The winegrape harvest season now in progress across North America serves to shine a spotlight on the “green movement” taking place in so many corners of the wine world—including New York state.
Four Chimneys Organic Winery in Himrod, N.Y., is said to be the first organic winery in North America, having produced its premiere vintage in 1980. It is located on the western shore of Seneca Lake, the deepest and widest of the Finger Lakes, along Yates County’s Hall Road Scenic Corridor.
The Civil War-era Victorian estate was described by National Geographic magazine as “the most picturesque winery in the Finger Lakes.”
Nothing toxic or synthetic goes into the growing of Four Chimneys’ grapes or the making of its wines. Instead of using toxic pesticides, it makes sure the natural balance of predator insects is fully functioning in the vineyards. If not, hundreds of thousands of beneficial insects, such as ladybugs and lacewings, are introduced to keep the number of grape predator insects down.
Instead of highly toxic synthetic fungicides, it uses natural means to combat fungus, including fine-tuned nutrition so that each vine’s natural immune system has everything it needs to protect itself naturally.
Hundreds of wineries across America have followed suit with environmentally friendly practices of their own, but Four Chimneys always will be considered a pioneer in the “greening” of the wine industry.