The Press Deck
News from the New York Wine & Grape Foundation
February 27th, 2019
Field Notes...
From Sam Filler, Executive Director
Dear Friends,
Today, we are excited to anno unce this year's recipients of the Unity Awards. The awards were presented today at the  B.E.V. NY Unity Banquet held at the RIT Conference Center in Rochester. The Unity Banquet was created nearly 30 years ago as a way to recognize, encourage, and celebrate cooperation among grape growers, wineries, grape juice producers, and others to advance the entire industry.

Congratulations to all of our winners!
Phyllis Feder  Unity Award:
This award honors the owner of Clinton Vineyards in the Hudson Valley, who served as Chair of the Foundation Board for three years. The award recognizes individuals who have volunteered their time, shown exceptional leadership, and achieved recognized results in building industry co-operation and unity. The 2019 recipient of the "Phyllis Feder Unity Award" is  Alice Wise , Sr. Resource Educator, Viticulturist
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County. Alice has been a tremendous support to Long Island Sustainable Winegrowing, Long Island Horticulture Research Extension Center, and the New York wine industry at large. Recent efforts have included Pest Management Recommendations, coordination of grower meetings, support for the local vineyard technical group, newsletters, grower visits, website support, and moderation of a vineyard manager only list serv.
Jim Finkle  Industry Award 
This award is named after a gentle giant who for many years and in many ways contributed to the grape and wine industry on state, national and international levels. The award recognizes outstanding achievements in aspects of the industry such as marketing, promotion, legislative, and organizational. The recipient of this year's Industry Award is Liz Stamp, Lakewood Vineyards . Liz has spent an amazing amount of time of the past couple decades dedicated to promoting the wine industry as a whole. Liz is always available to answer any and all questions from colleagues for the greater good of the industry. A partner (and Manager) at Lakewood, her main responsibilities involve retail and wholesale sales and marketing activities.

Grower Award
This award recognizes an individual for dedication and contributions to the New York grape industry. The recipient of this year's Grower Award is John and Josephine Ingle, Heron Hill Winery . John and Jo have been sustainably growing grapes on the Western Shores of Canandaigua ands Keuka Lakes in the Finger Lakes AVA since 1972. John and Jo are original pioneers of the Finger Lakes Wine business and have made many contributions to the industry. Their contributions are reflected in all aspects. From growing a combined 50 acres of Vinifera on Keuka and Canandaigua Lakes, with their iconic winery on Keuka Lake and branch locations on Seneca and Canandaigua Lakes. John and Jo have been lifelong advocates of the Finger Lakes region, its grape growers, and wine producers from its beginning and continuing for the future. 

Winery Award
Sponsored by Alex Arrigo,  Farm Family Insurance Company
This award recognizes major contributions in advancing the image and reputation of the New York wine industry. The recipient of this year's Winery Award is  Bedell Cellars. Bedell Cellars is a pioneering, family-owned winery on the North Fork of Long Island Wine Country. Bedell is setting the bar for wineries in the Long Island region. Their well thought out approach and their all-woman cellar and vineyard crew has kicked the doors open in an industry steeped in tradition. Their wines are exemplary, and their production practices are environmentally responsible. They do a terrific job of promoting quality wine in the Long Island region.
The Restaurant of the Year Award
This award recognizes excellence in promoting New York wines in a fine dining experience. The Restaurant of the Year Award is being presented to  The Tailor and the Cook . This little restaurant in Utica is not only talking the talk but walking the walk. The are truly a Farm to Table restaurant. Not only are all their ingredients from local New York farms, but so is all of their wines, beers, and spirits. Very few restaurants in New York are willing to make the commitment to 100% local but they have gone all the way. 

