valerieross@nywgf.org PENN YAN, NY, May 21st, 2024 – The New York Wine & Grape Foundation is proud to welcome nineteen new certified vineyards to the New York Sustainable Winegrowing Program for 2024. These certified vineyards join the 49 previously certified growers dedicated to advancing the environmental, social, and economic sustainability in the New York wine industry. This voluntary, third-party certification program recognizes vineyards that

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.

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

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 Continuing Work of Reducing the Need for Chemicals in New York’s Vineyards

Vineyards today are a far cry from their manicured, perfectly-trimmed-and-green predecessors of yore. In the 1960s, you were likely to glimpse neat rows of vines with pristine rows of soil between them—not a weed or cover crop to be seen. Chemicals seemed to be the answer to better wine growing. Herbicides destroyed the weeds that competed with the vines for water. Insecticides got rid of critters that wanted to use

New York Sustainable Winegrowing Program Info Session

The New York Sustainable Winegrowing Program is Now Accepting Applications for 2024. All New York grape growers are welcome to join Justin Jackson, NYWGF Sustainability Program Manager, as he provides a comprehensive overview of the program’s process. This will include the process of certifying your vineyard in 2024 and maintaining certification for those vineyards certified in 2023. This webinar is appropriate for vineyards thinking about joining the program, vineyards currently

New York Sustainable Winegrowing Program Enrollment Open for 2024!

  The New York Wine & Grape Foundation’s Sustainability Program is pleased to announce that registration for the 2024 Program Year is Open! The New York Sustainable Winegrowing program 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 VineBalance – a workbook based on science

New York May Have a New Vineyard Sustainability Certification But Sustainable Efforts Are Nothing New in the State’s Vineyards

Sustainability is more than a buzzword for the vintners of New York State. Although there is no legally binding definition of “sustainability,” for the purposes of the New York Sustainable Winegrowing program, sustainable farming entails not just the way a vineyard is farmed, but a system of farming that can be maintained and supported over time. In a vineyard where the same soil nourishes plants year after year, environmental sustainability

USDA Logo

$47,500 Value Added Producers Grant Will Be Used to Bring International Attention to the New York Sustainable Wine Growing Program

The New York Wine and Grape Foundation (NYWGF) recently received a $47,500 Value Added Producers Grant (VAPG) from the USDA to further develop the marketing behind the New York Sustainable Winegrowing program. New York Sustainable Wine Growing certifies vineyards throughout the state that exceed the standards set forth in all 9 objectives in VineBalance. Certified vineyards exemplify the principles of responsible agriculture that are necessary for the longevity of the

New York Sustainable Winegrowing Certification – Marketing Training

All current New York Sustainable Winegrowing program participants, and anyone interested in learning more, are invited to join NYWGF and Born Collective for a 90-minute overview of our new Certification Trustmark and additional marketing assets. Our team will also discuss a variety of ‘use case’ scenarios, general rules of use, and provide additional information about allowable claims for growers with current certified vineyards and wineries using certified grapes to produce

New York Wine & Grape Foundation Unveils New Logos, Resources to Promote State’s Unique Wine Regions and Commitment to Sustainable Winegrowing

September 20th, 2023 – Penn Yan, NY — The New York Wine & Grape Foundation (NYWGF) is pleased to announce the culmination of its Brand Expansion project in partnership with Born Collective. The goal of this initiative, which began in April 2022, was to create tools and resources designed to increase the recognition of the New York wine and grape industry to global trade, media, and consumer audiences. NYWGF is

Biochar: Observed Vineyard Impact & Practical Insights for Application

Join Debbie Aller, PhD, Extension Associate at Cornell University and program coordinator for the New York Soil Health Initiativeto learn more about biochar, the impacts observed in vineyards, and practical insights into its application in perennial systems. Biochar is a charcoal-like material produced from organic waste materials through a process called pyrolysis. It is a highly stable carbon rich product that acts as a long-lasting soil amendment with numerous potential

Saving Every Drop

The water footprint (WF) of a product is an indicator of the consumption methods affecting water resources along wine’s life cycle. Today, there is global recognition that water scarcity is a major global challenge. As such, the evaluation of the WF of agro-industrial products is key, as they are widely known as having a significant footprint on water resources. The global average water footprint of grapes is 610 liter/kg. One

