Numerous people and organizations were honored at the annual New York Wine & Grape Foundation Unity Banquet held Wednesday in Rochester.
The awards banquet was the culmination of Viticulture 2013, a three-day conference and trade show for members of the state’s grape and wine industry, organized by the New York Wine & Grape Foundation and Cornell Cooperative Extension. In addition to New Yorkers, attendees came from 25 other states and four foreign countries.
The Unity Award was presented to Richard Olsen-Harbich, winemaker at Bedell Cellars and for decades a prominent figure in the Long Island wine industry. He was responsible for securing the official recognition of Long Island's American Viticultural Areas (AVA's) and more recently spearheaded the creation of the Long Island Sustainable Winegrowing program.
• Industry Award: To Cornell Cooperative Extension for making a major contribution in advancing the interests of the industry.
• Grower Award: To Richard Jerome of Jerome's U-Pick Farm near Naples. He has provided service for decades as a board member of New York Farm Bureau, the New York Wine & Grape Foundation, and other organizations.
• Winery Award: To Dr. Konstantin Frank Wines for advancing the recognition and quality reputation of New York wines. In 2012, the winery celebrated its 50th anniversary, won more than 80 Double Gold and Gold medals in international competitions, and captured both the Governor's Cup and Winery of the Year at the New York Wine & Food Classic.
• Research Award: To Martin Goffinet, an international expert in the structure, anatomy and growth of the grapevine.
• Restaurant Award: To the Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel and Blue Pointe Grille for excellence in promoting New York wines as part of a fine dining experience.
• Retailer Award: To Jay Roelof, recently retired from Suburban Wines & Spirits in Yorktown Heights and now continuing his work as a wine educator.
• Distributor Award: To Phil Adams, a veteran wholesaler with the former Eber Bros. in Rochester (before it was acquired by Southern Wine & Spirits).
• Consumer Award: To Cheryl Gnade-McGrattan, who formerly promoted New York wines officially at the Department of Agriculture & Markets and has continued that missionary work on her own.