The Press Deck
News from the New York Wine & Grape Foundation
December 12th, 2018
Field Notes...
From Sam Filler, Executive Director
Dear Friends,
Yesterday, the NYWGF Board of Directors held its quarterly meeting at the Hyatt Riverhead in the Long Island Region. The Board launched our strategic planning process one-year ago when it selected Farm Credit East as our consultant. We earnestly began 2018 with a series of regional focus groups for the strategic plan process that culminated in a board retreat in March. The board officially adopted the new strategic plan at its August meeting in Geneva. Yesterday’s meeting provided everyone an opportunity to reflect on our accomplishments over the past year, and how the strategic plan has energized the Foundation by focusing our attention on what our industry values most. 
At the meeting, we also received an update from our consultant, Campbell Ewald , on their research related to wine tourism in New York. They will be developing a toolkit that documents international best practices and strategies deployed successfully by other wine regions to encourage visitation. The practices and strategies recommended by the toolkit will be coupled with research related to consumer attitudes and perceptions of New York’s grape growing regions and its wines. Their initial research uncovered some promising trends and potential for New York. Here is a summary of their draft results: 

  • Simplification Over Snobbery There is now an entire wine culture that deliberately rejects esotericism in wine and positions itself as the antithesis of wine snobbery—casual, accessible, and above all, fun. People are finding new ways to enjoy wine that fit their lifestyles and tastes. 
  • Experimentation is Welcomed Playing off the trend of simplification, the new wine culture is focused on the consumer experience—helping people find the wine they like and creating new ways to enhance the experience. 
  • The New Rules of Retail The world’s become smaller for the wine drinker. Many countries now offer multi-winery wine clubs, to encourage explore all of the country’s wine offerings. 
  • Wine as a Lifestyle Wine is now more than a drink; it’s a social indicator and lifestyle product. And like all lifestyle products, people want their wine to communicate certain things about them and their lifestyle. 
Key Consumer Research Findings 
Based on an online quantitative study of visitors and prospective visitors (from NY, PA, CT, NJ, VA, ME, MA, VT, OH, NH, MI, DE, or RI) on their opinions of the regions, trails, wineries, tourism, messaging opportunities, and NYS wine itself: 
  • NY wine is preferred to California wine by visitors and is second to California for non-visitors. However, when it came to quality, it is equally regarded and above all other domestic options. 
  • While there’s differences among different age groups and geographies, that NY wine is the labor of love of hard-working NY families appeals to all and feels very ownable. 
  • While NY might be better known for its Riesling among experts, consumers don’t have such narrow notions. The study shows that NY can and should tout its rich wine diversity. 
  • Visitors gave NY wine regions high marks which we can build on. The top two drivers of an ideal winery experience are a beautiful setting with lots to do and an authentic low-key experience. 
  • Everyone’s a wine enthusiast these days, and every age group wants a more casual relationship with wine which includes online. This is a larger mega-trend that NY is well-poised to ride. 
We will have more to share from this project in January as we plan to release the final toolkit, complete with strategies and consumer research. This project is intended to align with our revised mission statement, “ The Foundation will 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 .” Stay tuned for more exciting news in January as we build on this tourism project to start the process of refreshing our brand identity.
Sam Filler, Executive Director
New York Wine & Grape Foundation
Industry News...
Strengthening NY's Concord Grape Industry
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced several new initiatives to strengthen New York’s Concord grape industry, including an investment of more than $1.3 million in the Vineyard Improvement Program to help growers renovate their vineyards, diversify operations and plant new grape varieties, increase production and enhance profitability. In addition, the state will provide funding to support research at Cornell University to develop new Concord grape products and identify market opportunities. These initiatives are a direct result of the Governor’s first-ever Concord grape summit held in April of this year. Read more...
New Wine App Promises to Revolutionise the Wine Industry
My Wine Society has launched a new app it has dubbed “Facebook for wine”.
It said the My Wine Society app, which is free to download, is the first wine app where users can “interact, share, explore, and be rewarded” and will “revolutionise the wine industry using gamification”. Developed by My Wine Society CEO Sean Evans and Skylab Apps, the app will focus on building “communications, experience, and connection within its community.” “My Wine Society is about giving wine lovers around the world a chance to connect, share, explore and discover the endless joys of wine,” said Evans. Read more...
The End of Eiswein?
Several WineSpeed readers have written in worried about the future of eiswein, one of the most spectacular sweet wines in the world—and one of the most difficult to make. Is eiswein doomed thanks to global warming? The answer is a qualified yes. Below I interview riesling specialist (and my old friend) Johannes Selbach, winemaker and proprietor with his wife Barbara, of Selbach-Oster in the Mosel region of Germany. Read more...
