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Endowment Funding Spurs Innovation in Grape and Wine Research and Education at Cornell

By Amanda Garris

Just as wineries can vary in production capacity, viticulture and enology research questions come in a range of sizes. Traditional  funding sources favor long-term, multi-university projects, and Cornell faculty have been successful in obtaining millions of federal grant dollars. However, funding from private donors and industry groups is fueling short-term projects that are focused, pro-active, and innovative.

“The endowments are extremely valuable as a way to allow researchers to test out an idea or mobilize quickly in response to an industry need,” said Tom Burr, director of Cornell’s New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva. “We are very fortunate to have a growing portfolio of endowments provided by loyal donors interested in supporting research and extension in viticulture and enology.”

One example is a project headed by Justine Vanden Heuvel, assistant professor of horticulture, to determine the best viticultural practices for one of Cornell’s newest grape varieties, Noiret.

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