Seeding the Future

In this Climate Talk we will debate the why and the how of internalizing climate change in wine businesses: Where do you start? How does this materialize into a balance sheet? What are the fundamental changes this decision will bring into the modus operandi of the business? What barriers may one encounter? What opportunities arise from it? What are the risks? How does it affect your relationship with your stakeholders,

Restoring Ecosystems

In a multifunctional agricultural system, that has characterized our viticulture for centuries, biodiversity provides important ecological services that underpin vineyard health, productivity, quality and resilience. In the last decades, vineyard expansion and intensification are compromising the diversity and abundance of service-providing organisms, due to landscape homogenization, loss of key structures such as stone walls and hedgerows, high mechanization (including frequent tilling), and/or overuse of inorganic fertilizers and pesticides. The wine

Unpacking Wine

Packaging is the element that contributes to the carbon footprint of wine, and the way through which wine production impacts the environment the most. We will explore the various components of primary, secondary, and tertiary packaging. Challenges and opportunities exist in every sector and differ depending on region, consortium requirements, monetary resources, and winery size. By understanding the issues related to each material, we can take targeted actions to minimize the negative impacts of packaging and strengthen its environmental sustainability. What solutions are out there, and

New York Wine & Grape Foundation and Porto Protocol Collaborate to Host Panel series at Climate Week NYC

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Valerie Venezia-RossPhone: 1 (518) 229-3765Email: valerieross@nywgf.org [PENN YAN, NY August 29, 2023] – With the launch of the New York Sustainable Winegrowing program, the New York Wine & Grape Foundation (NYWGF) is working to develop a local wine industry that is environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable for future generations. The Porto Protocol Foundation’s leadership in international collaboration on sustainable wine issues highlights the global impact of the

Silver Thread Vineyard’s Continued Commitment to Sustainability Earns Them the Sustainability Award

Located on Seneca Lake, Silver Thread Vineyard is one of the oldest grape-growing sites in the region. The winery’s previous owners were the first to obtain organic certification in the Finger Lakes, and its current owners Shannon and Paul Brock continue the winery’s legacy of sustainability by building upon its organic roots. In recognition of this continued work, Silver Thread is the recipient of the New York Wine & Grape

Environmental Results Program for Wineries: Energy & Waste Management

Online Environmental Results Program for Wineries: Energy and Waste Management webinar. Learn about the latest strategies and best practices for wineries to reduce energy use and better manage waste in an environmentally responsible and sustainable way. Our expert panel will share insights on how to reduce energy use, and manage winery waste. Don’t miss this opportunity to connect with industry peers and gain valuable knowledge to improve your winery’s environmental

New York Wine & Grape Foundation Releases 2022-2023 Research Reports

In the ever-evolving world of wine and grape production, research plays a crucial role in advancing knowledge, improving practices, and ensuring the sustainability of the industry. The New York Wine & Grape Foundation (NYWGF), since its inception in 1985, has been sponsoring an ambitious and comprehensive viticulture and enology research program in close coordination with industry and academia. We are happy to announce the release of the research reports for

New York Sustainable Winegrowing Program Certifies First Set of Vineyards 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Valerie Venezia-RossPhone: 1 (518) 229-3765Email: valerieross@nywgf.org PENN YAN, NY, June 28, 2023 – The New York Wine & Grape Foundation is proud to announce the certification of the first set of vineyards from the New York Sustainable Winegrowing program, marking a significant milestone in promoting environmental, social, and economic sustainability in the New York wine industry. This voluntary third-party certification program recognizes vineyards that adhere to

Crop Loss, Now What? How a Crop Insurance Policy Reacts After a Loss

Weather is becoming increasingly unpredictable and volatile which is exposing growers to risks from all directions. This year’s late May freeze event has left the industry stunned and wondering what’s next. This webinar led by Crop Growers LLP will discuss how crop insurance policies respond to losses and what steps farmers need to take to take in the event of a loss. This webinar is free for all NYS Wineries

