Field Notes

News and Updates from the New York Wine & Grape Foundation

Long Island

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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

New York Wineries Find Success Embracing Consumers Desire to Fit Wine Into A Healthy Lifestyle

By the end of January, many people lose their resolve to be healthier in the new year.  But recently, particularly in the alcohol space, people are choosing to be more mindful about what they consume throughout the entire year. Inherently, this is a good thing, but it leaves some confusion for those who make wine. How can winemakers navigate the intersection between wine and a healthy lifestyle? What many refer

​How New York Wine Is Popping Up on Menus in Japan, the U.K., and Denmark

There are more than 400 wineries in New York, and they are garnering increasingly enthusiastic raves from national critics at Wine Enthusiast, Wine Spectator, The New York Times and others. And thanks to an innovative program, and the hard work of winemakers willing to travel and share their story, the good word on New York’s incredible wines is spreading across the globe. How it Works  The New York Wine &

New York’s Wine Country in the Winter Has Something for Everyone

The winter is without a doubt one of the best times to explore wine country in New York. Not only are the vines often blanketed in winter white, there are fewer visitors, a range of imaginative events and more opportunities to learn from and interact with the people behind the wines. With more than 470 active wineries in the Empire State and 35,000+ acres under vine, there is plenty to

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

How Wine Clubs Help Producers Boost Their Bottom Line and Build Community

Direct-to-consumer (DTC) sales are increasingly becoming important for small and medium-sized wineries; in many cases, wine clubs are foundational to sustained DTC success. The classic distribution model, amid widespread consolidation, is no longer viable for most wineries. Distributors have been merging and consolidating for decades now. Currently, two distributors account for more than half of all wine sales in the U.S. Meanwhile, the number of wineries across the country are

Why New York Winemakers Are Excited About These Hybrids

Hybrid grapes are seen by many as the store-brand version of real-deal grapes. Sure, they have some notable benefits: they’re generally less expensive, and in many ways just as good as the name brand versions. But they don’t have the cache, street cred and long history of their Vitis vinifera counterparts. But in New York—and other regions of the Northeast and Midwest where real-life growing conditions often fail to be

Long Time Lieb Cellars Winemaker Russell Hearn, Purchases Cutchogue Winery

CUTCHOGUE, NY (October 5, 2023) — As an affirmation to his belief in the quality, longevity, and sustainability of the North Fork of Long Island, Russell Hearn and business partners purchased Lieb Cellars after over thirty years as Lieb’s head winemaker. “I first met Mark and Kathy Lieb three decades ago. They were passionate about wine and looking to showcase the best Long Island had to offer, which continues to

Alethea Damianos Conroy

Family Behind Jason’s Vineyard Toasts to a Sparkling Legacy & Future

New York is justly celebrated for the incredible diversity of the wine that it produces, from grape varieties to styles. In sparkling form, everything from rustic Pet-Nat to meticulously crafted and aged traditional methode champenoise can be found. But the one that is really turning heads this year is a 2021 Bubbly Rosé from Jason’s Vineyard. The New York Wine Classic 2023, which celebrates the diversity of wine in New

Wölffer Estate’s Roman Roth Says New York Classic Awards Sweep Confirms Bullish Stance on New York Wine

“We didn’t just win awards in one or two vintages, we won awards across four vintages,” says Wölffer Estate Vineyard’s winemaker and partner Roman Roth. “To me, that says a lot about the quality of the wine being made in New York overall.” Roth was referring, of course, to the New York Wine Classic 2023, which celebrates the diversity of wine in New York State. This year, 749 wines were

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

Paumanok Vineyards Winemaker Reflects on Winery of the Year and Governor’s Cup Win

“I was speechless,” says Kareem Massoud, a second-generation winemaker at Paumanok Vineyards in Aquebogue, Long Island. Kareem was referring to the recent honors he received at the New York Wine Classic 2023, which celebrates the diversity of wine in New York State. This year, 749 wines were entered from 108 wineries across the state. Scores were awarded by the Beverage Testing Institute’s sensory panel, made up of sommeliers, retail buyers,

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

three wine glasses against black background. Red wine is being poured into the center glass.

Governor Hochul Announces Winners of the 2023 New York Wine Classic

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the winners of the 37th Annual New York Wine Classic, a nationally recognized competition highlighting the best of New York’s wine industry. The competition’s 2023 Governor’s Cup was presented to Paumanok Vineyards 2019 Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc from Long Island. In addition, Paumanok Vineyards was also honored with the Winery of the Year award. The Governor made the announcement this evening during a special live virtual

New York Sustainable Winegrowing Program Certifies First Set of Vineyards 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Valerie Venezia-RossPhone: 1 (518) 229-3765Email: [email protected] 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

2023 New York Wine Classic Awards Ceremony to be Hosted By Karen MacNeil

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Valerie Venezia-RossPhone: 1 (518) 229-3765Email: [email protected] PENN YAN NY, June 12, 2023 –  The New York Wine & Grape Foundation (NYWGF) is pleased to announce that the 2023 New York Wine Classic Award winners will be honored on July 13th 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

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

Long Island Wine Country Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Wine Excellence

Riverhead, NY, May 16, 2023—Long Island Wine Country, a dynamic community of the region’s 57 distinct wine producers, is proud to celebrate its 50th Anniversary of world-class winegrowing this summer on the East Coast. Since its establishment in 1973, Long Island Wine Country has become a premier destination for wine enthusiasts and for high-quality winemaking that rivals those from other renowned wine regions worldwide. With its unique terroir, characterized by

New York Wine Reference Guide Cover Image

New York Wine Reference Guide – Seminar Series Launched!

