Grape research on Long Island is conducted by personnel employed by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County. The program is based at the Cornell University Long Island Horticultural Research and Extension Center in Riverhead. Most of our work is done in the field rather than in the lab. Our goals are to address practical vineyard management concerns, often ones that are specific to Long Island. We work in conjunction with faculty and other specialists at Cornell University and the NYS Agricultural Experiment Station, Geneva as well as with regional colleagues in the eastern US. Many growing regions along the eastern coast face similar challenges to those faced on Long Island. Growers play the most important role both in an advisory capacity and in our day to day contacts ensuring that our research is relevant to the industry that we serve.
Brief summaries of the previous season's work can be found on the LIHREC website: http://www.longislandhort.cornell.edu/.
More detailed reports can be found in the following papers.
2012Alternative Pest Management in Chardonnay 2011Alternative Weed Management in Merlot 2011Evaluation of Winegrape Cultivars and Clones 20112010Alternative Pest and Weed Management 2010Evaluation of Winegrape Cultivars and Clones 20102009Alternative Pest and Weed Management 2009Evaluation of Winegrape Cultivars and Clones 2009
Since the first vines were planted in 1993, 36 winegrape varieties have been evaluated in the research vineyard at the Long Island Horticultural Research and Extension Center. The trial initially focused on the exploration of selections of the three most commercially important varieties, Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Small quantities of other white and red varieties were planted in demonstration plots, an early and perhaps inadvertant acknowledgement of the importance of varietal diversity.
For both components of the trial we offer extensive field data including yield and quality assessments. Most of the selections were processed into wine, providing the industry with the opportunity for sensory evaluation. This provided a compelling complement to the yield data, enabling a sense of wine quality and style. Varieties from this trial that are now planted in the industry include the Dijon Chardonnays, Dornfelder, Muscat Ottonel, Lemberger, Malvasia Bianca and Barbera. We continue with vineyard renovation annually, removing varieties with mediocre to poor vineyard performance or of little interest to industry members. Dolcetto, Grenache, Gamay, Primitivo and Muscat Blanc are examples. In 2008 we planted varieties that are purportedly adapted to cool climate winegrowing. Most of these are earlier ripening, a potential advantage in a region with sometimes erratic fall weather. The newer varieties include Albariño and Zweigelt. In 2009, Grüner Veltliner, Auxerrois and Petit Manseng were planted. In 2011, we planted Verdejo, our second Spanish white. We have also begun exploration of disease resistant hybrids such as Marquette and a numbered selection from the NYSAES grape breeding program. With input from the advisory group and industry, we will continue to refine selections in the vineyard to reflect the evolution in wine styles in the industry. The following data reflects our research results from 2005 to 2011. (March, 2012)Performance of Grape Selections 2011Performance of Grape Selections 2010Performance of Grape Selections 2009Performance of Grape Selections 2008Performance of Grape Selections 2007Performance of Grape Selections 2006Performance of Grape Selections 2005