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.
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.
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.