NYWGF Unity Banquet Awards
Nominations due January 16th, Presentations at B.E.V NY
Each year the New York Wine & Grape Foundation honors individuals and wineries for their distinguished contributions to the New York wine and grape industry. Awards are also given to recognize a restaurant and retailer for their promotion of New York wines. These awards — Unity, Industry, Grower, Research, Restaurant, Retailer, Distributor and Consumer — will be presented at the Unity Banquet Luncheon that will take place on Wednesday, February 27, 2018 at the RIT Inn & Conference Center, Henrietta, NY. Submit nominations here. Past winners.
New York in the News...
Exploring the Growth of Finger Lakes Wine
With the natural beauty of its glacially cut lakes, gorges and state parks to explore and a growing number of award-winning wineries, the Finger Lakes region has risen in the ranks as a top wine destination in the U.S. Winemaking has a long history in the Finger Lakes, but to learn why it was named America's top wine region in USA Today this year, The Ithaca Voice spoke to an expert in the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva about the climate, the top wines, and what challenges growers face. Read more...
Anthony Road to Release Nationally Acclaimed Riesling    
Anthony Road Wine Company will release the highly-anticipated 2014 Art Series Riesling on Saturday, January 5th. “It was one of my favorite Rieslings on my trip” said Mark Squires, international wine critic with Robert Parker Wine Advocate,”It is a big mouthful, exuberant, filled with underlying flavor, gloriously fresh and nicely textured.” He awarded the 2014 Art Series 94 points. Read more...
“Upper Hudson” Named and Official Vititcultural Area
After nearly four years of effort Upper Hudson vineyards can now officially add Estate Bottled and Upper Hudson to their wine labels on Jan 5, 2019. The Upper Hudson Wine Council is pleased to announce that the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) has designated the “Upper Hudson” as the newest viticultural area in the United States. New York state has a long proud history of wine making and this will further enhance the NYS wine brand. Read more...
Welcome New Business Associate Member!
We believe that your brand is your business’s most important asset, and that consumers will be drawn to it through stories that engage, entertain and inform. Crafting A Brand helps craft beverage producers, tourism stakeholders and other organizations achieve better business outcomes by connecting with their audiences on an emotional level. We believe the most effective way to attract consumers to your brand is through stories that engage, entertain and inform. Learn more...
Member Corner...
Member News, Benefits, Events & More...
Wine Competitions Program
In an effort to gain more recognition for the high-quality wines produced in New York State, the Foundation assists wineries with the entry fees in national and international competitions. New as of May 1st: The matching ratio is currently 50:50 for members of the New York Wine & Grape Foundation and 75:25 (winery to foundation) for Non-members.
This is an open budget (you don’t have to sign up ahead of time) and an easy process!
The Jefferson Cup Invitational Wine Competition 2018 Results
Double Gold awarded to Chateau LaFayette Reneau 2015 Cabernet Franc
Gold awarded to Fox Run Vineyards 2016 Lake Dana Vineyard Riesling
Jefferson Cup awarded to Lakewood Vineyards 2017 Glaciovinum
Gold awarded to Sheldrake Point Vineyards 2017 Dry Rose
Farm Credit East "Tools for Success" Business Seminar
Farm Credit East is pleased to invite you to our first annual wine business seminar. “Tools for Success” aims to equip attendees with a variety of business planning tools, including sales strategies, income tax opportunities, business succession and estate planning ideas. This seminar will be held in two locations on January 15 and 16, 2019. Both seminars will present the same information, so please select the meeting most convenient for you. We hope you’ll join us for this unique opportunity to network with industry professionals and other winery owners, learn more about key topics of importance to winery businesses, and gain insights to enhance your business’s competitive position.
Meeting date and locations:

  • January 15, 2019, 9:00am to 3:00pm, at the Harbor Hotel in Watkins Glen, NY
  • January 16, 2019, 9:00am to 3:00pm, at the Sheraton Mahwah, Mahwah, NJ

Click here for more information and to register. Cost to attend is $125 per person. Lunch will be provided. The registration deadline is January 4, 2019. For more information, please contact Gregg McConnell, Farm Credit East Farm Business Consultant: , (607) 435-2229
Now in its 8th year, EWE is the largest winery/vineyard event held east of the Pacific states. Your members will have the opportunity to meet with nearly 240 exhibiting companies; attend workshop & conference sessions covering all aspects of the winery and vineyard business, presented by leaders in their fields; network with 1,000+ other industry professionals; and attend the numerous social & networking events. The benefits of attendance are plentiful! And for the 3rd year, the License to Steal wine marketing conference will be held in conjunction with EWE. NYWGF Members SAVE 10%. The discount code for members is 19NYWG. Register here...
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