Field Notes

News and Updates from the New York Wine & Grape Foundation

All Regions

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.

NYWGF Annual Report Cover 21-22

New York Wine and Grape Foundation Releases Annual Report for the 2021-2022 State Fiscal Year

We are pleased to share with you the New York Wine and Grape Foundation’s Annual Report for the 2021-2022 State Fiscal Year. The Annual Report provides a summary of the Foundation’s operations and accomplishments during the fiscal year. The report also includes information on the amount of funding designated for applied research and the types of research conducted; and the amount of funding designated for promotion, and the effectiveness of

Kelby James Russell, winemaker at Red Newt Cellars. Standing in cellar with glass of red wine.

A Hometown Winemaker’s Pride Shines Global Spotlight on New York

Kelby James Russell, Winemaker, Red Newt Cellars(Photo by Rima Brindamour) There are many different ways to think about what our purpose as a winery might be: selling wine and sustaining business, stewardship of the vineyard lands, or the character of the wine itself in the bottle. But the longer I work in wine, the more I feel that this world is about people. It is the connections from the wine

karen macneil

2022 New York Wine Classic Awards Ceremony to be Hosted By Karen MacNeil, Author of The Wine Bible and creator of WineSpeed

The New York Wine & Grape Foundation (NYWGF) is pleased to announce that the 2022 New York Wine Classic Award winners will be honored on July 12th at 6:00PM EST in a live virtual ceremony hosted by Karen MacNeil.   The New York Wine Classic Awards Ceremony will reveal and celebrate the prestigious “Governor’s Cup” (Best Wine), “Winery of the Year” (Best Overall Showing by a Winery), and “Best in Category”

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. 

Cornell AgriTech to Celebrate 140th Anniversary with Open House

Geneva, NY – Cornell AgriTech, a preeminent center for food and agricultural research, will celebrate its 140thanniversary by opening its doors to the public on Aug. 13 from 10am. to 3pm. The open house will showcase the campus’ impact on New York’s food and agricultural industries. Audiences of all ages are invited to enjoy a variety of interactive science related activities at the event to learn about the important role

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

About the USDA Emergency Relief Program (ERP)

The Emergency Relief Program (ERP) is an initiative of the Extending Government Funding and Delivery Emergency Assistance Act which President Biden signed into law on September 30th, 2021. Phase 1 of the program has kicked off as of May 25th, 2022 when letters were sent to affected producers who may be eligible to receive funding from the program. If a producer received an indemnity from a crop insurance policy or

New York’s Bounty of Food and Beverages on Full Display at the National Restaurant Show in Chicago

Nothing like a 15-foot tower piercing the airspace in the American Food Fair pavilion in the North Hall of Chicago’s McCormick Place Convention center to clearly project the message of Boldly, N.Y. at this year’s National Restaurant Show. For four action-packed days, New York’s Department of Agriculture and Markets, Apple Association, Cider Association, and NYWGF featured wines, ciders, apples, cheeses, and yogurts all showcased together in what many said was

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

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

Adirondack Wine & Food Festival Returns After 2+ Years

Following a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Adirondack Wine & Food Festival will return to Lake George on Saturday, June 25 & Sunday, June 26. The summer kickoff event will feature more than 120 of New York’s best wineries, distilleries, breweries, cideries, artisan food producers, food trucks and more at the Lake George Festival Commons at Charles R. Wood Park in Lake George Village. The family friendly

Lakewood Vineyards Releases Sidekick Session Spritz

Just in time for summer Lakewood Vineyards is releasing its first-ever session wine, Sidekick. Taking a page out of the session beer playbook, easy-drinking session wines have been gaining popularity as many wine lovers are seeking lower-alcohol alternatives. Sidekick is a spritzy dry rosé available in 375ml bottles, both as singles and as a 4-pack. With 7.8% alcohol, this wine is the perfect sidekick for wherever the summer takes you.

