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Pondering the future of nature and wine

A panel discussion entitled “Future of Nature: Wine” was held Thursday, May 23 at Ravines Wine Cellars on Barracks Road in Geneva. Ravines donated a wine tasting with hors d’oeuvres for all the guests prior to the discussion, which was sponsored by Seneca Meadows Inc., the waste management and recycling facility located in Seneca Falls.

The guest panelists were Paul Brock of Silver Thread Vineyards and professor of enology and viticulture at FLCC; Jo-Anne Humphries, water quality specialist for the Nature Conservancy; Suzanne Hunt of Hunt Country Vineyards and owner of Hunt Green LLC, a clean energy consultancy; Hans Walter-Peterson, viticulture specialist for Cornell Cooperative Extension; David Wolfe, professor of integrative plant science at Cornell; with moderator Jim Howe, chapter director of The Nature Conservancy in Central and Western New York.

Answering a question of how vineyardists can be more resilient as growers in the face of more and more extreme climate change, Brock said he and others were very fortunate to have the support of Cornell in approaching system changes rather than mere point solutions. Brock says he started changing his own methods three years ago incorporating more biointensive viticulture techniques that reduce the need for synthetic pesticides and bring the soil back to life.

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