Retailer of the Year Award
This award recognizes wine stores which do an exceptional job in educating consumers about the quality and variety of New York wines. The Retailer of the Year Award is presented to Mark O’Callaghan, of Exit 9 Wine & Liquor Warehouse. Mark is deserving of this award because of his commitment to consumer education on New York wines, his collaboration with wineries and distilleries to promote awareness of New York products, and his overall support of the craft beverage industry in the state.  Mark carries hundreds of New York State wines in his store, the largest SKUs outside of the Finger Lakes, and also hosts an annual tasting and educational event where he features 100+ New York wines, with more than 30 wineries and distilleries in attendance. This event draws many consumers and 25% of the proceeds go to charity. 
The Research Award
This award recognizes major contributions in the area of grape growing, processing, and wine research, and may be presented to scientists, industry members or others. This year's recipient of the Research Award is Cornell AgriTech. Cornell AgriTech is a leader in science-based, solutions-oriented food and agricultural research. Its many grape discoveries help to make great wine. It has a bright future and continues to share its discoveries to help local businesses succeed.
Ron Reals Distributor Award
This award is named after the person for whom the award was first created, based on his passion for and commitment to the New York wine industry. The award recognizes achievement in distributing and promoting New York wines. The recipient of this year's Distributor Award is Mike Lofgren of Empire Merchants North . Mike is a true industry leader. His customers trust him and his suppliers know that he will work hard to promote their products. Mike is especially interested (and successful) in promoting New York wines on wine lists, an area that has been a particular challenge. He thinks beyond his book and does what it takes to give his customers the best experience possible.
Consumer Award
This award recognizes "enthusiastic" support of the New York wines industry and for exemplifying the use of wine as part of a happy, healthy lifestyle. The recipient of this year's Consumer Award is  Don Cazentre of . Don is an educated consumer of New York wines. Through his work at, he invites his readers to vote for their favorite winery, and he promotes those findings. He stays up to date on what is happening at the wineries, and reports on events, new wines, and new wineries. He is genuinely curious and passionate about the wine industry and also helps promote the region.

Sustainability Award
This new award recognizes an organization/business that has demonstrated noteworthy sustainable practices and commitment to conserve natural resources, protect our environment, and contribute to the overall success of the New York State economy. The recipient of this year's Sustainability Award is Long Island Sustainable Winegrowing. LISW, established in 2012, remains the only third-party certification for sustainable wine production on the East Coast. The program has grown to now include over 20 vineyards and wineries and over 1000 acres of land under sustainable certification. The organization is made up of like-minded growers and has helped reduce vineyard chemical inputs and improved wine quality region-wide. LISW has also been very active in expanding its outreach with regards to marketing and education, helping consumers as well as wine industry professionals understand the concept of sustainable wine growing. LISW continues to raise awareness for and reinforce those committed to sustainable wine production and is presently the most important organization for wine producers on Long Island.

Again, we would like to thank all of our award winners for their tireless advocacy and support of the New York wine and grape community. You have our tremendous gratitude for all you do every day to raise the awareness of the world class products being made right here in New York. Thanks also goes to our sponsors this year, for their recognition and support of the important work being done by our community. 

