Humans arrive in New York after the last Ice Age

10,000 BC

Humans arrive in New York after the last Ice Age

There have been people in the Great Lakes region and New York state for almost 12,000 years, who settled here after a mile-high sheet of ice retreated northwards.


The Algonquin and Iroquois Nations take shape

Though people have been in what is today New York state for millennia, the tribes of the two main Indigenous Peoples, the Algonquin and the Iroquois, took shape over 1000 years ago.

The Algonquin Nation includes the Delaware in today’s NYC, The Montauk on Long Island, and The Mohicans in the Hudson River Valley; The Iroquois Six Nations of Tuscarora, Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida, and Mohawk along Lake Erie, the Finger Lakes, and Lake Champlain. They have been, and continue to be, the traditional custodians of the land.


Dutch settlers fail at viticulture

The first Dutch settlers in Manhattan planted vines from Europe. However, the vines succumbed to disease and the harsh winters and died.

The French settlers fail at viticulture


The French settlers fail at viticulture

French Huguenots, escaping the persecution from Louis the 14th, settled in the Hudson Valley, bringing French grape vines with them. Again, all of the European vines (Vitis vinifera) succumbed to disease or the climate, so the settlers cultivated the native grapes instead.

First commercial winery in Hudson Valley planted at Croton Point


First commercial winery in Hudson Valley planted at Croton Point

Richard Underhill established the first commercial winery and vineyard in Hudson Valley during the early 1800s, planting native grape varieties of Catawba and Isabella.


First vineyard planted in the Finger Lakes

The town of Hammondsport on Lake Keuka saw the first vineyards planted in the Finger Lakes region.


First vintage of Brotherhood Winery

Brotherhood Winery is the longest continuously running winery in America and today still produces wines. Originally called Washingtonville Winery, its name changed to Brotherhood in the 1870s.


First vineyards in Niagara Escarpment established


Prohibition begins, the wine industry almost ends

Of the 2500 wineries in the USA in 1919, only 100 made it through the 4 years of Prohibition.

The Rise of Hybrids


The Rise of Hybrids

Veuve Clicquot winemaker, Charles Fournier, introduces Hybrids (a crossing of a French and American vine species) to New York. This is a big deal because it brings a mixture of good qualities from Vitis vinifera (flavor, concentration) with the winter and disease hardiness of the native grapes.


Plantings of Vitis vinifera

Dr. Konstantin Frank lays the groundwork for experimental plantings of French varieties, such as Riesling, in the Finger Lakes district.

V. vinifera revolution

1960s - 1970s

V. vinifera revolution

Dr. Konstantin Frank Vineyards, Hermann J. Weimer, and others, started producing quality wines, particularly Riesling, which drew international attention.


First Vineyards on Long Island

The Hargrave family planted Vitis vinifera vines on Long Island, establishing the first winery there.


AVAs established in New York

The AVAs of the Hudson River Region, Finger Lakes, Lake Erie, The Hamptons, North Fork, Seneca Lake, and Cayuga Lake are all established.


The AVAs of Long Island and Niagara Escarpment are established


Long Island Sustainable Winegrowing

New York became a trendsetter for sustainable winemaking in the U.S. by establishing the first sustainability program on the east coast.

New York Wines Feature Presidential Inauguration


New York Wines Feature Presidential Inauguration

Merlot from Long Island and Dry Riesling from the Finger Lakes are served at Barack Obama’s inauguration.


The AVAs of Champlain Valley of New York and the Upper Hudson are established


New York Wine & Grape Foundation

♦ University of California Press (1989) - A History of Wine in America

♦ Wikipedia - History of New York State

♦ Wikipedia - Iroquois Names

♦ Wikipedia - Algonquian Peoples

♦ Wikipedia - Settlement of the Americas

♦ Wikipedia - Huguenots