The Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County Grape Program conducts applied research and coordinates educational opportunities for the Long Island wine industry. Through meetings, newsletters, consultations and electronic media, we communicate research results, facilitate the flow of information from Cornell University and keep growers abreast of current and upcoming technology. We help winegrowers sustain their business from both economic and environmental perspectives.
Wine quality and quantity - To ensure success of the wine industry, it is critical to examine vineyard management practices and other factors that influence quality characteristics such as flavors, aroma and color. Vineyards must also produce a quantity of fruit sufficient to sustain the business economically.
Pest management - To produce a high quality crop, grapevines must have an efficient, photosynthesizing canopy. The diminishing of photosynthetic capacity by diseases and insect therefore has great consequences. This must be balanced with the responsibility to manage farms in an ecologically sensitive manner.
Education - Our efforts to ensure continuing education for the industry are multifaceted. We address current challenges and introduce new concepts through many different channels.
Applied research to address current issues in vineyard management takes place in the research vineyard located at the Cornell University Long Island Horticultural Research and Extension Center, Riverhead. Research is also conducted in commercial vineyards. Results are distributed via presentations and are posted electronically in several formats.
Consultations and site visits are available for commercial growers with questions on vineyard and pest management. For challenging issues, we consult with statewide, regional and national viticulture and enology experts when necessary.
We provide assistance to Cornell University research and extension personnel with projects and programs. This may involve cooperating on research projects, surveying industry, providing research results, writing articles, collecting samples, assisting students and more.
We host regular visits by Cornell faculty and extension personnel. When the opportunity arises, we invite prominent individuals from other winegrowing regions, including personnel from both academia and industry. We communicate research results and vineyard observations through technical meetings, site visits and consultations, newsletters, an industry list serv, e-mails and this website.
The Long Island wine industry is a key component of the economic viability of the East End of Long Island. The industry produces 500,000 cases of wine annually, complementing the wonderful fruit, vegetables and ornamental plants grown on Long Island. Winery tasting rooms host 1.2 million visitors each year, benefiting local businesses such as restaurants and hotels. The significant local and statewide economic impact of the NY grape and wine industries are documented in an economic study located on the website of the NY Wine & Grape Foundation. Further details on the Long Island industry can be found on the Long Island Wine Council website.
For questions on home grape growing contact:
The CCE Horticultural Diagnostic Lab, information line 631 727 4126
Also check out the Grape Growing in the Home Garden Fact Sheet on the Cornell Horticulture Leaflets page under small fruit.