Environmental Results Program for Wineries: Water & Wastewater

Join us on Thu Jun 15 2023 at 1:00 PM EDT for our online Environmental Results Program for Wineries: Water & Wastewater webinar. Learn about the latest strategies and best practices for wineries to manage water use and wastewater discharge in an environmentally responsible and sustainable way. Our expert panel will share insights on how to reduce water consumption, minimize wastewater generation, and managing winery wastewater. Don’t miss this opportunity

jan nyrop standing in a hop field

Jan Nyrop Earns Jim Finkle Industry Award for Career Driving Innovation and Research

“I was surprised,” says Jan Peter Nyrop, of the news that the New York Wine & Grape Foundation honored him with  the 2023 Jim Finkle Industry Award in recognition of his achievements in the industry. “I didn’t feel like I was doing anything out of the ordinary. I was just doing my job as a faculty member and director. But now, I feel very fortunate and grateful to have my

Available Assistance for Farmworker Housing

Are there tangible returns on investments in farmworker housing? Kaitlyn Ann Lutz, Dairy Management Specialist at Cornell Cooperative Extension points out that substandard housing is a driver of turnover on some farms. Jay Canzonier, Extension Support Specialist at Cornell Agricultural Workforce Development adds that a high standard of housing sends a message to farmworkers about standards on the farm.   Many New York Wine & Grape Foundation members are familiar with

B.E.V. NY 2023: Making, Measuring, and Marketing New York Wine

B.E.V. NY is New York’s annual conference for the grape and wine industry, combining the resources of the New York Wine & Grape Foundation, Cornell’s Extension Enology Lab, and the Finger Lakes Grape Program. The conference invites academic and industry experts to present information that addresses important issues for the industry, and to do so in a way that provides practical information to those who attend. This year’s B.E.V. NY

NY Sustainable Vineyard Farming: My Efficient Vineyard

The MyEfficientVineyard (MyEV) software tool is a free web-based platform to help growers visualize and manage spatial information in their operations. Managers can build their farm, create blocks, and process sub-block spatial data for customized management decisions. We are starting a new collaboration with the NYWGF to build functions in MyEV to interactively track and record sustainable vineyard practices. In this seminar, Terry Bates will show some of the currently

Managing Pesticide Drift in Vineyards & Pesticide Recordkeeping

This first portion of this presentation will look at the concerns with pesticide drift in vineyards, when it may be a problem, and ways to mitigate it. Mitigation options we’ll discuss include spraying practices to reduce drift, drift management requirements on pesticide labels, and equipment set-up and selection. The second portion of the program will discuss pesticide applicator recordkeeping requirements to meet state and federal requirements. Click Here to Register

text logo: Boldly, NY New York Sustainable Winegrowing

NY Sustainable Vineyard Farming: Agrichemical Handling Facilities

Join us as we discuss the why’s & how-tos of vineyard agrichemical handling facilities – a critical part of sustainable vineyard farming. Agrichemical Handling Facilities are a critical part of sustainable vineyard farming in NYS. Large quantities of pesticides are stored, mixed, and field applied on an annual basis. Surface and groundwater can both be affected. Storage and mixing location to wells, streams, and groundwater are all factors to consider.

text logo: Boldly, NY New York Sustainable Winegrowing

New York Sustainable Winegrowing Vineyard Certification

Join us as we discuss the vineyard certification program in more detail including how to get certified and the benefits of certification. Applications for the 2023 New York Sustainable Vineyard Certification are now open. The New York Sustainable Winegrowing Vineyard Certification is a voluntary third-party certification that ensures vineyards operate under best management practices to conserve natural resources, protect the environment, and maintain a successful and socially equitable business. Join

New York Sustainable Winegrowing Vineyard Certification Enrollment Open Now

The New York Sustainable Winegrowing program is excited to announce that applications are now open for the Vineyard Certification process.  Following the success of our pilot in 2022, the program is now open to all wineries in New York. The NYWGF Sustainable Winegrowing program provides a pathway to voluntary third-party certification that verifies vineyards are using the best practices to ensure environmental, social, and economic sustainability of New York Wine. 