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,

6 Must-Have POS Features For Your Winery

If you’re in the business of running a winery, you require a robust point of sale (POS) system to support your day-to-day tasting room operations. There are a lot of options out there available, so it’s key to hone in on the essentials.  Here’s a list of 6 features to look for when considering a POS system for your winery: 1.  Easy To Use Are you wasting time with an

New York Wine & Grape Foundation Announces New Partnership Designed to Raise the Profile of New York Wines in Canada

PENN YAN NY, May 11th, 2022 – The New York Wine & Grape Foundation (NYWGF) is pleased to announce the appointment of a.m.c.c., led by Andrea Backstrom and Melissa Stunden, as the market representative for New York wines in Canada beginning July 1st, 2022. a.m.c.c. will help identify appropriate trade partners for New York wines and work to further develop a network of agents, buyers, sommeliers, educators, and influencers to

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

Waterloo Container is more than just bottles; It is time to think about the box!

Your outer packaging says something about your wine before your customers taste the wine! Look around your winery and see what your customers see. Are there plain cases of wine sitting in plain sight of your visitors? The corrugated boxes your wine bottles are packaged in should be considered almost as important as the primary bottle you fill. Boxes have prime marketing space and can be artfully paired with your

Videos Increase Sales

The pandemic catapulted e-commerce sales and marketing.  And wine, beer and spirit sales are no exception.  The January 2022 study published by Rabobank suggests that online sales in this category doubled from pre-pandemic levels.  Online sales will be the biggest driver of growth in the industry for years to come.  US direct to consumer wine sales now represent 23% of the $7.2 billion industry.  Grocery stores, mass merchants, alcoholic beverages

NYWGF launches grant program to support marketing and educational needs of wineries, growers, and related promotional entities.

Each year NYWGF develops an annual schedule of domestic and international marketing activities designed to promote the world-class image of New York grapes and wines from our diverse regions to responsibly benefit farmers, producers, and consumers. Funded by a mix of state, federal, and local entities, these marketing activities, along with a slate of educational and business development resources, are intended to significantly impact NYWGF’s mission goals and further the

Jacqueline-Wooster

Heron Hill Winery announces New Director of Sales

Hammondsport, New York – Heron Hill Winery of the Finger Lakes region of New York is excited to announce the appointment of Jacqueline Wooster as Director of Sales. In her role, Jacqueline will develop and manage wholesale and retail sales through Heron Hill’s distributor partner network and retail winery outlets. Jacqueline grew up in the food and beverage industry in Germany where her parents and grandparents owned several  restaurants and

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

Kelly Burnett

Buttonwood Grove Winery Welcomes Kelly Burnett as Marketing, Wine Club, and Operations Manager

April 26, 2022 – Romulus NY – Buttonwood Grove Winery recently welcomed Kelly Burnett to their team as the newly-appointed Marketing, Wine Club, and Operations Manager.  Located on Cayuga Lake, Buttonwood Grove is owned by Melissa and Dave Pittard and is well known for its award-winning wines, elevated tasting experiences, and summer concert series.  Kelly’s responsibilities will include social media, marketing, promotions, and Wine Club management.  The Pittards also own

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

Saperica Inc, Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery & trendy chama mama restaurant from NYC present the 1st annual Saperavi Festival in the Finger Lakes region of New York

Hammondsport, New York – Saperica Inc, is pleased to announce that the 1st annual Saperavi Festival will take place at Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery in Hammondsport, New York on Saturday, May 14, 2022.The festival will bring together producers of Saperavi and Rkatsiteli wines from the Finger Lakes region of New York along with their counterparts from the country of Georgia. Authentic Georgian cuisine with a modern twist will be featured

julia hoyle, winemaker at hosmer winery

Great Wine(makers) Are Made in the Cellar

When you make great wine, several elements—many beyond any one person’s control—must come together in a particularly auspicious way. Weather, climate and terroir have an outsize impact on the quality of a wine. But so do decidedly uncelebrated links in the winemaking chain. And by that we mean: interns. In challenging winegrowing regions like the Finger Lakes, where the weather is more unpredictable and capricious than most other places, the

New York Wine & Grape Foundation Seeking Applications for Board of Directors

Every May the New York Wine & Grape Foundation (NYWGF) Board of Directors meets to elect members of the industry to board seats with expiring terms. The term of office for directors is three years and there are currently 21 members of the Board of Directors. Thirteen (13) board seats are statutorily mandated by the law that created NYWGF in 1985, and there are eight (8) at large board seats. NYWGF aims

the rak family from left abram adam dennis and sue at their vineyard in fredonia new york chautauqua county

