When the only thing constant is change… so it goes.

“A new place in the background, and a reminder of the new reality we’re living. But the world continues. The grapes still come in, we still make wine, and we continue onward, ”this was posted by August Deimel, Winemaker at Constellation Brands, on his Instagram page yesterday about the beginning of his 12th harvest and his first in Canandaigua. I appreciated what August wrote because it reminded me that we can count on some things in life staying constant and reliable. The Japanese Buddhist Philosopher, Nichiren Daishonin, wrote to one of his followers in 1275, “Winter always turns to spring.” So, while winter in our case is this difficult time for the world, we will make it through to a brighter day. I think that we can all be grateful in New York for the grapes doing what they do, year after year.

Speaking of grapes, I am excited for the start of the concord and niagara table grape harvests across the state. I live right next door to the 97th Street Greenmarket that brings in farmers every Friday to the Upper West Side. The grapes pictured here come from Locust Grove Farms in Ulster County in the Hudson Valley. The concords disappeared immediately, and I just finished the niagaras yesterday. My taste buds have instructed me to buy some more this Friday, yum!

While COVID put a stop to all my travel this year to our grape growing regions, it has not stopped me from enjoying New York Wines in New York City. Last Friday, Maura and I visited the new Hound’s Tree Tasting Room in Williamsburg. Alex Rosanelli and Ali Tuthill spent the past couple of months dealing with SLA licensing delays, City of NY zoning headaches, COVID impacts, yet they persevered and opened an incredible new spot that celebrates the grapes and wines of New York. They organized an impressive list of wines from all over the state and their staff exude enthusiasm about sharing the story of New York Wines with guests. Their tasting room highlights the unity and power of our winemaking community across the State.

Another fun wine community project is the FLXposure calendar, where you can see your favorite Finger Lakes winemakers going ‘au naturel’ for a fresh (and maybe brisk) start to 2021, all for a great cause! Read more about it below.

Sam Filler

Sam Filler

Since his appointment to Executive Director in 2017, Sam Filler has led the New York Wine & Grape Foundation in supporting sustainability efforts and has spearheaded marketing initiatives to elevate the image of New York wines.