Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

Cornell Cooperative holds Wine Workshop

Cornell Cooperative Extension organized three days of seminars on Business, Enology, and Viticulture (BEV NY). Formerly known as the Wine Industry Workshop, the annual gathering of the Finger Lakes Grape Growers Conference and the New York Wine Industry as worries about how the harsh winter have and continue to damage the buds and grapevines.  BEV NY separately addresses each of these critical subject areas providing expertise by an array of Wine Industry professionals. “I’ve seen many familiar faces everyday throughout the conference”, said Donna Gridley – Gridley Vineyards Bluff Point, NY.

Paul Brock, Associate Professor acknowledge the many new faces of FLCC Enology and Viticulture students who would be seeking internships over the summer growing season and fall harvest. The New York Wine Association attended to muster support in attempting to convince NY Lawmakers to serve New York produced wines at government funded and sponsored events.

The primary focus of BEV NY was to help support the vineyards and wineries of New York State with an agenda covering Social Media, Marketing Challenges and Networking Wine Consumers along with the technical aspects of winemaking and growing grapes.

Dr. David Manns, Cornell University explained the chemistry behind winemaking.  “Deacidification of wine involves transforming the Tartaric Acid and Malic Acid naturally found in grapes, but the actual process is much more selective,” explained Manns.  Other topics included proper SO2, and tannin management as well as selection of yeast strains and importance of YAN (yeast –available nitrogen) required in successful transformation of sugars to alcohol. Cornell University’s Dr. Gavin Sachs was quoted saying that “Wine is 100% chemical ± 0 %.” The basis of his meaning was illustrated by the numerous examples of the various chemical compounds that makeup the wonderful aromas and flavors exhibited in wine. “The problem of perception is sensory communication,” mentioned Cornell’s Dr. Anna Katherine Mansfield.  The many sensory receptors of the face and mouth activate at the threshold sensation level found in wine something definitely appreciated by wine consumers.

The concerns of climate and vine survival are more of challenge in New York as temperatures drop into the negative double digits or during time of drought.  “The vines need to struggle, but also need a healthy nutrient level to counter the stresses in unusual years,” said Luck Haggerty – Viticulture Educator.  Over the past few years, an early spring lead to premature bud burst followed by unexpected snowfall and colder weather.  “Despite the dramatic differences in climate, the Finger Lakes wine grapes have ripened into superior vintages,” commented Chris Stamp – Lakewood Vineyards.