In Demand: Virus-Free Certification Creates a Business Buzz at Double A Vineyards

Dennis Rak of Double A Vineyards, Inc. in Fredonia has quite a few irons in the fire. As the name implies, the business consists of grape acreage. But the business is much more than that. Dennis prides himself on producing vines that are certified virus-free. This includes grape vines but also berry and hop plants. Dennis owns the business with his wife Sue and sons, Adam and Abram. Double A

New York Wine & Grape Foundation Partners with Born Collective to Embark on Boldly, NY. Global Brand Expansion

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   Contact: Valerie Venezia-Ross Phone: 1 (518) 229-3765 Email: [email protected]   PENN YAN NY, April 5, 2022 – The New York Wine & Grape Foundation (NYWGF) is pleased to announce a new partnership with Born Collective designed to expand global recognition of the New York wine and grape industry, as well as the Boldly, NY. brand. This partnership marks the highly anticipated next phase of NYWGF’s global messaging project.   New York

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. 

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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

New York Wine & Grape Foundation Seeks Canadian Market Representative.

The New York Wine & Grape Foundation (NYWGF) has been a longtime partner of the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), providing marketing services for New York wineries interested in exporting their products to international markets. The NYWGF staff, Board Committee, In-Market Consultants, and Export Advisory Committee (industry members) execute the strategy and activities for the Export Program annually. To deliver more effective and streamlined programming, NYWGF is outsourcing various marketing

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

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

Cornell Study Finds the Potential in Grape Pomace

Headline-writers love to tout the healthiness of red wine. Here’s how it goes: a scientific study about a specific food compound — such as flavonoids — gets published. The findings support that the compound has health benefits. That compound happens to be found in red wine, as well as many other foods. But we all know that lifestyle publications often lead with the red wine information in the headline.   It makes sense

Keuka Lake Vineyards Is Pushing Their Luck

Mel Goldman believes in luck. Since college he’d always wanted to grow grapes and over the years he and his wife, Dorothee, would travel and explore their options. At one point, they almost moved to Oregon (where Dorothee’s family is from) but found it cost prohibitive. It was on a family camping trip to Ithaca that Mel and Dorothee stumbled upon the Finger Lakes. Unplanned tours of Cornell University and

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.

NYWGF Releases Revised Global Messaging RFP

The New York Wine & Grape Foundation would like to thank those who showed interest in this important project! In response to the myriad of questions and proposals that were submitted during the initial request for proposals, we are re-issuing the Global Messaging RFP to provide further clarity on deliverables, examples of expected assets and their use, and a revised budget and timeline to align with NYWGF’s and the successful

How Small Changes in the Vineyard Can Yield Enormous Benefits

Farmers are more in tune with what’s happening to the climate than anyone else because they depend on the whims of the sun, sky, and earth for their bread and butter.   Winegrowers are perhaps even more watchful of subtle shifts and changes to the climate, simply because one bad hail storm, or a difference of a few degrees in temperature during the growing season, can doom a harvest. (Too cold,

Hazlitt Red Cat Cellars Celebrates 10 Years Of Successful Workforce And Economic Growth

Hazlitt Red Cat Cellars, part of the Hazlitt family wine production holdings, is celebrating 10 years in business and its benefit to the workforce and economic growth in the Naples community. The expansive facility is now home to multiple businesses. These include East Coast Crush and Co-Pack, Hazlitt’s custom beverage production services company, as well as an on-site retail and tasting room, a brewery, and a recreational hiking trail. In

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

Cole and Karen Wilson purchase Knapp Winery in Finger Lakes Region

The baton has been passed. Cole and Karen Wilson are the new owners of Knapp Winery & Vineyard Restaurant. Knapp Winery was established in 1984 by Doug and Susan Knapp. They sold the winery in the year 2000 to Pierce and Welliver. Gene Pierce and Scott Welliver recently sold the winery and 100-acre estate to the Wilson’s. Knapp has a long tradition of producing premium and popular wines and the

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New York Wine & Grape Foundation Partners with Crush Wine Experiences on B.E.V. NY Conference and New York Wine Classic Awards Events

