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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 Coast. This program of international sustainable winegrowing practices manages water quality and conservation, soil health, biodiversity, pest and disease management, emissions reduction, fair labor practices, and community engagement.  

Bedell Cellars adheres to several hundred sustainable farming best practices that have significantly reduced their use of agricultural inputs – fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, etc. – protecting Long Island’s land and water resources for the future. Each year, they compost all their vineyard byproducts – grape seeds, skins, and prunings – and redistribute them in the vineyard as natural fertilizer.  

A certified member of LISW since its inception, Bedell believes that all quality winegrowers should take sustainability into account in today’s world. Nature is the controlling partner in every vineyard operation and growers are aware of the delicate balance between a good vintage and a challenging one. Given the challenges the wine industry has faced in the past decade – from wildfires to frost, hurricanes to pests – Bedell believes that sustainable farming is not only forward thinking but practical. 

For more information on Long Island Sustainable Winegrowing, visit www.lisustainablewine.org.  

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New York Wine & Grape Foundation

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.