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NY Farm Viability Institute's Taking Stock for NY Agriculture Mtg~New York Wine Classic Dinner at New York Kitchen~Veraison To Harvest Newsletter~Harvest 2018: At Press Time~New York State NEW Farmers Grant Fund Program

Field Notes~

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We received news last week that a number of New York state wineries were named in a class action lawsuit alleging that their websites are not ADA compliant. The complaint alleges that their websites contain barriers preventing visually impaired individuals from accessing the resources of their websites. Furthermore, the plaintiff alleges that the websites are not compliant with the World Wide Web Consortium’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0. We also learned that the issue is not unique to the wine industry, as New York State restaurants and Brooklyn Brewery have been included in similar lawsuits.


NYWGF will continue to monitor this lawsuit and keep you updated on information pertinent to wineries and growers. Also, NYWGF plans to provide an educational webinar (free to our members) on best practices and resources for ADA website compliance as soon as possible. Please stay tuned to The Press Deck for further updates. In the meantime, if you have questions or need further assistance, please contact me via email.


In other industry happenings, the NY Drinks NY program continued its fall promotional programming last week as we hosted the Seventh Annual Harvest House in the Finger Lakes. We welcomed a total of 14 trade and media from New York City (11), Catskills (1), New Orleans (1), and Miami (1) to experience the fall grape harvest (two groups over 7 days). It is like going to grape camp for a week because the attendees all stay in the same house and share meals together with a campfire. And, each attendee spends the day assigned to a winery where they get to observe and participate in the various educational harvest duties: hand harvesting grapes, working the crusher/de-stemmer, cleaning tanks, and punch downs.

Bruce Murray, owner of Boundary Breaks, gives an in depth tour of his vineyard.

Harvest House participants' concluding luncheon celebration!

The group concludes every day together with a debrief of their harvest experiences and a Finger Lakes farm-to-table dinner. Chef Brud Holland from Fox Run Vineyards prepared his delightfully decadent dinners using local cheeses, meats, grains, fruits, vegetables and even duck ice cream. I attended dinner on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, so I could meet each group of attendees. For me, the nightly debrief was the most magical part of the dinners because the participating wineries from the day also joined. We got to hear about the day’s activities from the perspective of both the attendees and the wineries. It is clear that the experience builds strong and lasting bonds, and it creates more champions for New York wines and the culinary bounty of the Finger Lakes.


Finally, we heard from a couple of wineries about the 2018 NY Wine Classic Results. We only had posted the list of medal winning wines to our website, and we have now updated the list to include all wines that were judged. We plan to continue to make refinements to the Classic and do more to market the winners. Be sure to mark your calendars for November 2, as the New York Kitchen will be hosting a New York Wine Classic Tasting Dinner to celebrate this year’s winners.

Sam Filler, Executive Director

New York Wine & Grape Foundation