The New York Wine & Grape Foundation (NYWGF) is pleased to announce a new partnership with Crush Wine Experiences to elevate the B.E.V. NY Conference and New York Wine Classic Awards Ceremony in 2022. To accomplish its mission and meet industry need, NYWGF leads important educational and promotional events each year. Scheduled to take place from March 29th, 2022, through March 31st, 2022, B.E.V. NY is the annual grape and wine conference presented by NYWGF, Cornell’s Finger Lakes Grape Program and the Enology Extension Laboratory. B.E.V. NY will be a hybrid event, with March 29th being held in-person (Rochester, NY) and virtually, and the subsequent days being held virtually. 

New York Wine & Grape Foundation issues RFP for 2022 Grape and Wine Research

For 35 years, NYWGF has annually distributed funds to projects that provide the New York State wine and grape industry with short-term solutions and long-term strategic directions. Click here to explore previously funded projects.

The Research Committee of the Board of Directors now welcomes new proposals for 2022. Proposals will be due by January 24th, 2022.

‘Going Electric’: Is the Wine Industry’s eCommerce Revolution Finally Here?

With eCommerce, the wine & spirit industry has been trying to go Electric for at least a quarter century.  But only until the pandemic has eCommerce really gained traction in the US, where DtC sales skyrocketed for obvious reasons – according to IWSR Drinks Market Analysis, online alcohol consumer sales in the US increased a mind-boggling 80% in 2019-2020.

Fred Merwarth of Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard Awarded Wine Enthusiast Magazine Winemaker of the Year

(Dundee, NY) Fred Merwarth, Head Winemaker and Co-owner of Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard and Standing Stone Vineyards has been awarded the Wine Enthusiast Magazine Wine Star Award for Winemaker of the Year. The magazine writes of the awards, “This year marks the 22nd anniversary of Wine Enthusiast’s Annual Wine Star Awards, honoring the individuals and companies that make outstanding contributions to the wine and alcohol beverage world. The winners plus

Revised Timeline & FAQs for Global Messaging RFP

NYWGF would like to thank everyone for the overwhelming interest in our recent Global Messaging RFP. We have compiled and consolidated them all, to the best of our ability, in this document. We encourage you to read it thoroughly before submitting your response. Please note, as this document did take longer than expected to complete, NYWGF has pushed back the proposal deadline to November 29th, 2021.

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

photo of seminar host, Dan Belmont

New York Wine & Grape Foundation Partners with Dan Belmont, Proprietor of ‘Good Wine x Good People’, to Update New York Wine Course & Reference Guide

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Valerie Venezia-RossPhone: 1 (518) 229-3765Email: [email protected] PENN YAN NY, November 2, 2021 – The New York Wine & Grape Foundation (NYWGF) is pleased to announce a new, creative partnership with wine educator Dan Belmont to update and reimagine the New York Course & Reference Guide. New York wines are now available in markets across the United States and throughout the international markets of Canada, Europe, and

NYWGF Seeks Partner for Global Messaging & Brand Expansion

PLEASE NOTE: Revised Timeline & FAQs NYWGF would like to thank everyone for the overwhelming interest in our recent Global Messaging RFP. We have compiled and consolidated them all, to the best of our ability, in this document. We encourage you to read it thoroughly before submitting your response. Please note, as this document did take longer than expected to complete, NYWGF has pushed back the proposal deadline to November

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

Crushing New York

When it comes to the Finger Lakes, Christopher Bates doesn’t mince words. “If we want to progress as a wine region, we need to stop growing good fruit and start growing phenomenal wine,” he said on a New York Wines panel earlier this year. Christopher is one of only 269 Master Sommeliers worldwide, and runs F.L.X. Hospitality with his wife, Isabel. The executive chef and winemaker’s portfolio of businesses includes

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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,

Waterloo Container to Enhance Shrink Sleeve Capability

With an eye to the future of wine and spirit bottle labeling, Waterloo Container has invested in a new state-of-the-art repack line which includes a shrink sleeve labeler featuring the R-250 TSER Evolution labeler by PDC international Corporation. This high-speed labeler features unique mandrel design capable of sleeving non-round bottles, and a proprietary cutting system which allows sleeve application at a rate of 50 to 300 containers per minute.   The

