Field Notes

News and Updates from the New York Wine & Grape Foundation

Seneca Lake

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

For Boundary Breaks, An Unusual Wine Is the Standout White of the Year

Something surprising happened at the 2023 New York Wine Classic competition. The top white wine was a 2022 Gewurztraminer, not a grape that the state is particularly known for unless you’re really into New York wine. And, it was a medium-dry Gewurztraminer, adding to the surprise.  But Bruce Murray, who co-owns Boundary Breaks in Lodi on Seneca Lake with his wife Diana Lyttle, isn’t surprised this particular bottle from his

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

screenshot of the apollos praise homepage

Internationally Acclaimed Winemaker Kelby James Russell Announces New Winery, Apollo’s Praise, To Launch This Vintage

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Media Contact:Apollo’s PraiseKelby James RussellWinemaker, [email protected] Rock Stream, New York — Kelby James Russell, longtime winemaker of Red Newt Cellars and Empire Estate, has announced the creation of his own winery, Apollo’s Praise. Named in honor of an iconic song he performed with the Harvard Glee Club as an undergraduate, the winery brings full circle his love of music, wine, and the Finger Lakes region he grew

Three Brothers Wineries Celebrates New Tasting Room With A Carnival

In December 2021 Bagg Dare Wine Co. (one of the three unique wine tasting experiences on the TBW estate) was destroyed by a massive fire. Since then the TBW team has been working hard to rebuild their beloved Louisana bayou style tasting room and this Spring they are ready to celebrate. June 17th and 18th TBW is hosting a carnival and you’re invited! The weekend includes live music, food trucks,

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

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

John Mourey

Fox Run Vineyards Hires New National Sales Manager

Fox Run Vineyards is pleased to announce the addition of John Mourey as National Sales Manager. Mourey will be responsible for leading the sales team and developing new placement opportunities for Fox Run Vineyards’ wines nationally and internationally. Mourey, a native of Watkins Glen, NY, and a graduate of West Virginia Wesleyan College, earned a degree in Marketing with a minor in Economics. From there he went on to graduate

Billsboro Winery Celebrates 15th Anniversary

Billsboro Winery is celebrating its 15th anniversary under the ownership of Kim and Vinny Aliperti. The Aliperti’s purchased the property in 2007 from Bob and Jennifer Pool, who founded Billsboro as Geneva’s first bonded winery back in 2000. “I’ll never forget the morning Jen called to ask if we were interested in buying the winery,” recounts Kim, manager of operations, “the minute I told Vinny about their proposition he quickly

Three Brothers Wineries Collaborates with the National Women’s Hall of Fame

Three Brothers Wineries (TBW) collaborated with the National Women’s Hall of Fame on their newest wine label “Sisterhood.” Part of their “Women of Distinction” wine series, a line of wines inspired by female voices, $1 from every bottle of Sisterhood sold will be donated to the Hall of Fame. The sparkling Riesling will be featured at the community celebration during the 2022 Women’s Hall of Fame Induction festival in Seneca

Tenacious Three: Exploring the business of social with Three Brothers Wineries & Estates

For Dave Mansfield brand is sacred and evolution is key. “I cut my teeth in branding way back in the 90s,” says Dave. The former major league sports professional was a founding member of Branding America in 1994. Their efforts towards co-branding fast food chains with convenience stores gave Dave invaluable experience with consumer trends, and a vision for the future. In 2006, Dave and his co-partner and wife, Luanne,

Erica Paolicelli named 2022 Woman of Distinction for the 54th Senate District

In an intimate ceremony at the Fort Hill Performing Arts Center in Canandaigua, Senator Helming addressed the audience saying “across the 54th Senate District of New York State, there are amazing women doing extraordinary things for their communities, workplaces and families. Women of all ages, backgrounds and talents play an integral role in shaping the future of our communities and state, and inspiring the next generation of leaders.” This year,

craig hosbach

Fox Run Vineyards Welcomes New Head Winemaker

Fox Run Vineyards, one of the most prominent wineries in the Finger Lakes, has announced the appointment of Craig Hosbach as its new head winemaker effective September 1. Hosbach, 44, succeeds long-time winemaker Peter Bell, who is retiring after 27 years with the company. Hosbach, a native of New Jersey, was most recently the winemaker at Hunt Country Vineyards in Branchport, where he received many scores of 90 and above

