Wine Lab

Wine Lab

New York State Wine Analytical Laboratory Gives the Wine and Cider Industry a Boost

New York’s wine and hard cider industries are getting a boost thanks to new capabilities at Cornell’s New York State Wine Analytical Laboratory.

As New York wineries gain wider attention and praise, their products are sought nationally and even internationally. Importing countries may require a range of analytical tests before they will allow a wine to be and sold. The laboratory providing these tests must hold certain qualifications.

New York cider producers who intend to sell their product exclusively in-state may obtain a label directly from the state liquor authority (SLA). That requirement demands precise testing for alcohol content by an Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB)-certified lab.

As of January 2017, the Wine Analytical Lab, part of the Viticulture and Enology Program in the College of Agriculture and Life Science, has been approved through the TTB’s certified wine chemist program. The certification increases the capacity for Cornell experts to support the wine and cider industries by helping get their product on the market across the street or around the world, according to Chris Gerling, extension associate in the Department of Food Science.

In order to receive TTB-certification, the Wine Analytical Lab went through a range of tests, from providing evidence of proper equipment to performing nine analyses of each sample. The facility is the only service lab in New York State to hold this certification.

“More than just sending numbers back to our clients, we’ve always offered new producers coaching and consultation,” Gerling said. “We use the information that we generate in the lab as a tool to identify areas that we should be focusing on in our other extension efforts, such as workshops and training. This new TTB-certification supports our goal to be a true resource for the industry.”

Housed at Cornell’s New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, NY, the lab has served as a resource for quality assurance and troubleshooting. The lab has been providing juice and wine analysis to New York’s wine industry since 1989.

2018 Program Update: NYWGF Members to receive a 50% subsidy on wine lab services. Non-members receive a 25% subsidy on wine lab services. Visit and click on lab services.  Cornell will bill the NYWGF for your services. NYWGF will then send you a bill for the balance due, depending upon your membership status.