Marc Fuchs

Identifying Clean Nursery Stocks for a Sustainable New York Viticulture

Viruses can be major threats to a profitable and sustainable viticulture by reducing vine growth, fruit yield and quality, as well as by limiting the productive lifespan of vineyards. Viruses are primarily transmitted by vegetative propagation and grafting, although some of them can secondarily be transmitted by insect vectors in vineyard settings. The proposed project is designed to collaborate with local nurserymen on the production of virus-tested, clean grapevine stocks

Tim Martinson Invested in the Future for All of Us

It’s easy to focus on the bad news.  Climate change has made headlines in recent years like never before, perhaps due to the fact that so many of us are witnessing the real-life consequences of extreme weather on a daily basis. In recent months, we’ve learned that we’ve broken multiple global indicators of the climate crisis, with temperatures that humans cannot survive for extended periods registering in India and Pakistan.

text logo: Boldly, NY New York Sustainable Winegrowing

New York Sustainable Winegrowing Vineyard Certification Pilot Program Successfully Concludes;  Available Position and Next Steps Announced

PENN YAN NY, May 27, 2022 – The New York Wine & Grape Foundation (NYWGF) recently announced successful completion of the New York Sustainable Winegrowing Vineyard Certification pilot program. Thirty-five grape growers and wineries from across New York State completed a vineyard self-assessment using VineBalance 2022, and subsequently passed an independent verification process completed by a third-party vineyard inspector.   Pilot program participants, and future grower or winery who successfully

The State of Biodynamics in New York Wine

(Edited May 31, 2022) In parts of the wine world, biodynamic viticulture has become the gold standard for farming grapes and achieving terroir expression in wine. In New York, that is not — yet — the case. Most growers across the state still regard biodynamics warily or dismiss it as irreconcilable with the region’s climate, structure, and labor constraints. Their apprehension may at first be difficult to understand. But getting

Whitney Beaman announces departure from role as NYWGF Sustainability Manager

It is bittersweet that I announce my resignation from the role of Sustainability Program Manager at the New York Wine & Grape Foundation at the end of this month. It has been a life-changing experience to work with grape growers across the state on this important mission, which I have dedicated much of my career to. For those of you who do not know me well, my time in the

text logo: Boldly, NY New York Sustainable Winegrowing

Pilot Program for Sustainable Vineyard Certification is a Success!

The New York Wine & Grape Foundation (NYWGF) is thrilled to announce the successful completion of a pilot program for VineBalance sustainable vineyard certification. Participating grape growers from across New York State performed a vineyard self-assessment using the VineBalance 2022 workbook followed by a third-party inspection from a NYWGF Vineyard Inspector. Growers evaluated their vineyard sustainability against 144 action items addressing input reduction, soil health, water protection, resources and waste,

EPA Logo

EPA Seeking Comments on Proposed Registration Changes for Ziram, Iprodione (Roval)

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is soliciting official comments about the re-registration and usage of two fungicide materials commonly utilized by grape growers in New York State, Ziram and Iodiprone (trade name Rovral).  Growers in New York typically utilize Ziram for diseases such as downy mildew and black rot, with Rovral utilized for Botrytis management.  EPA regularly solicits comments from the public before making registration decisions.  Should you have input

text logo: Boldly, NY New York Sustainable Winegrowing

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

VineBalance 2022: Version 2 Released

The NYWGF is pleased to announce the release of Version 2 of VineBalance 2022 as the latest edition of New York’s statewide code of sustainable winegrowing. “I am humbled by the generous the contributions of time and knowledge that the New York wine community have dedicated to Version 2 of VineBalance 2022” said Sustainability Program Manager, Whitney Beaman. Version 2 of VineBalance 2022 was reviewed, workshopped, and revised through a

New York Wine & Grape Foundation Seeks Sustainable Vineyard Inspector for Pilot Program

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.

born collective logo

New York Wine & Grape Foundation Partners with Born Collective on Sustainability Marketing Plan

