The Press Deck
News from the New York Wine & Grape Foundation
October 3rd, 2018
Field Notes...
From Sam Filler, Executive Director
Dear Friends,
I believe that experiential learning provides the best opportunity to truly expend one’s understanding of a topic. When I was a Coro Fellow in Southern California, I learned about the general semantics concept that the “map” (descriptive words) is not the “territory” (the phenomena). To navigate the complex world of the grape and wine industry, you need first-hand acquaintance with the territory to expand your knowledge.
 
In an effort to actualize this concept, Val and I traveled to Toronto last week to attend the USDA Foreign Agriculture Service’s annual Canada Concepts conference. We also used our visit as an opportunity to immerse ourselves in the Ontario wine market. We learned at the conference that Canada is the Unites States largest agriculture trading partner; with cross border agriculture trade valued at over $40.5 billion and wine exports increased by 4.5% over the past year. Unfortunately, Canada (Ontario in particular) has not been the best market for New York wines, so Val and I sought to revisit the market with fresh eyes to uncover new opportunities.
 
Almost 13 million people live in the Greater Toronto Area. A provincial monopoly known as the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) controls the distribution of wine, and it has the distinction of being the world’s largest wine buyer. It annually sells $6 billion worth of wine, beer, spirits, and cider at their retail locations. LCBO wine sales account for almost $2.2 billion annually and alcohol consumption has been increasing 2-3% annually in the Province of Ontario. The LCBO divides its retail wine business between its Generalist division and the Vintages division. Generalist wines generally sell for less than $14.95 per bottle, whereas Vintages (hence the name) feature premium wines at premium prices. New World Wines (like New York) achieved 15% sales growth over the past year in Vintages and sell at an average retail price of $18 per bottle.
LCBO CEO Dr. George Soleas with NYWGF Executive Director Sam Filler
 
There appears to be an opportunity to revisit the Canadian market for New York Wines. Val and I are working with our in-market representative, Robert Ketchin , to develop a long-term strategy to make the Canadian market viable for many New York brands. During our Toronto visit, Robert secured meetings with the LCBO CEO Dr. George Soleas , the LCBO’s top wine buyer and the New World Wines category manager, and with several leading agents that represent the best-selling wine brands in retail stores and restaurants.
These meetings left us feeling encouraged that there are some new strategies to be pursued for the Ontario market. We will be revising our Canada strategy with Robert through the end of the Fall, and we plan to have Robert host a webinar on the ins and outs of working in the Canadian market.
Sam Filler, Executive Director
New York Wine & Grape Foundation
Industry News...
Barlcay: New York Remains Agricultural Leader
Too often it goes unrecognized, but New York state is a leader in agriculture. The farmers in our state grow and produce a diverse range of commodities and Upstate’s nutrient-rich soils give way to some of the best products in the nation. Year after year, New York farms produce award-winning dairy products, wines, and apples that we can be proud to call homegrown. Read more...
Supreme Court Grants Cert to A Granholm-Like Case for Retailers
On Thursday, September 27, 2018, the Supreme Court granted cert to a new case involving Granholm-like issues for the alcohol beverage wholesale and retail tiers. The case, Tennessee Wine and Spirits vs. Byrd Clayton, stems from a Tennessee law which requires in-state retail license applicants to satisfy residency requirements. The law requires that an individual applying for a retail license in Tennessee be a resident of the state for at least two years before applying for a license. Read more...

