John and Josephine Ingle received the Top Grower Award that recognizes dedication and contributions to the New York grape industry.
John and Josephine Ingle, owners of Heron Hill Winery, have received this year’s Top Grower Award that recognizes dedication and contributions to the New York grape industry.
The Ingles have been sustainably growing grapes on the western shores of Canandaigua and Keuka lakes in the Finger Lakes since 1972, making them among the region’s pioneer growers.
The award was presented at the annual B.E.V. NY conference at the Rochester Inn and Conference center. The New York Wine and Grape Foundation presents the awards at the center during the Unity Banquet. The banquet was created 30 years ago to recognize and celebrate those who have and continue to contribute to the growth of the industry.
“Various awards are given out to those who are brilliant examples of the characteristics reflected in each award,” according to a release.
John and Jo Ingle currently cultivate a combined 50 acres of vinifera grapes and have the largest acreage of vinifera plantings on Canandaigua Lake. “It was over 48 years ago that I knew this is what I wanted to do with my life - working outdoors, cultivating the land, being my own boss and producing crops that I could be proud of; this would be my life's work,” said John Ingle at the Unity Awards Banquet when he was just announced Grower of the Year.
At Heron Hill and Ingle Vineyard they don’t use chemical fertilizers, herbicides or insecticides. It is much more work to mechanically control weeds in the vineyard and hard labor is involved; but knowing that those chemicals aren’t entering the environment is certainly justification for the extra efforts their vineyard teams put in, they Ingles say.
John and Jo are recognized for their lifelong advocacy of the Finger Lakes region, its grape growers, and wine producers over many decades and plan to continue in that role.
Heron Hill winery is in Hammondsport on the west side of Keuka Lake and Heron Hill hosts satellite locations on Canandaigua and Seneca Lakes.