Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor | Richard A. Ball, Commissioner
Jessica A. Chittenden

April 04, 2007

Commissioner Announces Funds to Improve Winery Websites

$1,000 Grants Will Further Enhance Internet Marketing, Promote New York Wines

New York State Agriculture Commissioner Patrick Hooker today announced that a second round of grants are now available for wineries and vineyards to create or improve their websites. The Winery Website Improvement Grant Program helps promote New York wines, attract more tourists to New York’s wine regions, and expand the sales of New York wines to customers throughout the country.

"With the passage of New York State’s interstate wine shipment law two years ago and the increasing recognition of New York wines at national and international competitions, the opportunity for our wineries to reach new customers has never been better," the Commissioner said. "Improving their website capabilities is an important marketing initiative that will allow our wineries to take advantage of new sales opportunities. This grant program is just on example of how we are committed to promoting efforts that support and benefit this valuable sector of New York’s agricultural industry."

Through the Winery Website Improvement Grant Program, licensed wineries and vineyards in New York State may apply for matching grants of up to $1,000 to help them develop or improve their websites. Examples of eligible projects include those that add age verification software, foreign language translation, direct shipment capabilities, shopping cart functions, credit card purchase capabilities, adding or improving photographs or maps, and increasing accessibility for persons with disabilities.

A copy of the grant application can be found on the Department’s webiste at All applications must be submitted to the State Department of Agriculture and Markets by May 30, 2007.

The first round of the Winery Website Improvement Grant Program provided $266,000 to 114 wineries to help promote New York wines.

Jim Trezise, President of New York Wine and Grape Foundation stated, "Web sites have become increasingly important to the New York wine industry, and this latest initiative is another welcome show of support from the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets. Having an attractive, informative, and user-friendly web site is a reflection of the winery itself, and a vital marketing tool for attracting visitors to the winery and stimulating direct sales to consumers.  These grants will help keep New York wineries at the forefront of the industry nationwide, and we are very grateful for the Department’s vision and support."

New York State’s wine, grapes and grape juice industries have a $3.4 billion economic impact and support more than 4 million tourists annually. New York is the nation’s third largest grape and wine producer. There are five major wine producing regions in the State: the Finger Lakes, Long Island, the Hudson River, Lake Erie and the Niagara Escarpment.

There are more than 233 wineries in the State, including 148 established in the last 20 years, and 63 established in the past five years alone. Wine production has increased more than 50 percent in the last 20 years to nearly 200 million bottles annually with winery sales of $420 million a year.

2007 Press Releases