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New York Wine and Grape Foundation to Update VineBalance for Statewide Sustainability Program

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June 10th – Penn Yan, NY—The New York Wine and Grape Foundation seeks a consultant to update VineBalance as the basis for a new sustainability certification program for the New York grape and wine industry.

The New York Wine & Grape Foundation is developing a third-party certification for sustainably farmed grapes and wine. The basis for this certification will be the VineBalance Guide to Sustainable Viticulture, a grower self-assessment workbook codeveloped by the Cornell Cooperative Extension and the Soil and Water Conservation Committee of the New York Department of Agriculture and Markets in 2007. This workbook has been widely applied across the state, but it lacks a system of third-party verification and logo for special labeling. A pilot program for Yates County grape growers will begin in 2022 with the intent to expand statewide. The program will serve winegrowers who cultivate V. viniferaV. labrusca, and hybrid grape varieties. Growers who achieve certification will be permitted to use the logo for direct-to-consumer marketing. This market-based approach will provide a continuous incentive for value-added producers to purchase sustainably farmed grapes and increase the visibility of sustainable wines in the marketplace.

The purpose of the RFP is to provide high level strategic and structural recommendations for certification design based on sustainability best practices, while balancing the small-scale and independent nature of New York’s wine industry. The ideal candidate will be experienced in East Coast climate and agriculture, viticulture and enology, international standards of sustainable winegrowing, and environmental certifications deployed by other agricultural industries. The VineBalance RFP is available here and responses are due by June 30, 2021. For more information or to register for the upcoming information session on Wednesday, June 16th, please visit newyorkwines.org/sustainability.

The New York Wine & Grape Foundation (NYWGF) is a 501(c)(6) non-profit working to support the New York wine grape industry. The NYWGF serves as the main trade association responsible for statewide investments in research and promotion for New York wine and grape growers. To realize this, the Foundation provides a wide range of benefits, marketing programs, educational events, cost saving subsidies, and more, to the wine and grape industry as well as consumers.

Learn more at newyorkwines.org

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