Many people see the wine industry as the future of agriculture and tourism in the Finger Lakes region. Yet wine and grape production extends back to the 1830s. Timothy Martinson of Cornell Cooperative Extension will speak on this history in the lecture “The History of the Wine Industry in the Finger Lakes” at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, March 14, at the Geneva Historical Society.
Over 42 varieties of grapes derived from both European and American grapevines are grown in the Finger Lakes, making the region the most diverse in the world in terms of plant materials. This diversity resulted from three successive waves of variety introductions, coinciding roughly with major fluctuations in the wine business. Martinson will trace the history of the industry through each of these major plant introductions, including new varieties developed in Geneva, which enlarged the diversity of what vintners produce in the Finger Lakes.
Timothy Martinson has been Viticulture Extension Specialist with the Finger Lakes Grape Program at Cornell Cooperative Extension since 1997. He develops educational programs for the 230 grape growers that farm 10,000 acres of grapes in the Finger Lakes from the west side of Cayuga Lake to Canandaigua Lake. He has his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in entomology from Cornell and the New York State Experiment Station, where he worked on projects in onions, apples and grapes.
Funding for this program comes from the Samuel B. Williams Fund for Programs in the Humanities. Parking is available on the street and in the lot of Trinity Episcopal Church on South Main Street. For more information, call the Society at 789-5151.
The Geneva Historical Society Museum is located in the Prouty-Chew House at 543 South Main Street and is open 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, and 1:30 to 4:30 p.m., Saturday. Admission is free.
The Geneva Historical Society receives major funding from the New York State Council on the Arts, the Institute for Museum and Library Services, the New York Council for the Humanities and the Town and City of Geneva.