Field Notes

News and Updates from the New York Wine & Grape Foundation

Unity Awards

Cameron and Maren Hosmer on Earning the New York Grape & Wine Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award

Maren and Cameron Hosmer “I was overwhelmed,” says Cameron Hosmer, about the news of the Jim Trezise Lifetime Achievement Award he and his wife, Maren, received this year from the New York Wine & Grape Foundation. “What a thrill! It was truly an honor to be recognized by our industry.”  Maren was equally taken by surprise and delighted.  “I couldn’t believe it,” she recalls. “It really was completely unexpected.” That

unity awards presented by the new york wine and grape foundation

New York Wine & Grape Foundation Unity Awards Announced, Winners to be Honored at B.E.V. NY Conference in Canandaigua, NY

February 20, 2024 – The New York Wine & Grape Foundation (NYWGF) is pleased to announce the winners of the prestigious 2024 Unity Awards. The Unity Awards were created in 1990 for the community to recognize, encourage, and celebrate cooperation among grape growers, wineries, researchers, retailers, and others to advance the entire industry.  Honoring the longstanding and bold spirit of our community members and their numerous achievements, NYWGF is proud

unity awards presented by the new york wine and grape foundation

2024 Unity Award Nominations Process Announced

Awardees Honored at B.E.V. NY Conference, Donations Made on Winners’ Behalf to New York Nonprofits NYWGF is pleased to provide our community with the opportunity to recognize the champions among us once again. You are invited to submit your nominations for the 2024 Unity Awards. The Unity Awards were created in 1990 to recognize, encourage, and celebrate cooperation among grape growers, wineries, researchers, retailers, and others to advance the entire

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

Jason Londo Earns Accolades for Outstanding Grapevine Research

Does good wine begin in the vineyard, or the lab?  Without the behind-the-scenes work of grape researchers and geneticists, wine growers and makers—even with the best terroir and cellars—would have fewer disease-resistant and cold-hardy grapes to work with.  Too often, this quiet, but essential work is swept aside or forgotten when mulling a particularly great vintage of Finger Lakes Riesling. Which may explain just how “surprised and happy” Jason Londo

67 Wine & Spirits

Unity Retailer Award Winner Introduces New York’s Upper West Side to New York State Wines

In New York’s popular wine-producing regions, you may walk into a wine shop and find several bottles of New York wine on the shelves. Walk into a New York City wine shop, and you’re less likely to see a selection of local wines. That’s not so at 67 Wine & Spirits.  The shop on New York City’s Upper West Side is increasingly adding to its local wine offerings. For its

Restaurant Award Winner Noah Schwartz Embraces Local Food—And Wine Too

Farm-to-table restaurants aren’t just trending in New York, it seems they’re here to stay. For a decade now, scanning a menu to see how many local farmers, ranchers and cheese-makers are listed feels as de rigueur as reviewing the daily specials. But local wine? It’s an afterthought. Not for Noah Schwartz though. “We work closely with many of the local wineries and collaborate doing wine dinners,” Schwartz says, adding that

Matthew Spaccarelli Earns the John H. Brahm III Grower Award for Dedication and Contributions to the New York Grape Industry

When Matthew Spaccarelli and his partner Casey Erdmann opened Milton’s Fjord Vineyards in 2013, Spaccarelli was already steeped in the Hudson Valley wine industry. He’d taken the leap into all things winegrowing and winemaking in 2006, when his family purchased Benmarl Winery in Marlboro—believed to be America’s oldest vineyard—from the Miller family who started it in the 1960s.  Benmarl’s property has grown grapes for around 300 years. Matthew, who had

View of Hermann J Wiemer Vineyard

Winery of the Year Hermann J. Wiemer’s Ceaseless, Delicious Evolution

Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard has consistently evolved since it was founded in 1979. “We are always pushing ourselves to move forward,” says Oskar Bynke, co-owner of Hermann J. Wiemer. This unflagging effort was recognized this year by the New York Wine & Grape Foundation with the Winery of the Year Award for contributions to the advancement of the image and reputation of the New York wine industry. “It felt like

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

kelby james russell standing in a vineyard. he is wearing a black graphic tshirt and jeans, and holding a glass of white wine.

