Ontario County has received the contract for $3,256,000 in state funds for construction of the Finger Lakes Viticulture Center in Geneva. State Sen. Mike Nozzolio, R-Fayette and Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb, R-Canandaigua announced the funding yesterday.
The Viticulture Center will include a world-class winemaking lab, a grape crushing pad, rooms for storing and aging wine, classroom space and a teaching vineyard. The Finger Lakes Community College’s Viticulture and Wine Technology curriculum prepares students to transfer directly into Cornell University’s four-year viticulture program.
The center will be built in the Cornell Ag-Tech Park on Pre-Emption Road.
The construction of the Finger Lakes 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 Finger Lakes Community College’s groundbreaking Viticulture and Wine Technology Program - the only program of its kind in the Northeast.
The FLCC viticulture and wine technology degree was approved by the state in 2009. The first graduates received their degrees at the 2011 commencement. The program currently rents classroom and laboratory space at the Cornell Agricultural and Food Technology Park.
“After many years of planning and hard work, the construction of the Finger Lakes Viticulture Center will become a reality," said Senator Mike Nozzolio. “This important project will promote our region’s wine and grape industry, support our economy and create hundreds of well paying jobs for our local residents".
“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 Assemblyman Kolb, Finger Lakes Community College, Cornell University and Ontario County to make this important job-creating project a reality," said Senator Nozzolio.
“The Finger Lakes Viticulture Center in Geneva will serve as an important resource for local educators and Finger Lakes Community College students as well as act as a catalyst for future expansion of our world-class wine industry here in the Finger Lakes,” said Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb. “Our area has long been a tourist destination for wine lovers, attracting visitors from across New York and around the world. As an educator, strong supporter and alumnus of FLCC, I am proud to have played a part in giving our local wineries and future entrepreneurs this powerful tool for job creation in both the agriculture and tourism industries.”
“The construction of the Finger Lakes Viticulture Center is great news for the residents of our region and I look forward to working with Senator Nozzolio and Assemblyman Kolb as we bring new jobs and educational opportunities to the Finger Lakes,” said Jack Marren, Chairman of the Ontario County Board of Supervisors.
Ted Fafinski, Farmington Town Supervisor and former Chairman of the Ontario County Board of Supervisors, said, "The Finger Lakes Viticulture Center will train the next generation of wine makers, researchers and grape industry leaders, helping to ensure the continued growth of job-producing businesses right here in the Finger Lakes. We are extremely grateful to Senator Nozzolio and Assemblyman Kolb for their vision in making the Viticulture Center a reality.”