"Unfortunately, for organic growers, there are not too many alternatives," says Roman Roth, winemaker and partner at Wölffer Estate on Long Island in New York. "Wölffer did not use it for 18 years, but the last two years, with the wet seasons, we returned to using it. We keep copper sprays to a bare minimum and certainly try to stay away from later applications closer to harvest. Apart from being a heavy metal, it affects the taste and the mouthfeel." Roth says that the Long Island Sustainable Winegrowing group is looking for alternative materials.
With Lynne's support, Olsen-Harbich also led the region in sustainability efforts, creating the best-practices Long Island Sustainable Winegrowing initiative in 2012.
While longevity isn’t the only indicator of quality, the aged wines poured by Long Island’s winemakers made a statement about the region’s place in the greater wine world. Though experience has led to better and better wines over the region’s 45-year history, the quality that exists right now is just the tip of the iceberg.
"We decided to recognize Long Island Sustainable Winegrowing with our first Sustainability Award because they are at the forefront of sustainable production, essential education and the widespread standardization vital to this environmental movement here in New York," said New York Wine & Grape Foundation Executive Director, Sam Filler.
Wise helped to develop guidelines and regulations for Long Island Sustainable Winegrowing (LISW), the only third-party certified program for vineyards on the East Coast. LISW focuses on the use of safe low-impact pest management while guaranteeing that pesticides that can leach into the groundwater are never used.
Olsen-Harbich is a founder of Long Island Sustainable Winegrowing, which recently hosted NASA climate scientist Benjamin Cook for a lecture titled “Wine and Climate from the Past to the Future.”
U.S. wine consumers are willing to pay more for wine — up to several dollars more per bottle — produced using “sustainable” practices, according to new research presented at a Sonoma County grapegrower seminar in Santa Rosa on Thursday.