Sam Filler, Executive Director
New York Wine & Grape Foundation
Thank You to our Unity Award Sponsors!
Cheers to these Champions of the New York wine and grape industry.
Industry News...
Empire Merchants Launches New Craft Distribution Arm
Empire Merchants of New York City made an internal announcement today of its forthcoming launch of Independent Spirits, a new division dedicated to craft spirits. Independent Spirits will formally launch on April 1, with 18 newly hired sales reps and three sales managers focusing on brands from about 40 suppliers, including The 86 Company, St. George Spirits, Royal Dutch Distillers, Buffalo Trace Distillery (part of its portfolio), and Compass Box Whisky. The move marks the first time a major distributor has formed and staffed a separate division dedicated exclusively to craft spirits, according to Ari Rubinstein, the new division’s director of sales. Read more...
Growing Enthusiasm For Organic And Biodynamic Products At 2019 Millésime Bio Wine Fair
Millésime Bio is the world's leading professional-only organic wine fair—and it's growing—with a 10% increase in attendance over 2018. Winemakers and members of the wine trade gathered together last month in Montpellier, France to experience the products of over 1,200 exhibitors from 22 countries. The 2019 event marks the 26th year for the gathering, founded in 1993 by Sudvinbio and Occitanie winemakers. Read more...
Rules For Legal, Wine-Focused Social Media Posts Are Changing
The legal regulations for social media posts in the wine industry have long been quite rigid. Many of these rulings date back to the repeal of Prohibition, in 1933, and the establishment of a three-tier liquor sales system that was created to theoretically not give undo control to any one specific sales tier. Read more...
Join our New Consumer Newsletter: WineVine!
Want to Learn More About New York Wines? If you're a New York State wine enthusiast you don't want to miss our email newsletter focused on insider news and behind the scenes access for consumers featuring industry interviews, tips, trends, awards, and special events. Click here to sign up . Check out the first ever edition of WineVine.
New York in the News...
Rochester Urban Winery Sees Grapes from Near and (Very) Far
An hour from the famed Finger Lakes wine region, Rochester, New York’s third-largest city, boasts a successful craft beer industry and, now, an emerging wine culture of its own. Exemplifying that is Living Roots Wine & Co . , a unique operation making wines with fruit from vastly different environments: the nearby region and South Australia. Owned by husband-and-wife team Sebastian & Colleen Hardy, the two take on transcontinental harvests with admirable rigor . Read more...
Some Tasting Reports Around the Finger Lakes
My interest in the region was sparked years ago, especially since Riesling has always been my favorite grape. However, in the last few years, as I began to visit the Finger Lakes and discover the people as well as the wines, I have come to understand it better. It is a unique region, known for its “lake effect” – the moderating effect of the Finger Lakes on the temperature and precipitation levels of the area. The effect allows for a warmer temperature in the winter, thus protecting the vines, and cooler temperatures in the summer. Read more...
Finger Lakes Winery Named One of America’s 11 Best by National Magazine
Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery , overlooking Keuka Lake north of Hammondsport, has now been named  one of America’s 11 best wineries  by Men’s Journal magazine. Dr. Frank, founded in 1962, joins a list of American wineries from celebrated regions in California and Washington, and lesser known areas in states like Missouri, Texas, Ohio and Virginia. Read more...
Grapes Don't Lie: Their Fate Dependent on Climate Change
The fossil fuel industry, that one guy at work, and your Uncle Larry can say whatever they want about climate change impacts, but the grapes don’t lie. Climate change is causing physiological changes in grape vines, increasing pest and disease pressure, changing the characteristics of wines (flavors), and is expected to result in the redrawing of the world wine map within my lifetime. Read more...
Member Corner: News, Benefits, Events & More
Webinars to Explore Export Markets in the UK and Canada
Join us on March 7th from 10am to 11am to take a 'deep dive' into the
Canadian wine market.... RSVP today!

In order to help New York’s wineries navigate this complicated transition the New York Wine & Grape Foundation is working in partnership with Robert Ketchin of Ketchin Marketing, to provide education and help guide our Export strategy in that market. With the good news of additional funding being awarded to the New York Wine & Grape Foundation for marketing activities in Canada, now is the perfect time for wineries to explore expanding their business!
Join us on March 13th from 10am to 11am to take a 'deep dive' into the
UK wine market... RSVP Today!

Westbury Communications and thew NYWGF are pleased to be working on exciting initiatives this year. Activities in the UK market will include a series of events designed to promote wineries currently in the UK market, as well as highlight new producers seeking a distributor or a partnership with on-trade. Please join us on this hour-long webinar for an in-depth look at the wine market in the UK, how to prepare for export, an overview of marketing activities being planned for the coming year, and much more.
Upcoming Wine Competitions...
Don't forget that the New York Wine & Grape Foundation subsidizes 50% of our members' entry fees intro approved competitions through our longstanding program . Check out the list of competitions and instructions for entering here .
Ultimate Wine Challenge
Ultimate Wine Challenge™ provides the most expert and authoritative evaluation of wines for producers, marketers, importers, distributors and retailers available. Careful, meticulous evaluation of each product. Powerful marketing support and collateral that helps build your brands and further promote your products. Learn more and enter this competition.

Ultimate Wine Challenge (UWC) is crazily insistent about judging methodology that radiates with integrity. That being the case, we're admittedly a bit unhinged to:

