Saturday, October 25, 2008

NY updates on harvest, Web site

Two items from the weekly New York Wine & Grape Foundation e-letter that I'd like to share with you. The latter talks about upgrades to the Foundation's already excellent Web site. If you are looking for states sites that are in-depth, you'll certainly find them not only at the New York site but also for the states of Maryland and Virginia.

From New York director Jim Trezsie comes the following:

KILLING FROST has basically put an end to the 2008 grape harvest in all regions except Long Island, but in most cases that didn’t cause a problem since the season was already winding down. In the Lake Erie, Finger Lakes and Hudson Valley regions, hard frosts last weekend killed the leaves, which halted any further ripening. Galileo described grapes as “sunlight held together by water”, and what ripens the grapes is the sunlight gathered by the leaves, leading to the magic of photosynthesis that we all learned in high school biology. When the leaves are shut down by a killing frost, so is the ripening process. Due to the large bodies of water surrounding it, Long Island has a longer growing season than New York’s other regions, which is a good thing since there are also more late ripening varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon. At the other end of the state in the Lake Erie grape belt, Concord grapes (for grape juice) still have some ripening to do (in vineyards not affected by the hard frost) in order to meet required quality levels. In most regions, the crop was larger than expected, and over the quality was very good to excellent. A significant concern, however, was the surplus of some grape varieties which in the past have had strong demand.


WWW.NEWYORKWINES.ORG now has a new look, several new features, and enhanced navigational tools to get you where you want to go faster, thanks to months of work by our own Susan Spence. The home page is designed to help you find the information you’re looking for as quickly as possible through a new “Search” option, a continually updated listing of special events, a place to sign up for the Wine Press, and ways to quickly reach other parts of the site like wine regions or award-winning wines. The Search feature allows you to type in the name of a winery (or restaurant or retailer) and get the contact information directly, along with restaurants and retailers we know have carried their wines in the past (and we hope still do). The major sections remain the same, but with new graphics updated content: Wine Country lets you go right to the various regions, and includes maps and direct links; Information Station includes a wealth of information about our industry; Wine Locator helps you identify stores and restaurants in your area which carry New York wines; New York Gold includes a continually updated listing of award winning wines searchable by wine type or wine competition; Corkboard invites postings, Wineline lets you sign up for the Wine Press, and the Contact Us is for correspondence (which we read and respond to when we can).

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