September 30, 2009
Contact: See list at end of release

Northern NY Wine Maker: Winner of Six Medals for Cold Hardy Grape Wines

Northern New York – Regional grape grower and aspiring wine maker Richard Lamoy is excited about the 2009 fall harvest of the cold-hardy grape varieties that he grows at his Hid-In Pines Vineyard of Morrisonville, NY (southwest of Plattsburgh in Clinton County).

This spring Lamoy won medals for six of eight entries he submitted to a competition sponsored by WineMaker Magazine. Five of the six award-winning wines were made with North Country-grown, cold-hardy grape varieties planted as part of a Northern New York Agricultural Development Program-funded research trial at the Cornell University Agricultural Research Station at the E.V. Baker Farm in Willsboro, NY.

The Cornell Cooperative Extension Northeastern NY Commercial Fruit Program, eight local grape and wine producers, the Lake Champlain Grape Growers Association, the Cornell Grape Program, the Cornell Wine Analytical Lab and the New York Farm Viability Institute are key partners in the 300-vine Willsboro Wine Grape Trail project established in 2005 to evaluate 25 different cold hardy wine grape cultivars.

“The colder regions of the state are quite capable of growing wine grapes, as demonstrated by the success of the trial vineyard in Willsboro and other plantings here,”
says Lamoy. “Since there has been little work done in studying the best grapes and how to grow the best grapes for wine, research work needs to be done in those areas. The trial vineyard is one step in that direction.”

The results of Northern New York cold-hardy wine grape variety trials’ research can be found on the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program website at www.nnyagdev.org.

The WineMaker contest is reputed to be the largest amateur winemakers contest in the world and had 4,474 entries in its 2009 event judged in Manchester, Vermont.

Lamoy earned two gold medals – one for a wine made with locally-grown French Hybrid White grapes (LaCrescent), one for his only non-local grape wine.

He earned three silver medals for varietal wines (St. Pepin, Adalmiina, Petite Amie) made with the locally-grown French Hybrid White grapes, and one bronze medal for a wine made with locally-grown French Hybrid Red grapes (Leon Millot).

Lamoy plans to apply for his winery license to make wine with next year’s grapes. In the meantime, he is gaining experience working in the vineyard at the Cornell E.V. Baker Research Farm at Willsboro, and conducting Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education-funded trials in his own 3-acre vineyard.

“The preliminary research here is showing the potential for different varieties to respond to different training system and canopy management combinations. Cold hardy grapes can be a valuable crop for Northern New York and I am pleased to contribute to research that adds to our ability to grow them,” Lamoy says.

Lamoy says he expects to enter wine made from his 2009 harvest in the 2010 WineMaker contest.

The Northern New York Agricultural Development Program is a farmer-driven initiative to ensure the long term economic vitality of Northern NY’s agricultural production sector and agriculture’s important contributions to the protection and enhancement of the region’s environment and rich natural resource base and to communities in New York State’s six northernmost counties.

The Northern New York Agricultural Development Program awards grants for practical on-farm research, outreach and technical assistance and is supported by funds from the New York State Legislature through the long term support of the North Country’s State Senators, and with the support of NYS Assemblypersons from the region and other areas of the state.

The program receives support (funds, time, land, expertise, etc.) from Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station, NYS Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, six Northern New York Cornell Cooperative Extension Associations, W. H. Miner Agricultural Research Institute, U.S. Department of Agriculture, New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, cooperating farms, agribusinesses across the region, and others.

To learn more about the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program, go online to www.nnyagdev.org, contact Program Co-chairs Jon Greenwood: 315-386-3231 or Joe Giroux: 518-563-7523, or call your local Cornell Cooperative Extension office. # #

Richard Lamoy, Hid-In Pines Vineyard, 518-643-0006

Cold Hardy Grapes Project Leader: Kevin Iungerman, Extension Educator, Tree Fruit and Grapes, CCE Northeast NY Commercial Fruit Program, Albany, Clinton, Essex, Saratoga, and Washington Counties. 518-885-8995, kai3@cornell.edu

Cornell Cooperative Extension in Northern NY:
• Clinton County: Amy Ivy, Anne Lenox Barlow, 518-561-7450
• Essex County: Anita Deming, 518-962-4810
• Franklin County: Carl Tillinghast, Stephen Canner, 518-483-7403
• Jefferson County: Sue Gwise, Michael Hunter, 315-788-8450
• Lewis County: Joe Lawrence, 315-376-5270
• St. Lawrence County: Stephen VanderMark, Stephen Canner, 315-379-9192

Northern NY Agricultural Development Program: www.nnyagdev.org