Home Industry News Economics Sustainability Champion for New York Vineyards, Cornell Emeritus Extension Associate to Receive ASEV’s Highest Honor

Sustainability Champion for New York Vineyards, Cornell Emeritus Extension Associate to Receive ASEV’s Highest Honor

A leader and collaborator in grape extension and research at Cornell University, Dr. Timothy Martinson will receive the American Society for Enology and Viticulture’s (ASEV) highest honor, the ASEV Merit Award. Martinson led New York’s sustainability initiatives in wine throughout his career and will be presenting his Merit Award presentation, An Insect Ecologist’s “Random Walk” Through the Viticultural Landscape at the 74th ASEV National Conference, in Napa, California this June.

“To be acknowledged by your peers for your life’s work is humbling and a great honor. I am overjoyed to receive the ASEV Merit Award and to be able to share my work with colleagues and future leaders at the National Conference,” says Martinson. My career has offered me the opportunity to interact with an informed and active grower community and collaborate with so many great colleagues at Cornell and elsewhere. Whatever impacts my program has fostered are the direct result of cooperative efforts with colleagues and growers.”

Martinson, a senior extension associate emeritus at Cornell University and for more than 30 years, has been responsible for providing extension leadership and applied research in viticulture to support the growth and profitability of the New York wine and grape industry. In addition to his New York-focused extension effort, Martinson was involved in two nationwide research and extension projects. He led the 12-state Northern Grapes Project (2011-2016), which focused on newly-released cold-hardy “Minnesota varieties” that spawned a new small winery industry in the upper Midwest and Northeast, and served as outreach/extension leader for the multistate VitisGen2 project from 2018-2022. He is best known for the development of theVineBalance sustainable viticulture program and the production of The New York Guide to Sustainable Viticulture Practices Grower Self-Assessment Workbook (2007), which covers over 100 specific topics to provide growers with a comprehensive review of environmental, economic and social aspects of their production practices and develop an action plan. This work is currently part of the New York Wine & Grape Foundation’s pilot statewide sustainable winegrowing certification program that began in March 2022. The certification is based on a grower’s assessment and a third-party audit using the latest version of theVineBalance workbook.

In addition, Martinson published the weekly Véraison to Harvest newsletter distributed statewide throughout New York (2007-2021) and Appellation Cornell, a quarterly publication highlighting research, extension and teaching programs in viticulture and enology at Cornell from 2010-2021. He has authored or co-authored 48 refereed research publications and numerous extension and trade publication articles (including American Vineyard Magazine). He has received many honors and awards, including but not limited to, New York Wine and Grape Foundation’s Sustainability Award (2022), American Society for Enology and Viticulture – Eastern Section’s Outstanding Achievement Award (2019) and Outstanding Achievements in Extension Award (2015) from Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Martinson’s research focuses on cooperative, on-farm research projects working closely with faculty and growers, including insect and disease management, pruning and training systems, variety evaluation, foliar nutrition and yeast-assimilable nitrogen, cold hardiness and winter injury. He received a Bachelor of Science in plant protection from the University of Idaho, a Master of Science (1988) and a doctorate degree (1991) in Entomology from Cornell University. He retired from Cornell University in January 2022.

The ASEV Merit Award, presented since 1955, is designed to celebrate the accomplishments of an individual in the field of enology or viticulture. The yearly award acknowledges achievement or excellence in any field directly or indirectly related to enology or viticulture, including education, technology, research, management and public relations.

Founded in 1950 by a group of researchers and winemakers, ASEV is dedicated to the interests of enologists, viticulturists and others in the fields of wine and grape research and production throughout the world. The ASEV National Conference is a forum for sharing and disseminating the latest scientific information relevant to winemaking and grapegrowing. For more information about the 74th ASEV National Conference scheduled June 26-29, 2023, visit www.asev.org.

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