Kelby Russell on Earning the New York Wine & Grape Foundation Phyllis Feder Unity Award

A few hours before Red Newt Cellars’ winemaker Kelby Russell left to board a flight to represent New York State wines at the 2023 Wine Paris/VinExpo event, he hopped on the phone to discuss why he loves his wine community. That’s not surprising for the very busy Kelby—he also has his own wine label, Kelby James Russell Wines—who received the 2023 Phyllis Feder Unity Award from the New York Wine

Phyllis Feder on Earning the New York Grape & Wine Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award

“This is the culmination of a very, very important time in my life,” says Phyllis Feder, of the Jim Trezise Lifetime Achievement Award she received this year from the New York Wine & Grape Foundation. “I’m very touched and moved by it.” The fact that Feder can say that it’s the culmination of a certain time in her life speaks volumes about the length—she’s 87 years old—and breadth—she’s had two

unity awards logo on white background with two glasses of sparkling white wine

New York Wine & Grape Foundation Unity Awards Announced, Winners to be Honored at B.E.V. NY Conference in Syracuse, NY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   Contact: Valerie Venezia-Ross Phone: 1 (518) 229-3765 Email: [email protected] PENN YAN NY, March 1, 2023 – The New York Wine & Grape Foundation (NYWGF) is pleased to announce the winners of the prestigious 2023 Unity Awards. The Unity Awards were created in 1990 as a way for the community to recognize, encourage, and celebrate cooperation among grape growers, wineries, researchers, retailers, and others to advance the entire industry.  Honoring the longstanding and bold spirit of

unity awards logo on white background with two glasses of sparkling white wine

Unity Awards Luncheon

The winery and grower community in New York state has a rich history of working and succeeding together despite facing a variety of challenges through the years. Recognizing the longstanding and bold spirit of our community members and their numerous achievements, the New York Wine & Grape Foundation has been honoring industry leaders & champions of New York wine with the Unity Awards since 1990. We invite you to celebrate

A Love Letter to our Wine Industry

There is an old saying that “Life begins at forty.” I think the origin of that was in ancient Greece where the virgins guarding the temple were relieved of their duties at age forty and then permitted to take part in a fuller life.   Happily, I was raised in the Bronx and never subjected to these restrictions.  But I did have an opportunity to start a new life when at

nywgf unity awards logo

New York Wine & Grape Foundation Announces 2023 Unity Award Nominations Process

NYWGF is pleased to provide our community with the opportunity to recognize the champions among us once again. You are invited to submit your nominations for the 2023 Unity Awards. The Unity Awards were created in 1990 to recognize, encourage, and celebrate cooperation among grape growers, wineries, researchers, retailers, and others to advance the entire industry. Our industry has a rich history of working and succeeding together despite facing a

Jennifer Phillips Russo

Productive Vines Aren’t Necessarily Ones That Yield the Most Grapes, Wine & Grape Researcher Strives for Balance

The story of wine grape-growing in New York is one of trial and error. When colonists attempted to plant the Vinifera vines they brought from Europe, the vines failed to thrive in the different climate and soils. Early New York settlers had no choice but to make wine from native grapes. It wasn’t until the mid-1800s that researchers discovered that grafting Vinifera vines onto native American grape rootstocks made it

The Premier Group Thinks Local, Drinks Global

It’s easy to sell a great bottle of wine. But there are certain wine shops that become so much more than sellers of great wine. The Premier Group, with three independently owned and operated stores under its umbrella, is not only among the largest and most critically acclaimed wine and spirits retailers in the country, each store also draws in locals and visitors from afar eager to seek advice and

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.

Maiah Johnson Dunn says it’s “the heart in the glass” that draws her to New York wines

“Accidentally, here I am.” That’s how Maiah Johnson Dunn says she started her journey into wine. To be fair, it’s the way many wine professionals get their start. Maiah was drawn into wine just about five years ago when she first started dating her husband. She was living in Boston. He whisked her away to Keuka Lake, where wine culture reigns supreme and serves as the backbone of many businesses. 