Building on the success of the recently updated New York Wine Reference Guide, NYWGF is now pleased to bring comprehensive, expertly delivered New York wine education to you each week from April 25th through June 20th, 2023. All are welcome to join writer and educator Dan Belmont as he leads this nine (9) part series designed to help you build essential knowledge about the history, styles, varietals, and exciting innovations

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Long Island Wine Country Launches First Annual Long Island Locals Week

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Long Island Wine Country(631) [email protected] RIVERHEAD, NY (March 2023) — Long Island Wine Country kicks off the first annual Long Island Locals Week, offering exclusive deals for local residents at select Long Island wineries. “2023 marks the 50th Anniversary of Long Island Wine Country. With our Golden Anniversary on the horizon, we are excited to celebrate first and foremost with our home community,” said Melissa Rockwell, Board

three wine glasses against black background. Red wine is being poured into the center glass.

New York Wine Classic 2023: The Ultimate Celebration of New York Wines

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 is thrilled to announce the 2023 New York Wine Classic, the ultimate celebration of New York wines. This annual wine competition, now in its 37th year, recognizes excellence in winemaking, and provides an important platform for New York wineries to showcase their products to a global audience. The

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

interpreting wine logo and Boldly, NY logo on black background.

Interpreting Wine Kicks off 2023 With Comprehensive New York Series

Popular wine podcast Interpreting Wine covers New York Wines in a new series. The episodes feature eight prominent New York winemakers in 1:1 conversation with host, Lawrence Francis. Guests are drawn from the Finger Lakes and Long Island AVAs. Discover more about the people behind the wines, including their individual influences and journey into wine. Episodes also explore the vineyard sites where they source fruit, how they make wine and

Mystery Shoppers Reveal Wine Tasting Room Trends in New York State

The New York Wine & Grape Foundation is dedicated to supporting our members’ business development in a rapidly changing world. Along with the myriad of services and seminars we provide throughout the year, NYWGF is often able to take advantage of new opportunities that arise to benefit our members and the industry.  In the Spring and Summer of 2022, NYWGF’s longstanding relationship with the WISE Academy resulted in the opportunity

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. 

The Empire State is making waves – Wine Folly Releases New York Wine Region Guide

Wine Folly, the leading digital wine education platform, has announced the launch of the New York State Wine Region Guide, the first comprehensive digital guide to the New York wine region. This 9th wine region guide showcases the state of New York with over 400 wineries. All participating wineries are now directly benefiting from Wine Folly’s consumer reach of over 20 million wine consumers globally. 3500 wineries have been featured

Wölffer’s Wins (and Wines) Are Defined By Passion, Tradition and Innovation

Since 1988, Wölffer Estate Vineyards has been walking a fine line between innovation and elegance. It is rare indeed for a winery to coax former Long Island potato fields into producing wines that consistently earn 93+ point raves from Robert Parker while also cranking out fun, beach-worthy ciders infused with botanicals.  Roman Roth, Winemaker. (Photo by Rima Brindamour) From the outside, it may seem incomprehensible. But few in the industry

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

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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,

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

McCall Wines

Our Family has been living in Cutchogue for five generations. We have been growing and selling fine wines on Long Island’s North Fork since 1997 in the hamlet of Cutchogue, where we have our family home. We have 45-acres, featuring eight different Bordeaux and Burgundian varietals, including 11 acres of Pinot Noir – the largest Pinot Noir planting on the East Coast. Following a French influenced model, we make high

Wölffer Estate Vineyard

Since 1988, Wölffer Estate Vineyard has been committed to producing premium, distinctive wines, ciders and spirits through our dedication to quality, penchant for style and celebration of place.

Suhru Wines

Suhru Wines—a family run winery established in 2008—was a dream that developed over the course of Susan and Russell’s life together. Russell has inspired Susan’s passion for wine, introducing her to its many nuances, flavors, and styles. It is this joint love of wine that inspired Suhru Wines! At Suhru, we make wines from varietals we love and the ones we are passionate about. Our goal has always been to

Red Hook Winery

Founded in 2008 by Mark Snyder, The Red Hook Winery aims to uncover and highlight the best vineyard sites in New York state. From the salty, sea-breeze-blown North Fork of Long Island to the stone, shale, and winter-dominated Finger Lakes, we work with grape farmers who give agricultural definition to New York’s nascent wine growing country. All Red Hook Wine is produced from grape to bottle at our winery on