Here's a good trivia question for a wine bar conversation:
Q: How many wineries in New York State have had two or more generations involved in the industry?
A: 76 of the 353 state's current wineries.
"The New York wine industry is firmly rooted in New York soil. Not only the vines, but the families as well," Jim Trezise, president of the New York State Wine & Grape Foundation (NYSWGF), said today.
"When you plant a vine, you are making a long-term commitment. You don't even harvest your first grapes for four years, and after that you hope the weather, the market, and the business climate all cooperate. Because once you plant your vineyard, you can't just put it in the back of your pickup truck and move to another state.
"The sons and daughters of families who plant those vines and make their own wines have more flexibility," he added. "The first generation has made a clear commitment, but the second and subsequent generations can just choose to move on to other places or professions. Which is why it's so amazing that so many instead choose to stay."
His comments accompanied the release of a NYSWGF-sponsored "Generational Survey" to see how many New York wineries have had two or more generations which have been or are involved in the industry.
The findings showed two with six generation (Fulkerson Winery in the Finger Lakes and Liberty Vineyards & Winery in the Lake Erie region), seven with five, three with four, 15 with three, and 49 with two, making up the final tally of 76 -- 22% of the state's wineries.
There is a listing of those wineries, and their respective generations, available online.