The New York Wine & Grape Foundation (NYWGF) is pleased to announce a new partnership with Born Collective to develop a marketing plan for the emergent third-party certification for sustainably-grown grapes and wine in New York.  Born Collective is a strategic branding agency with an affinity for storytelling and a fervor for audience experience. b+cause is the nonprofit arm of Born Collective, dedicated to providing outstanding, full-service marketing to organizations that exist to make our communities and our world better. “At Born Collective, sustainability

VineBalance 2022 Virtual Workshop Series Announced

Join Chris Serra, a leading expert in sustainable winegrowing certification, as we workshop a selection of new objectives introduced in the VineBalance 2022 update. Growers are invited to practice scoring their vineyard operations anonymously and ask questions as we move through key action items in the Ecosystem Health, Climate Resiliency, and Social Equity chapters of the latest version of the VineBalance workbook. Ecosystem Health – Tuesday, November 30th from 4:00 to

VineBalance 2022 Virtual Workshop Series: Social Equity

Join Chris Serra, a leading expert in sustainable winegrowing certification, as we workshop a selection of new objectives introduced in the VineBalance 2022 update. Growers are invited to practice scoring their vineyard operations anonymously and ask questions as we move through key action items in the Ecosystem Health, Climate Resiliency, and Social Equity chapters of the latest version of the VineBalance workbook. Click the Session Title Below to Register! Ecosystem Health

VineBalance 2022 Virtual Workshop Series: Climate Resiliency

Join Chris Serra, a leading expert in sustainable winegrowing certification, as we workshop a selection of new objectives introduced in the VineBalance 2022 update. Growers are invited to practice scoring their vineyard operations anonymously and ask questions as we move through key action items in the Ecosystem Health, Climate Resiliency, and Social Equity chapters of the latest version of the VineBalance workbook. Click the Session Title Below to Register! Ecosystem Health

VineBalance 2022 Virtual Workshop Series: Ecosystem Health

Join Chris Serra, a leading expert in sustainable winegrowing certification, as we workshop a selection of new objectives introduced in the VineBalance 2022 update. Growers are invited to practice scoring their vineyard operations anonymously and ask questions as we move through key action items in the Ecosystem Health, Climate Resiliency, and Social Equity chapters of the latest version of the VineBalance workbook. Click the Session Title Below to Register! Ecosystem Health

NYWGF Releases VineBalance Update for Sustainability Pilot Program

The NYWGF Sustainability Program is pleased to announce the release of a VineBalance 2022 update for New York’s sustainable winegrowing certification pilot program. The latest update expands upon the environmental risk assessment presented in the original VineBalance workbook to address the objectives of the NYWGF Grower Sustainability Advisory Committee: input reduction, soil health, water protection, energy conservation, resources and waste, ecosystem health, climate resiliency, continuous improvement, and social equity. This

hands holding dirt

NYWGF Sustainability Program Offers Soil Health Scholarships

The NYWGF Sustainability Program is pleased to offer scholarships to the Advanced Soil Health Virtual Certificate Course offered by the Cornell University Soil Health Program. This online course will take place December 4th – 11th from 8am to 11:30am and will include live sessions with soil health experts on December 6th, 8th, and 10th. Harold van Es, Cornell University Professor of Soil and Water Management, and Joseph Amsili, Extension Associate  for the Cornell Soil Health Program, will lead the course.  Healthy soil is the foundation of a healthy vineyard. It is important to practice soil health management throughout the year to reduce erosion, improve infiltration, sequester carbon,

illustration of power plant

Community Solar Explained: What It Is and How It Works

What Is Community Solar?Community solar farms (also referred to as projects) are large, commercial-grade solar arrays shared by multiple community subscribers who receive credits on their electricity bills for their share of the power produced. Community solar farms offer residents, businesses, and municipalities an easy way to support clean, renewable energy AND save up to 10% on their monthly energy costs (with no change in utility provider). It’s easy, which

NYWGF Issues RFP for Sustainable Wine & Grape Certification Marketing Plan

NYWGF is developing a third-party certification for sustainably grown grapes and wine. The basis for this certification will be the VineBalance Guide to Sustainable Viticulture, a grower self-assessment workbook codeveloped by the Cornell Cooperative Extension and Soil and Water Conservation Committee of the New York Department of Agriculture and Markets in 2007. This workbook is widely applied across the state, but it lacks a system of third-party verification and logo

Multi-State Partnership Advances Sustainability in the U.S. Wine Industry through Research, Education and Promotion

Since 2018, wine industry organizations from the four states have been partnering to advance sustainability initiatives industry wide. By providing a definition and principles for the U.S. wine industry, conducting trade and consumer research, sharing information through two U.S. Sustainable Winegrowing Summits and providing education on the industry’s sustainability commitment to trade and consumers, the project has been effective in furthering the understanding of sustainable winegrowing.