Adirondack Winery Breaks Ground on $2.6 Million Winemaking Facility and Tasting Room at Queensbury Headquarters

Adirondack Winery held a groundbreaking ceremony Thursday at the site of its future $2.6 million, 14,100-square-foot winemaking facility and Tasting Room at the site of its current Queensbury headquarters. Once complete, the new building will provide the family run winery with the space it needs to triple its wine production over the next 10 years. The new building will house an all-new Tasting Room, where the winery plans to offer

NYWGF Issues RFP for Conference & Event Management

The mission of the NYWGF 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. To accomplish our mission and meet industry needs, we are excited to be leading two (2) important events over the next year, the B.E.V. NY Conference (March 2022) and the New York Wine Classic Awards

Seneca Lake Wine Trail Celebrates 35 Years

As we reflect on a tumultuous period full of unprecedented unknowns, one thing remained steadfast – our commitment to each other. New York wine is nothing without the passionate and pioneering people who make it. They share a commitment to craft and community with a warm, welcoming spirit that makes the wines even better. This week we shine a spotlight on the winery members of the Seneca Lake Wine Trail

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

six wine bottles in front of lake view

Adirondack Winery Queensbury Headquarters

Founded by lifelong lovers of the Adirondacks, Mike and Sasha Pardy, Adirondack Winery is recognized as one of the most celebrated and acclaimed wineries in New York state. They offer over 30 fruit-infused and traditional varietal wines and their Tasting Rooms in Lake George, Bolton Landing and Queensbury are frequently listed as top attractions to visit in the Lake George region. Adirondack Winery wines can be found in over 450

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

James Suckling

JamesSuckling.com Publishes Review of New York Wines

Penn Yan, NY, September 21st, 2021 – Over 30 wineries participating in the New York Wine & Grape Foundation (NYWGF) International Export Program were invited to submit wines for review by JamesSuckling.com last Spring. JamesSuckling.com is an international wine publication that annually reviews and comments on wines from the world’s leading wine regions. Results are published to an audience of over 600,000 unique annual visitors.  Of the wines submitted for review by 25 wineries, 69 received scores of 90 and above. According to JamesSuckling.com “a

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,

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Improve Your Yield & Quality, Lower Production Costs, and Conserve Labor & Resources with the MyEV Tool

The Efficient Vineyard approach involves measuring and collecting data on soils, canopy, crop size, and fruit quality; combining direct vineyard measurements and/or sensor data into valuable viticulture knowledge for vineyard managers; and developing variable rate vineyard prescription maps to improve yield and quality, lower production costs, and conserve labor and environmental resources. The FREE MyEV Tool has brought this vision to reality for growers and wineries.

NYWGF Issues RFP for Comprehensive New York Wine Course & Reference Guide Update

New York wines are now worldwide. They are increasingly available in the international markets of Canada, Europe, and Asia and information about the wines, and our grower community, is frequently sought after by global trade, media, and consumers wanting to learn more about our exciting, up-and-coming region. NYWGF is seeking a consultant to complete a comprehensive technical review and update of the guide, provide copy editing for tone and voice and, finally, core educational modules to serve global trade and consumer audiences.

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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

The Atlantic Seaboard Wine Association Announces 2021 Competition Winners

The Atlantic Seaboard Wine Association (ASWA) held its 16th annual wine competition on August 14 and 15 at the Marriott Tysons Corner, VA. This year’s Best of Show wine, Fox Run Vineyards 2019 Reserve Riesling, was selected from thirty Best of Category Winners. ASWA’s Wine Competition is the largest in the nation, focused exclusively on East Coast wines. This year our judges evaluated 484 diverse wines made in the eastern US.

The newest winery on Cayuga Lake, Six Eighty Cellars, now open!

Six Eighty Cellars, the newest winery on Cayuga Lake, has recently opened at 3050 Swick Road, Ovid.  The owners of nearby Buttonwood Grove Winery, Melissa and Dave Pittard of Skaneateles, were seeking to purchase additional vineyard acreage when the former Toro Run Winery became available for sale.  Attracted by the well maintained vines and wide array of classic grapes, as well as its proximity to their other facilities, they seized the opportunity to establish a second brand.

