A Finger Lakes winery has landed on the coveted Top 100 Wines of the Year list from "Wine Spectator" magazine. It’s an honor for Forge Cellars, and it’s a nice ending to what has been a difficult year. Wine store sales are up, but not everyone benefits equally.

We talk about the business of wine and the effects of the pandemic on the Finger Lakes industry with Rick Rainey, co-owner of Forge cellars. Our guest:

A local wine blogger recently decided to stop writing about wine. She explained why during a pair of recent dinners to raise money for African American-owned businesses. Maiah Johnson writes from the perspective of a wine lover, a travel enthusiast, and a Black woman who says she was often viewed with suspicion in upscale settings. She shares her perspective and experiences. 

Our guest: 

When Governor Cuomo locked down the state at the beginning of the pandemic, businesses faced uncertainty and significant losses. When the economy began to reopen in Upstate New York, some businesses downstate got creative. A wine bar in New York City was one of them.

The team behind Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels NYC discovered property in Interlaken on Cayuga Lake and opened their new venture, Supernatural Lake, in July. The project is a wine bar, restaurant, and bed-and-breakfast, with the New York City-based staff now living in the Finger Lakes.

We talk to the team about their decision to shift their focus to Upstate, the economic impact of the pandemic, and what it means to get creative in the food and beverage industry during this time. Our guests: 

  • Caleb Ganzer, managing partner for Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels NYC and Supernatural Lake
  • Eric Bolyard, executive chef and managing partner for Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels NYC and Supernatural Lake

In the latest WXXI Business Report, a new report from the New York Wine & Grape Foundation shows a multi-billion dollar impact on the state’s economy from wineries and related activities.

Plus, New York's Attorney General says the state will not appeal a court ruling which favors the T-Mobile – Sprint merger, and Xerox’s former CEO, Ursula Burns, donates $1 million to “The WomanMakers Initiative,” an effort that will focus on the accomplishments of African American women.

The Trump administration is considering 100 percent tariffs for European wine and other goods. That could effectively double the price of many wines in stores and restaurants, while also doubling the price of olive oil and other goods. The administration says this is a retaliatory move. Thousands of jobs could be at stake.

We examine the possible impact with our guests:

Up until this year, one of the biggest conferences on wine in the world was held on the west coast, but now, it’s moving to the Finger Lakes. Our guests preview the first-ever FLXcursion and discuss the Finger Lakes’ place in the wine world:

A new report finds that the wine industry is in real danger – and that’s because it’s largely failed to attract new, young adult consumers. The report describes a “tipping point,” and concludes that the industry had long expected millennials to take the place of baby boomer wine buyers. And that hasn’t happened.

Our guests discuss what this means for the Finger Lakes wine industry, and how wine can push its way back into demand. Our guests:

Research shows that when they go out for a drink, Americans – especially millennials – are more likely to order wine or cocktails over beer. Why? Many consumers say wine and spirits taste better, cost less, and are healthier.

The news has the beer industry taking on new strategies to grow and maintain its customer base. Will those strategies work? This hour, we discuss if the decline in beer consumption is a trend, if beer has a marketing problem, and what the future of the alcoholic beverage industry looks like. Our guests:

Cornell is getting ready to host its annual Business, Enology and Viticulture Symposium. We have a conversation about the state of winemaking in a region that is dealing with everything from climate change to tightening resources.

What is the future of winemaking for the region? Our guests weigh in:

  • Anna Katharine Mansfield, associate professor of enology for Cornell AgriTech at the NY State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva
  • Hans Walter-Peterson, team leader and viticulture extension specialist with the Finger Lakes Grape Program of Cornell Cooperative Extension
  • Dave Wiemann, vineyard manager at Sheldrake Point Winery in Ovid, on the eastern shore of Cayuga Lake
  • Kelby Russell, head winemaker for Red Newt Cellars

Keuka Spring Vineyards

The wildfires that are ravaging parts of Northern California are also impacting the large wine industry in that region. News of that devastation is on the mind of a Finger Lakes winemaker.