Governor’s Cup Winner Hazlitt 1852 Shines Spotlight on Native Grapes

Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards has a long agricultural history that goes well beyond wine. The winery’s name itself reveals a bit of its story.  In 1852, the Hazlitt family purchased 153 acres in Hector, NY, already planted with fruit trees and vineyards. And while grapes thrived there for more than a century, the winery itself didn’t come along until 1985. In the 37 years since the family became winemakers, Hazlitt 1852

four cans of hard seltzer on the end of a dock overlooking a lake

Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards Enters Seltzer Market with Red Cat Wine Seltzers

Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards is thrilled to announce the release of four new wine seltzers: Red Cat Splash, White Cat Splash, Pink Cat Splash, and Red Cat Dark Splash. Using their most popular sweet wines, the Hazlitt family has created a new line of delicious, bubbly, low-alcohol wine seltzers made with only real wine. These convenient and stylish cans are perfect for any-day enjoyment but will undoubtedly make a “Splash” this

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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.

Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard brings the feeling of Sonoma to Upstate New York

In March 2020, one week before the Coronavirus pandemic shutdown, Jenny Menges was on a press trip in London. She was there with the New York Wine & Grape Foundation, representing Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard, where she’s the Director of Operations. “No job is perfect,” she smiles, “but this one is pretty close.” For Jenny and the rest of the team, working at Wiemer is more than a job. It’s more like an extended family, and she was eager to get home to it.

Zugibe Vineyards

Established in 2006, and open for retail sales since 2009, Zugibe produces dry and semi dry wines from only estate-grown grapes. With a focus on responsible farming practices and finessed winemaking techniques, our approach delivers wines that express the pure terroir from the estate. Growing 11 vinifera varieties, along with a handful of blends, we have an extensive portfolio of award-winning wines to please the most discerning palate. As if

Red Newt Cellars

Red Newt Cellars has joyfully produced Riesling and Cabernet Franc from Seneca Lake since 1998. With a full suite of Rieslings, from dry to dessert, and several Cabernet Franc bottlings every harvest, winemaker Kelby James Russell embraces the single vineyard ethos that he inherited from founding winemaker David Whiting. Pushing the envelop with spontaneous fermentations, lees contact, cold soaking, and basket pressing; Red Newt’s wines are designed to open up

Lamoreaux Landing Wine Cellars

For three generations, our family has been growing grapes on the fertile soils along the east side of Seneca Lake. Today we have over 112 acres of planted vineyards separated into more than 20 different vineyard blocks, planted predominantly on Honeoye Silt Loam and Lansing Gravely Loam soils. These holdings are managed using only sustainable winegrowing practices, to yield the finest lots of expressive and dynamic cool-climate varietals. Our wines,

Forge Cellars

Forge Cellars is a partnership between Louis Barruol of Château de Saint Cosme (Gigondas, France) and Rick Rainey. The winery specializes in high quality, terroir-driven, bone dry Riesling and small amounts of Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc. Forge Cellars is dedicated to the exploration of southeast Seneca Lake. More than 16 distinctive vineyard sites are utilized and understood as a collection of stories, each telling a unique narrative of human

Glenora Wine Cellars

Glenora Wine Cellars, opened in 1977, is the oldest winery on Seneca Lake. For 40 years, Glenora has been producing award-winning, high-quality wines on the west side of Seneca Lake. With an extensive collection of wines including premium red and white vinifera wines, innovative blends, sparkling, dessert, and fruit wines, there is a Glenora wine to please every palate. Today, Glenora is home to a 30-room inn, the Inn at

Billsboro Winery

Billsboro Winery is committed to crafting small lots of dry, classic European varietals grown by the region’s best vineyards. We are dedicated to small scale production, allowing us to devote more attention to providing a high quality product to our customers. Our commitment to quality is evident both in the glass and the experience we provide in our tasting room. Nestled in the hills above Seneca Lake in a restored