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FINGER LAKES   ADVERTISEMENT

Grapes growers look to expand sales

FINGER LAKES—Cornell Cooperative Extension has teamed up with the Wine and Grape Foundation to help growers sell grapes to purchasers out of state.
This is something Cornell Cooperative Extension has been doing for years off of http://flg.cce. cornell.edu, but the services were limited to within the state. Jim Trezise, director of the Wine and Grape Foundation, said expanding the program was something people were talking about most of the year. Hans Walter-Peterson, viticulture specialist for Cornell, said this past winter wineries already had bulk wine from 2008 and 2007. He added that looking down the road, one possibility is that wineries would cut down on grapes this harvest in order to use the bulk wine.
Walter-Peterson said the online grape and bulk wine/juice classified listing has been offered for at least six years now. He said it was started for growers in the Finger Lakes, Long Island, and Lake Erie region. This winter the old site was taken down and revamped. Growers and buyers can put listings out for free. However, Walter-Peterson said only New York growers can put listings up for grapes or juice for sale.
He said that currently there are not a lot of listings up for people interested in purchasing, probably because there are several listings up for grapes and juice already for sale. The variety of grapes for sale includes Cabernet Franc, Riesling, and Chardonnay. Walter-Peterson said buyers might become interested in the grapes New York is becoming known for, like Riesling.
While the Cornell Cooperative Extension is handling the online classified ad space, the Wine and Grape Foundation is spreading the word in other states. Trezise said they will focus on states that had freezes this winter like Ohio and Michigan. He is already contacting his counterparts in other states, asking them to tell their wineries about the grapes and juice for sale. Letters to 2,000 out-of-state wineries have also been sent out.
Trezise said he has even been interviewed by a Michigan radio station and a wine Web site, http://michwine.com, just last week. According to the article, the Wine and Grape Foundation will look towards buyers in Texas and Missouri next.
 





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