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.

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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.

Experience! The Finger Lakes® Named As One Of The Top 5 Wine Tours In The Us

Experience! The Finger Lakes®, based out of Ithaca NY, in the heart of the Finger Lakes region, today announced that it has been recognized as the 4th Best Wine Tour in the United States. Nominees for the USA TODAY 10Best award for Best Wine Tour were chosen by a panel of wine and travel experts consisting of journalists, industry professionals, and broadcast personalities. Twenty nominees from around the country were presented to the public in July. Online public voting took place over 4 weeks, and winners were announced publicly on August 13st.

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.  

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Finger Lakes Wine Month is BACK!

@flxwinemonth on Instagram and Facebook, will help provide information about events and promotions happening in the region throughout the month. Wineries were encouraged to find a way to celebrate that fit with their winery culture; events include everything from yoga and live music to happy hours and vineyard tours. FINGER LAKES WINE MONTH flags will be seen flying high at participating wineries all month long. More and more calendar events and promotional listings are added to the website daily as we see the excitement across the region grow.

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.

FLXcursion welcomes the wine world back to the Finger Lakes in a return to normalcy.

FLXcursion was held this week at The Smith Opera House in Geneva, NY. The three day symposium brought in wine professionals from around the world to celebrate both a love of Riesling, and a return to normalcy after what has been a hard year for the hospitality industry. The professional conference covered a range of topics pertinent to the industry. From serious conversations about inclusivity and climate change, to pointed questions about the relevancy of terroir, and even included discussions about the use of memes in wine education and marketing.

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.

Macari Vineyards is doubling down on lifestyle

This summer, Macari finds themselves reinventing once again and the tasting experiences now include an option to enjoy a private tasting suite, or a cellar tour, tasting, and lunch between the vines. Gabriella and the team are especially excited about the return of the Macari Barrel Cellar Experience, which offers a flight of five newly released wines alongside cheese, charcuterie and locally made bread.

New York Wine & Grape Foundation Releases 2020-2021 Annual Report

Today, the New York Wine and Grape Foundation released their Annual Report for the 2020-2021 State Fiscal Year. The Annual Report provides a summary of the Foundation’s operations and accomplishments during the fiscal year. The report also includes information on the amount of funding designated for applied research and the types of research conducted; and the amount of funding designated for promotion, and the effectiveness of the promotional program.

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Farm Service Agency Now Accepting Nominations for County Committee Members

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) began accepting nominations for county committee members on June 15. Elections will occur in certain Local Administrative Areas (LAA) for these members who make important decisions about how federal farm programs are administered locally. All nomination forms for the 2021 election must be postmarked or received in the local FSA office by Aug. 2, 2021. “We need enthusiastic, diverse leaders

New Vines Winery Celebrates 10 Years

One of the smallest wine producers in the Finger Lakes is celebrating a huge milestone: New Vines Winery turns ten this year. High school sweethearts and Rochester natives, Todd and Dani Eichas always dreamed of retiring to Finger Lakes wine country. As wine and gardening enthusiasts, the couple decided that dream would include growing grapes. The Eichases purchased land to build their bed and breakfast overlooking Seneca Lake in 2007 and that same year, Todd put his green thumb to work planting the first vines. New Vines Winery officially opened in 2011. Now in its tenth year, New Vines Winery grows one acre of grapes and produces approximately 300 cases of Riesling, Gruner Veltliner, Lemberger, Cabernet Franc, and Marquette Rosé.

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.

Hound’s Tree

Anchored in its 30-acre vineyard on the North Fork of Long Island, Hound’s Tree is the first and only estate winery and tasting room in New York City. Hound’s Tree’s mission is to convey a sense of place that is specific to New York. To produce wines that continue to explore and expand the idea of classic, cool climate, new world terroir.

The Unsung Grapes of New York State

Let’s explore the vineyards together through the lens of six “Unsung Grapes” of New York State! You may discover a new favourite! In my chats with the producers of each wine we’ll look at the factors that go into choosing what varieties to plant; a grape’s suitability for New York terroir; their viticultural pros and cons; and – if these varieties have a future in New York State? Away we go!