Three Brothers Transforms What Winemaking—and Drinking—Can Be

When Three Brothers Wineries & Estates opened their doors 15 years ago, the Finger Lakes wine region was going through an awkward phase in its evolution. Winemaking was largely still either a small-scale multi-generational family pursuit or a large-scale corporate project; the region had gained notoriety among the wine cognoscenti as an incredible source for cool climate wines, but the phrase “Finger Lakes” was not on the tip of anyone’s

How Cameron and Timothy Hosmer Helped the Finger Lakes (and the East Coast) Wine Industry Grow

Today, tourists flock to the Finger Lakes to visit the 140+ wineries along the shores of Canandaigua, Keuka, Seneca, and Cayuga Lakes. The region’s development has been steady over several decades, but it wasn’t so long ago that there were very few established vineyards associated with wineries that welcomed visitors clamoring for FLX wine. Those who were there when the region’s wine scene began to explode have stories to tell

robert ketchin

How Robert Ketchin, Despite Long Odds, Created a Market for New York Wine in Canada

Finding a niche for unfamiliar wine in a large market is a Sisyphean, largely unheralded, task. Given the choice between two similarly priced items, one of which is a known entity, and the other of which they’ve never heard of, most consumers—whether they’re shopping for lawn equipment or Riesling—are going to opt for the one they’ve heard of. Robert Ketchin has been honored by the New York Wine & Grape

Brittany Gibson is building community within the Finger Lakes Wine Industry

Brittany Gibson (Photo provided) We’ve all heard the one about the butterfly wing and the tornado. It’s an extreme, but instructive reminder of the fact that small actions can have outsize effects. Take Brittany Gibson.  Gibson is the executive director of the Seneca Lake Wine Trail, responsible for the marketing and promotion of the trail’s 27 member wineries. She’s part of a “tiny but mighty team of two,” as she

John and Ann Martini

John Martini’s Distinct Brand of Personal and Professional Success

John and Ann Martini (Photo provided) Personal success is one thing. Professional success is another. But both? It’s rare that one person can manage to capture both, and with grace. John Martini’s achievements in both realms are extraordinary, and in recognition of his accomplishments, the New York Wine & Grape Foundation has honored him with the Jim Trezise Lifetime Achievement Award. We had to ask the husband of 1, father

John Martini

New York Wine & Grape Foundation Unity Awards Announced, Winners to be Honored at B.E.V. NY Conference

The New York Wine & Grape Foundation (NYWGF) is pleased to announce the winners of the prestigious 2022 Unity Awards. The Unity Awards were created in 1990 as a way for the community to recognize, encourage, and celebrate cooperation among grape growers, wineries, researchers, retailers, and others to advance the entire industry.  Honoring the longstanding and bold spirit of our community members and their numerous achievements, NYWGF is proud to continue the 30-year tradition of celebrating industry leaders and champions. 

nywgf unity awards logo

New York Wine & Grape Foundation Announces 2022 Unity Award Nominations Process

The Unity Awards are back! This year during the B.E.V NY Virtual Conference, the New York Wine & Grape Foundation will revive our 32-year old tradition of honoring community leaders for their distinguished contributions to the New York wine and grape industry. Supporting each other and being a part of a strong community is more important than ever before. During one of the most challenging times in recent history, our

Interview with Linda Pierro, Co-founder/Managing Editor, Hudson Valley Wine Magazine

NYWGF: When was the moment you fell in love with wine/wine industry? LP: It sounds cliché, but being from an Italian family there was always a love of wine. Dinner wasn’t complete without a large jug of homemade wine at the table-simple wines, usually served in a water glass. No label, no frills. I grew up on Long Island when the wine industry was in its infancy, and visiting those early vineyards piqued my interest in the agricultural aspects. Eventually

Hunt Country Vineyards receiving the Sustainability Award at the 2020 Unity Awards

New York Wine & Grape Foundation Presents 2020 Unity Awards

Unity Awards Celebration LuncheonFebruary 26th, 2020 at 12:30pm The Unity Awards were created 30 years ago 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. Nominated by peers throughout our industry, we are excited to announce the following 2020 award recipients! Update: Photos from the event can be found on our Facebook Page here. More photos from