Long Island Sustainable Winegrowers (LISW) program was established in 2012, by a group of growers banding together to provide leadership for sustainable growing practices on Long Island. The group believed that a certification standard would create a win-win opportunity for the industry. Eco-conscious consumers would be able to support participating vineyards and the industry would abide by consistent environmentally sound practices.
Long Island Sustainable Winegrowing is the first program of its kind on the Eastern seaboard. It provides a blueprint for engaging an independent community of small farmers in a challenging growing region where rain falls frequently while the grapes are on the vine. Today, more than 50% of Long Island’s vineyards are part of the program.
Whether you’re headed out for vineyard visits, looking for tasting rooms, or seeking out labels at your favorite wine shop, this guide features the vineyards and wineries on New York’s Long Island whose viticulture practices meet the standards of Long Island Sustainable Winegrowing.
[Long Island Sustainable Winegrowing] is 23 members strong and has certified over 1000 acres of vines – almost 50% of the region. I believe the program has led to more collaboration between growers, more eco-friendly practices and ultimately, better wines.
The New York Wine & Grape Foundation today announces the launch of the first Long Island Sustainable Winegrowing (LISW) online training program, the Sustainable Wine Professional Course. As only sustainable certification program for winegrowers in the Eastern United States, the new online curriculum is part of a stakeholder engagement initiative to inform and certify winery tasting room and hospitality staff.
If the vines must be treated with pesticides, we want to use the least toxic pesticides. This is because we live on our farm and I do not want my family and especially my grandchildren to be exposed to unnecessary toxicity. Because we also have workers who work in the vineyards and because we have neighbors who border our vineyards. We want the least toxic pesticides whether they are considered "conventional" or " organic".
“For us, sustainability has to do with water,” says Richard Olsen-Harbich the winemaker at Bedell Cellars and a founding member of Long Island Sustainable Winegrowing, referring to both groundwater and the surrounding waters of the Peconic Bay and Long Island Sound.
Overall, the survey indicates high consumer interest in sustainably produced wine, and consumers harbor a favorable perception of sustainable certification programs as well. In addition, consumers show “…a willingness to pay more for sustainably produced wine, particularly Millennials and Gen Z.”
The research indicated high interest in purchasing sustainably produced wine in the future, a favorable perception of sustainable certification programs and certification logos, and a willingness to pay more for sustainably produced wine, particularly by Millennials and Gen Z.
“LISW Sustainable Certification guarantees that there is a devoted farm winery behind every bottle,” says Beaman, who is also LISW’s program manager. “We don’t want just one good vintage. We strive to be environmental stewards for the great vintages to come.”