JAMESTOWN, N.Y. — Cornell Cooperative Extension Chautauqua County’s Lake Erie Regional Grape Program is pleased to announce the publication of Veraison to Harvest, a weekly electronic newsletter put out by Cornell University viticulture and enology extension personnel from Lake Erie, Long Island, the Hudson Valley and the Finger Lakes. Each issue provides accurate and up-to-date regional data while giving a statewide perspective as well. Veraison to Harvest begins in early September and concludes in late October.
The Veraison to Harvest newsletter has been a joint effort of grape and enology extension programs throughout New York for the past twelve years. Since 2007, this weekly newsletter has provided growers, industry stakeholders, and winemakers with timely information on fruit ripening metrics sampled from 60-80 vineyards throughout New York state, as well as regional updates on harvest issues. This publication also provides suggested adjustments to winemaking practices due to the weather in a given season, and brief articles highlighting current research projects and activities as they happen. The information is presented in a format that makes it easy for growers to compare the current season with the previous year – and with long-term averages. The sampling results also form the basis for the regional and statewide commentaries and articles addressing harvesting and winemaking decisions, as affected by seasonal weather and viticultural practice.
Veraison to Harvest is distributed via email link to approximately 1,600 growers, winemakers, and industry personnel that are enrolled in regional extension programs – and it is accessible to others through online web access. For these growers, it has become a trusted, reliable source of objective information about New York’s grape harvest. The archived issues serve as a reference for the industry to track seasonal development in comparison with previous years. In addition, the newsletter has generated interest from the general public, including news organizations, and the New York Wine and Grape Foundation. It has served as a way to communicate detailed information to media outlets, colleagues in other states, and bloggers interested in ‘the state of the vintage’.
For startup growers and wineries, it provides information and context for understanding and interpreting juice analysis numbers, criteria for harvest, and different winemaking techniques they may need to use to cope with variable weather, varieties, and fruit chemistry. In short, it helps them through their ‘steep learning curve’. For experienced winemakers and vineyard managers, it provides a point of comparison for their own vineyards.
For experienced growers of traditional varieties, this newsletter educates them on vineyard management issues that impact our industry, and goes beyond the traditional focus on ‘tonnage and brix’. Finally, by providing information on a diverse set of cultivars for juice and wine and regions, this publication emphasized common issues that cut across markets, cultivars, and regions.
If you are interested in our Veraison to Harvest newsletter, contact your local Cornell Cooperative Extension office.
The Lake Erie Regional Grape Program is a cooperative effort between Cornell and Penn State Universities; the participating Cornell Cooperative Extension Associations of Chautauqua, Erie, Niagara and Cattaraugus Counties in New York and Erie County in Pennsylvania; and participating industry partners National Grape Cooperative (Welch’s), Constellation Brands and Walkers Fruit Basket. The LERGP extension team provides research-based educational programming for commercial grape growers throughout the year at venues across the Lake Erie grape belt. For more information on LERGP, call 716-792-2800 or visit our website at http://lergp.cce.cornell.edu/
The Lake Erie Regional Grape Program is one of many programs offered by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County (CCE-Chautauqua). CCE-Chautauqua is a community based educational organization, affiliated with Cornell University, Chautauqua County Government, the NYS SUNY system, and the federal government through the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. For more information, call 716-664-9502 or visit our website at www.cce.cornell.edu/chautauqua. Cornell University Cooperative Extension provides equal program and employment opportunities.
–Cornell Cooperative Extension Chautauqua County