Wine industry and key stakeholders join forces to define sustainability

For the first time, more than 40 key actors in the production and marketing of wine around the world have joined forces to accelerate action as sustainability challenges mount. The newly formed Sustainable Wine Roundtable (SWR) is a unique coalition of leading wine brands, small producers, distributors, retailers, environmental organisations, and others – all joined in their determination to make the wine sector a sustainability leader. From drought to flooding,

picture of red grapes on the vine

The Triple Bottom Line of Vineyard Sustainability

How do we measure the sustainability of the New York wine and grape industry? In sustainable agriculture, performance is measured using the “triple bottom line” framework. In addition to financial accounting, the triple bottom line framework also recognizes environmental and social returns. Over the past month, the NYWGF Grower Sustainability Advisory Committee has been collectively working to define the triple bottom line of sustainability for the New York wine and

Spotted Lanternfly

Spotted Lanternfly Update for New York Wineries & Growers

All New York wineries and growers are invited to join us for this real-time update on the Spotted Lanternfly population in New York State and the multi-agency efforts to slow the spread. This event will  focus on information for the grape industry and ways in which we can all contribute to managing this new invasive species. Click Here to Register About our Presenter: Chris Logue is the State Plant Regulatory Official

Future VineBalance Updates to Address Biodiversity and Social Equity

The first layer of this analysis evaluates the broader categories of sustainability addressed by each program to identify what all programs have in common, where VineBalance exceeds other programs, and where it falls short in addressing certain priorities. The categories of sustainability that all three programs share are soil health, water conservation, and pest management. One area where VineBalance goes deeper that other programs is pesticide management. For example, VineBalance includes questions about the security of pesticide storage, certified applicator supervision, and the recyclability of pesticide containers. Key areas where VineBalance falls short include management strategies for biodiversity and worker health and safety.

photo of grape vine climbing against background of blue sky and clouds

NYWGF Announces Sustainability Program Mission Statement and Objectives

The New York Wine & Grape Foundation is pleased to announce the release of a Mission Statement, Vision Statement and Objectives for our new statewide sustainability program. These guiding statements were collectively developed by our Grower Sustainability Advisory Committee and Sustainability Program Manager.

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.  

Wagner Vineyards: Disrupting the Wine Industry with Care

This is not a story about wine. This is a story about humanity within our community. 2020 was rough. In the year we slowed down, we were forced to sit and watch our world be rocked by a global pandemic and a relentless stream of heartbreaking news. Related to those moments was June 2, 2020. Accounts across social media posted black squares in a movement called Black Tuesday. It was done in solidarity with the Black community reeling from the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor. While some larger brands in the wine industry participated, most stayed quiet. In the past, it wasn’t unusual for companies to selectively care, but this time was different. This time, business-as-usual in the face of hatred was an insufficient response.

Chris Serra to Lead VineBalance Update

This week marked the official start of our VineBalance update project, which was awarded to Chris Serra, Executive Director of LIVE. Chris is a great fit for this project with 14 years of experience leading an internationally recognized third-party certification in sustainable winegrowing for Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. Chris consulted on the development of Long Island Sustainable Winegrowing (LISW) and has been instrumental in providing guidance on other certification efforts, including one for the Great Lakes.