Four generations later, Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery isn’t slowing down anytime soon

When considering how COVID-19 has affected her family’s business, Meaghan Frank doesn’t wonder what would have been; she’s too focused on the future. She does take a moment to genuinely think about what Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery would be doing if there weren’t a global pandemic and seems stumped. “I feel like so much energy and time has been spent thinking outside the box that I don’t even know what we would have done inside the box.”

Finger Lakes Wine Festival Postponed to July 8-10, 2022

Watkins Glen International today announced that the Finger Lakes Wine Festival originally scheduled for July 9-11, 2021 has been postponed to July 8-10, 2022 due to New York State COVID-19 guidelines. Ticketholders will automatically receive a credit for the full amount of their Finger Lakes Wine Festival purchase, plus an additional 20 percent of the total amount paid for those experiences, in their Watkins Glen International account by May 5.

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.

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Buttonwood Grove Winery announces addition of Carmela Barbagallo as Director of Wholesale Sales

Buttonwood Grove Winery is excited to announce the addition of Carmela Barbagallo to their team as Director of Wholesale Sales. Her focus will be on increasing wholesale distribution in New York and Ohio, and creating distributor relationships in additional states to broaden distribution channels. Additionally, she will work with partner organizations such as the New York Wine and Grape Foundation and Finger Lakes Wine Alliance to broaden Buttonwood Grove’s participation in multiple marketing programs.

Living Roots Wine & Co. is turning obstacles into opportunities

Sebastian Hardy’s favorite book is titled The Obstacle is The Way. He often listens to audiobooks or podcasts for a mindful way to unwind after his busy days making wine. Colleen, his business partner and wife, smiles as he talks about it being good motivation. It’s clear she also buys into the concept of making the obstacle the path forward. And of course they do–in a pandemic their business depends on it.

ten selections of cheese on a wood cutting board, seen from above.

10 Winning Cheeses for the 2021 New York Wine Classic Winners

A good rule of thumb – if it grows together, it goes together. A French wine has a high likelihood of pairing successfully with a French cheese! (Assuming you don’t forget about BALANCE.) These things share terroir – a sense of place! With that in mind, I tried to offer an American artisan cheese suggestion when it fits, four of which hail from the Empire State. I also considered the ancestral home of each grape and their local pairings!

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 Rocks

I’ve always liked rocks. As a child growing up on Long Island, I had a rock “garden” in the backyard, and trips to the mall were highlighted by a visit to the store Natural Wonders where I’d spend my pocket money on a new gem stone for my collection that was kept in a secret hiding spot in my bedroom. When Fluorite came home with me? Big day. I remember being a very self satisfied eleven year old for knowing the difference between igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks before it was taught in science class. I like the thrill of the “hunt” for the right rock. Maybe I was just overly influenced by the adventures of Indiana Jones? Stones were my long lost artifacts.

Osmote Wine is finding balance at home

Ben Riccardi’s 31-acre family farm sits on the southeast side of Seneca Lake in the town of Burdett. Soon, it will be home to Osmote Wine, the brand he’s been steadily building since his first vintage in 2014. Currently, Osmote is created with grapes sourced from farmers mostly along Seneca and Cayuga Lakes, but Ben has big plans for the future.

Top Awards Announced from the 2021 New York Wine Classic

Last night, the New York Wine & Grape foundation announced the top winners of the 35th annual New York Wine Classic, a nationally recognized competition highlighting the best of New York’s wine. Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul made the announcement during a special live virtual event.  This year, the Governor’s Cup, the most esteemed award given at the Classic, was presented to Pindar Vineyards for its 2019 Dr. Dan’s Signature Collection, Gewurztraminer from the Long Island region. In addition, Paumanok Vineyards from Long Island was presented with the ‘Winery of the Year’ award.

Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards Releases Podcast

Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards has released a new podcast: Great Times Behinds the Wines. The podcast is hosted by Shannon Hazlitt Harts, daughter of Hazlitt’s Co-CEO & Owner, Doug Hazlitt. Each episode is meant to educate listeners in an informative, approachable way for anyone that enjoys or wants to learn about wine.