Canada Set to Resolve U.S. Wine Dispute in Trade Accord
The Canadian government agreed in the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade accord to roll back a series of retail wine restrictions, acquiescing to American demands that were being heard at the World Trade Organization .
Canadian Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland said in an undated letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer that the province of British Columbia will modify by Nov. 1, 2019, its requirement that retail stores only sell imported wines through a “store within a store” rather than on the same shelves as domestic wine bottles. Read more...
Reminder: New York State Agriculture Loan Fund Program
New York Job Development Authority has launched an Agriculture Loan Fund Program to address and help alleviate the economic barriers faced by many New York State small agribusiness owners. JDA has provided $10 million in funding which will be distributed as low interest loans by third party lenders. Read more...
New York in the News...
Veraison To Harvest Newsletter
Veraison to Harvest is a weekly electronic newsletter put out by viticulture and enology extension personnel from Lake Erie, Long Island, the Hudson Valley and the Finger Lakes. Each issue provides accurate and up-to-date regional data while giving a statewide perspective as well. View article here...
Taste NY Hudson Valley Food & Farms Business Expo
Cultivate new business relationships within your local community. Buyers and sellers can connect at this business-to-business event to network and share information and opportunities for New York agriculture and New York agricultural products. Vendors will achieve new market and sales outlets, farms can connect with value-added producers and buyers, and everyone can receive education and business resources, such as accessing capital and marketing. Vendor registration (free) ends on October 26.   Read more...
Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council
The Finger Lakes Regional Ec onomic Development Council (FLREDC) today announced it has submitted its 2018 Progress Report t o the State to meet the October 1 deadline. The report details the Council’s achievements in implementing its five-year, Finger Lakes Forward strategic plan and reflects progress on efforts to ensure sustainable and long-term growth in the nine-county region and to leverage the region’s advantages in key industry sectors, including optics, photonics and imaging, advanced and next generation manufacturing and agriculture and food production. Read more...
A Tale of Two Chardonnays
In 2017, about 70 harvest participants and farm staff picked the Rued grapes on September 17th and the “96” clone on September 24th. In all, 12 tons of grapes – or 24,000 pounds - of Chardonnay grapes were picked. Winemaker, Jeff Murphy, decided to make not one vintage of Chardonnay, but two: One with toasted French oak and the other, a lighter, unoaked “Bright Steel” Chardonnay. These wines will be released on October 5th, just before Columbus Day. Read more...
Empire Estate's 2016 Dry Riesling Named Winner
Wine Enthusiast's Tasting Director, Alexander Peartree, named Empire Estate's 2016 Dry Riesling in the Pick A Winner- editors tell you about their no-fail value wines for entertaining- in November's edition. Peartree shares "My ace in the hole is Finger Lakes Riesling. Riesling can be a divisive, love-it-or-hate-it wine, but I find that a racy, dry style like Empire Estate's 2016 Dry Riesling can sway many palates in favor of these fruity yet crisp offerings." Read more...
A Look at Some of the Unique Varieties Grown on the North Fork
If you’re reading this magazine, you probably know at least something about Long Island wine. You’ve probably tasted some, too. Maybe you’re even drinking some right now. If you are, there’s a good chance that there is merlot, chardonnay, cabernet franc or sauvignon blanc in your glass. Most every local winery works with these grapes. They are — to varying degrees — the most important grapes for the region, now and into the future. But, it’d be boring to drink only those grapes, right? Read more...
Member Corner...
Member News, Benefits, Events & More...
Selling Wine in Mainland China and Hong Kong –
An Overview of the Export Market [Webinar]
Many wineries are exploring how to go about expanding their sales to export markets such as China and Hong Kong. If you are interested in learning more about how to prepare for the export market in these areas, please join us for this informative webinar presented by Matthew C. McFetridge, M.L., M.A. of FLX International, LLC, based in Shanghai and Anthony Mak of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, based in NYC.Participants can expect to learn more about: The Mainland Chinese market and Hong Kong, including wine consumption trends, How to connect with the right partners in-market, negotiating payment terms and finding credit insurance, what you can expect on in-market visits, Information on requirements for labeling, shipping and more. Recommendations for branding resources available through NYWGF, USDA, ATO and more. Sign up here...
Top 5 Tools for Wine Club Success [Webinar]
November 8th, 2018 at 11:00 AM
Wine Club Sales represents about 60% of direct wine sales income for wine brands who are getting it right. Consumers have an overwhelming amount of choice when deciding which wine club to join. Most wine club members tend to be members of 2-5 clubs consecutively and time is being divided among several club events and pickup parties. Winery teams need to offer straightforward and appealing membership options to convert 15-25% of tasting room visitors to the club. In this hands-on webinar attendees will learn:
  • Ideal number of club tiers to offer based on number of bottles and shipments.
  • How to appeal to various types of wine buyers with ideal incentives and perks.
  • How to include access as a key inventive for joining the wine club.
  • How to properly message and market value of wine club offerings.
  • How to measure key performance indicators which leads to success.
 
Welcome New Member!
Born out of a love of fine wines and delicious food, Chateau Niagara Winery has become the premiere location for fine wines on the Niagara Lake Plain. In June of 2006 the odyssey began with 31 acres of prime farmland on the banks of 18 Mile creek in Newfane. There, owners Jim and Kathy Baker planted high quality vinifera wine grapes. Varieties include well known wine grapes Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling, Gewürztraminer and Blaufrankish as well as some exotic varieties- Saperavi and Turan. These grapes are part of long term effort to create very innovative wines as well as classic styles interpreted with a sense of the Niagara Lake Plain influence.
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