Earlier today, State Senator Mike Nozzolio, along with Assemblyman Brian Kolb, Dr. Barbara Risser, President of Finger Lakes Community College (FLCC), and numerous local officials and academic leaders, officially opened the new FLCC Viticulture and Wine Center. The new world-class center is the only program of its kind in the Northeast and will create numerous jobs and economic opportunities in a wide variety of fields related to tourism and the wine and grape industry.
“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 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,” said Nozzolio. “The new Viticulture Center will support our local economy, create local jobs and continue to put the Finger Lakes region at the forefront of agricultural research and development, while serving as a permanent location for the Finger Lakes Community College’s groundbreaking Viticulture and Wine Technology Program,” continued Senator Mike Nozzolio.
Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb said: “It’s incredibly rewarding to take part in today’s ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Finger Lakes Community College (FLCC) Viticulture and Wine Center. FLCC has an outstanding track record of pairing education with private enterprise, and today’s grand opening is another positive step toward blending regional resources with higher education. Equally as important, the Viticulture Center will enhance the school’s educational offerings, generate new jobs, and allow our region to achieve greater innovations in agricultural research and development.”
Dr. Barbara Risser, President of FLCC said: “Finger Lakes Community College is very pleased to unveil this outstanding facility designed to support the college's unique Viticulture and Wine Technology degree program. As we educate the local workforce in this teaching winery, our goal is to continue to elevate the quality of wine produced in the Finger Lakes. We are proud of our graduates' accomplishments thus far and look forward to their lasting impact on this premier wine region.”
The state-of-the-art Viticulture Center is located in the Cornell Agriculture and Food Technology Park in Geneva. The Center includes a world-class winemaking lab, a grape crushing pad, rooms for storing and aging wine, classroom space and a teaching vineyard. Finger Lakes Community College’s Viticulture and Wine Technology curriculum offers students the opportunity to apply to transfer into Cornell University’s four-year viticulture program. The funding for the new Viticulture Center was secured in the New York State Budget through the efforts of Senator Nozzolio.
Dr. Susan Brown, Director of NYSAES said: “This is another excellent example of how Senator Nozzolio supports our county, our education institutions and important NY State industries. The partnership between FLCC and Cornell's New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, will benefit students, the wine and grape industries and the consumers who enjoy their products. Student interactions with our researchers will enhance their knowledge of, and appreciation for, the science of viticulture and enology.”
Dr. Tom Burr, Former Director of NYSAES said: “It is a privilege for me to have worked with Senator Nozzolio and my colleagues at Cornell and Finger Lakes Community College to bring this important project to life. I am confident that this joint venture between Cornell and FLCC will no doubt build upon our region’s already impressive legacy of producing world class wines.”
Ontario County Supervisor Jack Marren said: “We gather today to celebrate the opening of the Viticulture Center and the opportunity to take this region’s wine industry to the next level. Built in Geneva, the center of the N.Y. State wine country is both a great opportunity and honor for Ontario County. The members of the Ontario County Board of Supervisors thank our partners in state government, Senator Mike Nozzolio and Assemblyman Brian Kolb, for their support in obtaining the needed State support for this project.”
City of Geneva Mayor Ron Alcock said: “Geneva is excited to be the home of FLCC’s Viticulture and Wine Center. Being the home of the NYS Ag Station and Cornell research labs associated with it, and now with the addition of the Wine and Viticulture Center, Geneva has cemented itself as the base for our growing wine industry. With local researchers and educators in agricultural technology, we can see a bright future and economic progress for the entire Finger Lakes wine industry. One of City Councils’ imperatives is pride of place -- this facility fits that imperative perfectly -- as we are proud to have the facility located here and look forward to its future development of wine industry experts. I would like to thank all of the many people involved in making this a reality for Geneva, especially Senator Nozzolio, Assemblyman Kolb, and the FLCC Board of Trustees.”
Ontario County Supervisor Charlie Evangelista said: “Senator Nozzolio delivers again with the opening of the new Finger Lakes Community College Viticulture Center. The Center is the right NYS investment in the right location, which will ultimately result in job creation in the wine and tourism industry. Because of Senator Nozzolio’s vision, leadership, and commitment to his constituents, the Viticulture Center in Geneva, N.Y., in the heart of the Finger Lakes, is a reality.”
Paul Brock II, Assistant Professor of Viticulture and Wine Technology said: “We are very excited to open the Viticulture and Wine Center as it will allow us to expand educational opportunities for our students. The center will better prepare our students to enter the workforce in the viticulture and wine industry in New York State.”
“After years of planning, hard work, and 12 months of construction, the Finger Lakes Community College Viticulture and Wine Center has become a reality. It was a pleasure working with Assemblyman Brian Kolb, Finger Lakes Community College, Cornell University, and Ontario County to make this important project a reality,” concluded Senator Nozzolio.