In the very early 1980's, a group of home winemakers, who were also members of the American Wine Society, got together and started a home wine competition. After judging one competition, they knew the need for a seminar on home winemaking was in order. This is when the New York State Home Wine Seminar was created. Initially, members of the committee spoke on various aspects of home winemaking. The seminar is now held on an annual basis, with renowned professional commercial winemakers, wine authors, and other highly qualified professionals speaking on important aspects of winemaking, from grape-growing to wine enjoyment.
The ability of getting top rated speakers has always been, and will always be, a hallmark of the seminar. Many meetings occur and hundreds of hours of preparation happen each year to make the seminar the best possible home winemaking event in New York. We have been honored to have many winemakers from the Finger Lakes, Niagara Wine Trail and Niagara-on-the-Lake present. Many technical speakers have come from Cornell University and the Geneva Experimental Station, Scott Labs and Lallemand, to name a few.
Most of the original members have retired from the committee, but new members have taken their place on the Board to continue the tradition. The committee is now associated with a local home winemaking club, the Rochester Area Home Winemakers.