Grant will assist with improvement and expansion of historic vineyard
The Brocks stand in front of a section of vineyard that will be replanted this week with help from the grant award. It contained vines with an incurable leaf-roll virus.
May 26, 2015– On May 20, 2015, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that Silver Thread Vineyard has been awarded a grant from the New Farmer Grant Fund. The $20,123 award will be used to expand and improve Silver Thread’s 7-acre vineyard, which was planted in its current form in 1982 and produces grapes for the company’s premium wines. Owners Paul and Shannon Brock purchased the farm winery in 2011 and have made significant improvements to the vineyard since that time. The vineyard site, which is nestled on a hillside next to Seneca Lake in Caywood, dates back to the 1800s.
The New Farmer Grant Fund is a new program through Empire State Development in consultation with the Department of Agriculture and Markets. For the 2014-2015 budget year, $610,000 was allocated to the program. Nineteen farms were granted an award out of 130 applicants. Projects were scored competitively based on specific criteria, including project readiness. Silver Thread is the only award winner from the Finger Lakes region, and the only vineyard to win an award.
“We are very excited to have been chosen for an award through the New Farmer Grant Fund,” said Shannon Brock, co-owner and general manager of Silver Thread. “For the past four years, we have been reinvesting most of our profits to improve our historic vineyard, which we feel is one of the most special spots in the Finger Lakes for making great wine. It’s gratifying to know that the governor supports new farmers like us and recognizes the significant capital investment required to be successful in agriculture.”
Silver Thread will use its grant money to improve the drainage system under the vineyard, replant a section of vineyard that is infected with an incurable leaf-roll virus, add a second catch wire to the vineyard trellis system, and add netting to one section of the vineyard for protection against bird and mammal pests. The vineyard block closest to the lake will also be expanded with more Cabernet Franc vines. Equipment will also be purchased to spread compost and assist with cover crop establishment under the vines.