Cost of Establishment and Production of Vinifera Grapes in the Finger Lakes Region of New York-2007
White, Gerald B.
In recent years there has been increased interest in the Finger Lakes, as well as in other parts of New York State, in planting Vitis vinifera grapes for premium wine production. Acreage of red varieties such as Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc all increased in the most recent orchard and vineyard survey compiled by the New York Agricultural Statistics Service in 2006. Acreage of Riesling increased by 60 percent from the 2001 survey, while Chardonnay decreased by 16 percent. Overall, vinifera acreage increased by 38 percent (to 1596 acres) in the Finger Lakes in the five year period, led by Riesling, with a 60 percent increase and a total acreage of 543. Vinifera now accounts for 18 percent of grape acreage in the Finger Lakes. There has been an increase in consumer demand for quality wines (interspecific French American hybrid and V. vinifera cultivars, or designated appellations). Wine consumption in the United States has increased by about 3.7 percent during the last 10 years driven by good news regarding the health benefits of moderate wine consumption. In 2007, the increase was 4.0 percent. New York is gaining stature as a producer of high quality wines that command premium prices, and the Finger Lakes has benefited from a surge of recent sales and interest nationally in Riesling Varietal wines.