Richard Olsen-Harbich, winemaker at Bedell Cellars in Cutchogue, said this year’s bud break is the earliest his winery has seen since 2010 – but it’s not necessarily early from a historical standpoint.
"I think the key difference between sustainable and organic viticulture is that organics do not sufficiently take climate change into consideration; in general organic vineyards need more treatments with sulfur or bouillie bordelaise, which means more C02 emissions," explains Miguel A Torres, president of Familia Torres.
Whitney Beaman, program manager for Long Island Sustainable Winegrowing, spoke about the success of the not-for-profit LISW, inspired by the VineBalance Guide to New York Viticulture. The LISW started with just a few members and now includes 22 estates and over 1,000 acres of vineyard, representing about half of the Long Island wine industry.
“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.