New York Wine & GrapeNews



Field Notes: A Promising Harvest Amid Public Policy Changes

Sam Filler

Category: Industry

Field Notes...

From Sam Filler, Executive Director

Dear Friends,
Fall is my favorite time of year because the weather stays warm with less humidity, my birthday is in early October, and the fall foliage colors are like an impressionist painting. I now include the grape harvest as another exciting part of my Fall. I eagerly read Tim Martinson’s weekly  Veraison to Harvest   to keep track of harvest across the state.  I am encouraged that the grapes are thriving with the dry and warm fall weather. I look forward to tasting 2019 vintage when it becomes available next year. 
Along with a promising harvest, the New York wine industry continues to receive top accolades from the press, as  Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery  has been named one of  Wine & Spirits Magazine’s Top 100 Wineries of 2019 .  This recognition builds on  2018 Winery of the Year award  that Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery received as part of New York Wine Classic. The NYWGF applauds the Frank Family for their recognition, contributions to the industry, and their continued success in producing quality wines. 
While there is much to celebrate this fall, our industry should keep a vigilante eye on public policy changes at the State level. This summer, the NYS Pollution Prevention Institute and NYSDEC held a series of stakeholder meetings across the state to collect solutions for improving glass recycling. Part of their discussion included the expansion of the NYS Bottle Bill, which would mean a deposit requirement that wineries would be responsible for collecting. The State shared with me that there was very little participation from craft beverage manufacturers, so their perspective is not being reflected in this policy development.  Slide 10 in this PowerPoint provides a link to all presentation materials, and please email me  if you would like to provide any feedback on the proposed changes. 
Legislation ( Senate Bill S5343 ) has been passed by both the Senate and the Assembly that would ban the use of Chlorpyrifos in the state. The bill is anticipated to be sent to Governor Cuomo anytime this fall for his signature. I recognize that this is a controversial issue nationally and many of our members hold different positions on it.  I do understand that farms across New York depend on this product to protect their crops from pests and, in many cases, there is no alternative for use.  We participate in New York Farm Bureau’s Agriculture Alliance, and they are encouraging their members to voice their concerns to Governor Cuomo about this legislation. Farm Bureau has an  e-lobby letter  that anyone interested can use. 
Finally, in anticipation of changes to the State’s labor laws regarding farm workers,  New York’s Ag Workforce Development Council will hold five meetings  in November to educate agricultural businesses about the changes that will affect every person in their business. 
Look out for updates on the Bottle Bill and Chlorpyrifos Ban, and other public policy developments in future editions of the Press Deck. 
Sam Filler, Executive Director
New York Wine & Grape Foundation