I want to thank all of our Press Deck readers who take the time to stay up to date with news from New York's grape and wine industry. In my travels across the state, I continuously hear positive feedback that the Press Deckis a valued source of weekly information. I also wanted to acknowledge that under my direction our weekly communication has taken a more industry focused message, particularly in the "Field Notes" editorial. I know that readers of our former Wine Press valued its market and consumer focused messaging; many readers made buying decisions based on the listed award-winning wineries. Given the diverse interests of our readership, NYWGF is going to explore creating separate weekly newsletters based on audience interests: industry focus and consumer focus. We welcome your input on whether this is a sensible direction.
Last week, NYWGF kicked off its strategic planning process
by hosting focus groups in the Lake Erie Region at Cornell Lake Erie Research & Extension Lab
. We want to thank the close to 40 juice grape growers, juice processors, researchers, and wineries who took the time to share their experiences with NYWGF, and what they think our priorities should be moving into the future. They asked us to spend more time in Lake Erie and talk more about the region in the Press Deck
, so we are jumping on that right away.
While in Lake Erie, Val Ross and I visited member wineries to learn more about their wines and how NYWGF can better serve them. We spent time with Gary and Pam Burmaster, and their daughter Beth Margolis, at Liberty Vineyards & Winery
; Bill and Jason Merritt of Merritt Estate Winery
; Mario Mazza of Mazza Chautauqua Cellars
; and Mike Jordan and Kris Kane of 21 Brix Winery
. We would like to give special recognition to Fred and Jennifer Johnson who hosted a beautiful cocktail reception on Wednesday night at Johnson Estate Winery
for all the growers and wineries from Lake Erie.
Sam Filler, New York Wine & Grape Foundation, and
Gary Burmaster of Liberty Vineyards Winery.
We are also pleased to share that Governor Cuomo's recently announced budget includes his commitment to maintain funding for NYWGF's budget. We will be working with our supporters from the NYS Legislature over the next two months to ensure that our full funding request is restored in the State Budget. We were also successful in working with the Governor's Office to include a Concord Grape Summit (see page 176) in the Governor's State of the State policy book. We will be collaborating with the Governor's Office and industry leaders to plan this summit for later in the year.
Lastly, we are experimenting with new marketing methods to promote the NY Drinks NY Grand Tasting, so check out the plug for the tasting at the end of Levi Dalton's recent I'll Drink To That! podcast (Episode 442 at 49:28). Thank you to Kayt Mathers from Play Nice PR for securing this advertising slot.
Sam Filler, Executive Director