Winegrowers, the Foundation of Sustainability with Esther Mobley

In the second installment of the Grower Series, this online session will focus on New York wine producers’ commitment to sustainability.  Esther Mobley, Wine Critic for the San Francisco Chronicle, will lead the discussion with notable winemakers and vineyard managers, covering how they are practicing sustainability, from farming to winery and business practices – both as individual wineries and collectively as a wine region.    Click Here to Register This seminar is sponsored

Grower Survey Results and Sustainability Advisory Committee Nominations

This has been an exciting year for sustainable winegrowing in New York! The development of a statewide sustainable winegrowing certification program is finally under way. This program is the culmination of numerous of efforts by growers, extension agents, and industry associations over the past decade. We have now a reached a critical mass of consumer demand, industry support, and institutional backing to make it happen.

Incentives are available to help your vineyard save with solar!

Going solar is a strategic way for wineries cut overhead costs by producing their own electricity, on-site. Thanks to New York State grants and Federal tax incentives, overall costs can be reduced by more than 75% after all incentives are utilized. In fact, many businesses are seeing a payback period of under five years on a solar project that produces free electricity for over 35 years!

VineBalance RFP Information Session

The New York Wine and Grape Foundation seeks a consultant to update VineBalance as the basis for a new sustainability certification program for the New York grape and wine industry. To support this process, we will be holding an online information session on June 16, 2021 at 1pm/EDT. Click Here to Register Background: NYWGF is developing a third-party certification for sustainably farmed grapes and wine. The basis for this certification

New York Wine and Grape Foundation to Update VineBalance for Statewide Sustainability Program

The New York Wine & Grape Foundation is developing a third-party certification for sustainably farmed grapes and wine. The purpose of the RFP is to provide high level strategic and structural recommendations for certification design based on sustainability best practices, while balancing the small-scale and independent nature of New York’s wine industry. The ideal candidate will be experienced in East Coast climate and agriculture, viticulture and enology, international standards of sustainable winegrowing, and environmental certifications deployed by other agricultural industries. The VineBalance RFP is available here and responses are due by June 30, 2021.

NYWGF taking steps toward a more equitable, inclusive, & sustainable future.

June marks the start of Pride Month when our nation celebrates the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ+) community. Brittany Gibson, Executive Director of the Seneca Lake Wine Trail, shared an excellent article earlier this week with her members on how they can support Pride Month activities. And CNET posted a comprehensive article on how to get involved with Pride Month both personally and from a business perspective. Everybody enjoys celebrating life, so let us throw open the doors to our “Big Tent” and invite everyone in to discover how New York wine always makes the best compliment to any occasion.

Support for sustainability continues to grow in wine and grape industry

The energy behind the sustainability movement in the grape and wine industry continues to build across the United States. Last week, NYWGF partnered with the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance to virtually host the second U.S. Sustainable Winegrowing Summit. Over two hundred people joined the summit to hear remarks from journalists Ray Isle and Julia Coney, viticulturists, winemakers, and marketing leaders. NYWGF’s participation in planning these summits began in 2017, which instigated our own efforts to revitalize VineBalance and establish a statewide sustainability certification program. Sustainability presents our nation’s grape growers the opportunity to seize a leadership position and demonstrate how agriculture can be part of the solution to climate change.

hand with yellow painted finger nails, holding a glass of white wine, blurry vineyard in the background.

The Value-Added Argument for Sustainable Winegrowing in New York

The landscape of consumer goods has shifted seismically over the past two decades due to growing environmental awareness and desire for ethically produced products. The millennial generation, born between 1981 and 1996, lead the way. Millennials now make up the largest portion of the world’s population, presenting the greatest growth opportunity for the U.S. wine industry. In order to realize this growth, the wine business must inspire millennials and measure up to their generational values. In addition to an emphasis on climate change, this cohort is more health conscious, socially aware, and ethnically diverse than previous generations.

Fox Run family stands with Bottle Crusher machine.

Fox Run Becomes First NY Winery to use GLSand Bottle Crusher

As a producer of nearly 240,000 bottles of wine each year, Fox Run Vineyards knew they had to do more to keep glass out of area landfills. Enter the Expelco GLSand Bottle Crusher: a compact machine designed to crush glass bottles into environmentally usable sand. Fox Run is the first winery in New York State to adopt and use this new technology.

