Schumer: Get New York on Grape Production Reports | Business
Schumer was joined on the podium on Monday by Martinson and Oskar Bynke, co-owner of Wiemer. Bynke and winemaker Fred Merwarth both worked with Hermann Wiemer, considered one of the pioneers of the Finger Lakes wine industry.
“We are getting very serious recognition for wine, not only in this country but around the world,” Bynke said. “We’re on the right track, but we need data, tools and surveys to keep that recognition.”
Upstate New York’s wine industry is estimated at $ 6.65 billion annually, much of it in the Finger Lakes. Martinson said wine grapes are grown in many other areas, including near Lake Erie, the Hudson Valley, Long Island and even the Thousand Islands.
Schumer said the data can also determine the extent to which invasive species, such as the spotted lantern, are impacting grape production in the state.
“The spotted lantern has decimated the wine industry in Pennsylvania,” he said. “It is now at our doorstep.”
Bynke and Merwarth said grape production data can determine which variety of grapes winemakers should grow less and less. For example, Bynke said that while Riesling is still the dominant variety in the Finger Lakes, Wiemer has grown more Cabernet Franc over the years.
Schumer also wants the USDA to resume a survey of New York City vineyard and orchard acreage that ended in 2011. Martinson said this was largely done by the National Statistics Service field office. USDA Farmer in Albany, which has gone from about 15 employees to two-stroke.