New York State Senator Mike Nozzolio and Assemblyman Brian Kolb today joined with Finger Lakes Community College President Dr. Barbara Risser as well as other County and local community leaders in the official groundbreaking ceremony for the new Finger Lakes Viticulture Center in Geneva. The Center will be located on the campus of the Cornell Ag-Tech Park in Geneva, adjacent to the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station.
“After years of planning and hard work, I am pleased to announce that the construction of the Finger Lakes Viticulture Center will begin this fall. As the art of winemaking continues to gain in popularity, we are witnessing an unprecedented growth in the number of wineries here in the Finger Lakes region and the construction of the Viticulture Center will support the continued growth of this important, job-producing industry. The new Viticulture Center will enable our State’s future winemakers to study at the same site where some of the most innovative agricultural research in the Nation is taking place every day,” said Senator Mike Nozzolio.
Senator Nozzolio, working with Assemblyman Kolb, secured the $3.25 million State investment needed for the construction of the Finger Lakes Viticulture Center. The Finger Lakes Community College Viticulture and Wine Technology Program is the only program of its kind in the Northeast United States. The program will be located at the Viticulture Center, and will create jobs and economic opportunities in a wide variety of fields related to tourism and the wine and grape industry. The Center will include a world-class winemaking lab, grape crushing pad, rooms for storing and aging wine, classroom space, and a teaching vineyard.
"Today's groundbreaking is a culmination of hard work, extraordinary vision, and a commitment to investing in an emerging industry here in our area. The Finger Lakes Region has distinguished itself as a world-class area for its wineries, tourism and agriculture, and the new Viticulture Center will expand on that progress. This is an investment in our community, in job-creation, in education and in the future of our area,” said Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb.
Additionally, Senator Nozzolio and Assemblyman Kolb secured a $4.7 million State grant, one of the largest State grants in the history of the Station, for the reconstruction of new greenhouse and research labs at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva. The research and innovation pioneered in these facilities will help to enhance and support the important agricultural needs of our area, including our local farmers and growers.
“As the home of some of the most innovative agricultural research in the Nation, and in close proximity to over a hundred local wineries, the new Finger Lakes Viticulture Center will allow future winemakers to obtain the knowledge and skills necessary to continue to develop New York’s wine and grape industry as one of our region’s fastest growing economic engines. It was a pleasure working with Governor Cuomo, Lt. Governor Duffy, Assemblyman Kolb, Finger Lakes Community College, Cornell University, the City of Geneva, and the Ontario County Board of Supervisors to make this important job-producing project a reality,” said Senator Mike Nozzolio.
“Today we celebrate yet another milestone for the Finger Lakes wine industry, which is home to over 6,000 farms and accounts for over 40% of all New York wineries,” Lieutenant Governor Robert J. Duffy said. “The new Viticulture Center will create local jobs and continue to put our region on the cutting edge of agricultural research and development. I thank Governor Cuomo for his leadership in putting a spotlight on New York wine, and give special thanks to Senator Nozzolio, Assemblyman Kolb, Finger Lakes Community College,Cornell Ag-Tech Park, and Ontario County for their vital partnership and collaboration."
“We are extremely grateful to Senator Nozzolio and Assemblyman Kolb for securing the significant funding for capital projects at the Experiment Station in Geneva,” said Dr. Tom Burr, Director of the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station. “Having the Viticulture facility adjacent to our main campus at the Cornell Agriculture and Food Technology Park will stimulate a strong Cornell-FLCC partnership for training of viticulture students who will be essential to the New York wine and grape industry workforce. Our faculty and staff look forward to working with students and faculty from FLCC. Additionally, Senator Nozzolio and Assemblyman Kolb secured the $4.7 million State investment needed for the reconstruction of over 21,000 square feet of greenhouses and research labs at the Experiment Station. The innovations pioneered in these state-of-the-art greenhouses and labs will translate into tangible products that have a positive economic impact on New York’s hardworking farmers and put our region at the forefront of agricultural research and development.”