New York Wine and Grape Foundation Welcomes Renowned Climate Scientist Dr. Brenda Ekwurzel to Give Climate Change Presentation to East Coast Wine Community

How is climate change affecting us today and over our lifetime? These are important questions for the wine and grape community to ask. Climate change has the potential to impact everyone in the wine supply chain from vineyard managers in the field to consumers enjoying a glass. Join us to learn the science behind climate change, discover the potential of climate-smart farming, and reflect on the importance of supporting sustainable winegrowers for future generations of New York wine.

Climate Change and the Future of Sustainable Farming

A presentation by Dr. Brenda Ekwurzel, Director of Climate Science at the Climate & Energy Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists How is climate change affecting us today and over our lifetime? These are important questions for the wine community ask. Climate change has the potential to impact everyone in the wine supply chain from vineyard managers in the field to consumers enjoying a glass. Join us to learn

U.S. Sustainable Winegrowing Summit

Who: A gathering of regional winery and vineyard associations, engaged grower and vintner leaders, and others committed to the sustainability of their local vineyards, wineries and regions. What: Learn some of the driving forces behind the increasing interest in sustainable winegrowing. Be inspired with new ideas on how to bring sustainability education and outreach to your region’s vineyards and wineries. Why: Together we can enhance the sustainability of all U.S. vineyards and

Quality winemaking starts in the vineyard

I remember early in my career working in New York’s farm based beverage industry a conversation that I had with Chris Gerling at an introduction to distilling workshop at Catskill Distilling Company. Admittedly, I was super green behind the ears when it came to wine making and really any fermentation process. Chris properly schooled me when he simply described how to make a quality wine, “You can’t make good wine from bad grapes, but you can make bad wine from good grapes.” Reading between the lines, he helped me deduce that quality winemaking starts in the vineyard.

Funding Secured for Sustainability Program in New York

Our first step in this process is to create a business plan for the program to ensure its long-term sustainability. While we have about two years of funding in-hand, we think that it is important to establish a clear strategic direction and program design to ensure it can become a statewide and self-sustaining program.

USDA Logo

USDA Accepting Applications to Help Cover Costs for Organic Certification

WASHINGTON, August 10, 2020 – USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced that organic producers and handlers can apply for federal funds to assist with the cost of receiving and maintaining organic certification through the Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP). Applications for eligible certification expenses paid between Oct. 1, 2019, and Sept. 30, 2020, are due Oct. 31, 2020. “For producers producing food with organic certification, this program helps cover

A Long History of Sustainability at Silver Thread Vineyard

Silver Thread Vineyard was established in 1982 on the eastern shore of Seneca Lake, at the heart of New York’s Finger Lakes region. At this location the bottom of the lake drops almost 200 feet below sea level, a dramatic mass of water that creates a distinct microclimate on the leeward (eastern) hillside — cooling breezes in summer, radiating warmth through the winter, and extending the length of the growing season.

vineyard at sunset

Leading by Example: Sustainability & Biodynamics at Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard

Attitudes, practices, and policies have been changing especially in the last decade with regards to sustainability. There is mounting concern for personal health, and environmental and social problems that the world is facing including sickness and disease, extinction of plant and animal species, depletion natural resources, global warming, etc.

The future of farming and great winemaking in New York: Sustainability at Wagner Vineyards

Five generations of the Wagner family have been growing grapes and making wine in the Finger Lakes for decades. The Wagner Vineyards philosophy is that great wines begin in the vineyard and their success can be attributed to the strict standards of excellence that they employ in their grape growing and winemaking processes. As stewards of the land, they believe that sustainable practices are responsible and respectful to the environment. As a business, they believe that their economic stability is tied directly to how they treat the environment. Although there is a genuine

bedell cellars aerial

The future of farming and great winemaking in New York: Sustainability at Bedell Cellars

At Bedell Cellars, sustainability is at the forefront of their vineyard management and winemaking programs. Their distinctive, terroir-driven wines are a direct result of their focus on biodiversity in the vineyard. Bedell Winemaker, Rich Olsen-Harbich has been a pioneer of winemaking in New York for over 30 years and co-founded Long Island Sustainable Winegrowing (LISW) in 2012.   LISW consists of a group vineyards and wineries who have joined together to be stewards of the Long Island region by adhering to core management criteria – it is the first of its kind on the East