Vineyard Research Lab Opens in N.Y.

Cornell Lake Erie Research and Extension Laboratory will also support Pennsylvania grapegrowers

by Linda Jones McKee
Cornell Lake Erie Research and Extension Laboratory
An architect's rendering depicts Cornell's facility, which was officially opened Aug. 25.
Portland, N.Y. -- The Lake Erie region of New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio is home to thousands of acres of vineyards, and now the area has a brand new research laboratory in Portland, N.Y. The official opening ceremony for the Cornell Lake Erie Research and Extension Laboratory was held Aug. 25, with state Sen. Catharine Young and Assemblyman Bill Parment participating in a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The facility was funded by a $5.36 million appropriation in the 2007 New York state budget, as the result of efforts by Young and Parment to improve the vineyard laboratory in western New York. Young, chair of the New York State Agriculture Committee, told Wines & Vines that the research laboratory is the result of a dream, 25 years in the making, to enhance and expand the vineyard laboratory facilities in western New York.

"It finally all came together when we were able to fund the project. The new laboratory has state-of-the-art equipment to study vines, grapes and wine, and projects that deal with issues such as pest management and cold hardiness will help the grape, juice and wine industries enormously."

The new laboratory, located on a 53-acre vineyard site sold to Cornell University by the Deakin family, replaces the Vineyard Research Laboratory in Fredonia, N.Y., which had served the research needs of western New York state since 1909. The laboratory had moved to its current site in Fredonia in 1961, and in the last decade had been under increasing pressure from surrounding development.

Many noted New York scientists, including entomologist Frederick Taschenberg and viticulturists Fred Gladwin and Nelson Shaulis, conducted experiments at the Fredonia laboratory and vineyards. The Fredonia facility will be sold, and the proceeds of the sale will be placed in a fund to finance projects at the new laboratory in Portland.

Terry Bates
Cornell researcher Dr. Terry Bates is director of the new facility.
Terry Bates, who recently was appointed director of the Cornell Lake Erie Research and Extension Laboratory (CLEREL), believes the new laboratory will attract faculty from both Cornell University and Pennsylvania State University to conduct research projects for the grape and wine industries. "We now have a place for growers to come and the space for meetings to be held," Bates noted. "We would like to become more integrated with the viticulture and enology people in Geneva (N.Y.), and in State College (Pa.)."

Prior to his appointment as the first director of the new CLEREL, Bates was senior research associate in Cornell's Department of Horticultural Sciences. He had joined the research and extension team at the Fredonia Vineyard Laboratory after receiving his Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University in 1998.

Read more about CLEREL's history and goals at cals.cornell.edu/cals/public/impact/lake-erie-research-extension-laboratory.cfm.
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