  1. Judge small flights of only 2 to 8 wines. (Sounds nutso, but small flights maintain a level playing field by keeping the judges fresh and alert.)
  2. Insist that each wine goes through multiple judging panels. (To give each wine every chance to highlight its finer attributes.)
  3. Build the UBC Evaluation Center in Hawthorne, NY. (So that UWC's judging environment is consistently pristine, clinical, and conducive to focused tasting.)
  4. Secure the services of today's foremost wine experts. (It isn't insane to want your wines analyzed by sommeliers, Masters of Wine, and wine educators.)
Finger Lakes International Wine Competition
The Finger Lakes International Wine Competition (FLIWC) that is run by, and benefits, Camp Good Days is in its 19th year. It was started to raise funds for the programs provided free of charge to all children and families affected by cancer as well as to shine light on all the wines in the Finger Lakes region. FLIWC has become one of the largest charitable wine competitions in the world and we are proud to say that 90 cents of every dollar raised goes directly towards Camp Good Days' programs. In 2018, we had 16 countries enter more than 2,800 wines, judged by 52 prestigious judges from 9 countries, maintaining the highest international judging standards. Each wine is presented blind to the judges with only the grape or blend identified. No indication of geography, vintage, or price point is shared, ensuring totally unbiased evaluation given to each wine. FLIWC will be held on April 13 & 14, 2019 at the Holiday Inn Downtown, with a entry fee of $55. Register here

And the New York Wine Winners Are...
Congratulations to these Wineries, All Awarded Gold in the
2019 International East Meets West Wine Competition!
Gold awarded to Buttonwood Grove 2017 Riemer Block Riesling
Double Gold and Best of Class awarded to Chateau LaFayete Reneau 2017 Semi-Dry Riesling
Double Gold and Best of Class awarded to Chateau LaFayete Reneau 2017 Dry Riesling
Gold awarded to Fulkerson Wine Cellars 2017 Cabernet Franc
Gold awarded to Fulkerson Wine Cellars 2017 Reserve Riesling
Gold awarded to Fulkerson Wine Cellars 2017 Bourbon Barrel Aged Syrah
Gold awarded to Glenora Wine Cellars 2017 Gewurztraminer
Gold awarded to Glenora Wine Cellars 2017 Seyval Blanc
Gold awarded to Keuka Spring Vineyards 2017 Lemberger
Double Gold and Best of Class awarded to Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards 2017 Sauvignon Blanc
Gold awarded to Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards 2017 Dry Riesling
Double Gold awarded to Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards 2014 Cabernet Franc
Double Gold and Best of Show awarded to Johnson Estate 2017 Ice Wine of Chambourcin
Double Gold and Best of Class awarded to Johnson Estate 2017 Marechal Foch
Gold awarded to Johnson Estate Niagara
Gold awarded to Johnson Estate 2017 Ives
Gold awarded to Johnson Estate 2017 Seyval Blanc
Gold awarded to Johnson Estate 2017 Concord
Gold awarded to Johnson Estate 2016 Founders' Red
Gold awarded to Johnson Estate House Red
Gold awarded to Liberty Vineyards & Winery Diamond Select
Gold awarded to Liberty Vineyards & Winery Fredonia
Gold awarded to Long Point Winery 2017 Orabella Unoaked Charonnday
Gold awarded to Lamoreaux Landing Wine Cellars 2017 Red Oak Vineyard Riesling
Gold awarded to Lamoreaux Landing Wine Cellars 2017 Gruner Veltliner
Gold awarded to Lamoreaux Landing Wine Cellars 2017 Pinot Noir
Gold awarded to Lamoreaux Landing Wine Cellars 2017 Reserve Chardonnay
Gold awarded to Suhru Wines Brut
Gold awarded to Suhru Wines 2018 Dry Riesling
Gold awarded to Thirsty Owl Wine Company 2017 Traminette
Gold awarded to Thirsty Owl Wine Company 2017 Riesling
Gold awarded to Thirsty Owl Wine Company 2017 Diamond
Double Gold awarded to Wagner Vineyards 2017 Riesling Ice
Gold awarded to Wagner Vineyards 2017 Riesling Select
Gold awarded to Wagner Vineyards 2017 Riesling Dry
Gold awarded to Wagner Vineyards 2017 Riesling Semi-Dry
Gold awarded to Whitecliff Vineyard 2015 Merlot/Malbec
New York State Wine Association Sip & Sample
Monday, May 6th 4-7pm in Albany, New York
Sip & Sample is organized by the New York Wine Industry Association. This event provides a wonderful opportunity to showcase New York wines and foods to legislators, staff members and other government leadership in Albany's Legislative Office Building. There is no charge to participate. Please send an owner, principle or experienced staff member to offer your product. Reserve a spot...
Upcoming Wine Trail Events