March 27, 2019 (Hammondsport, NY) – Every year at the end of winter, New York wine and grape industry professionals gather at B.E.V. NY, where the New York Wine and Grape Foundation presents the Unity Awards held in Rochester, NY at the RIT Conference Center. The Unity 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.

John and Josephine Ingle, owners of Heron Hill Winery were awarded the Grower Award, which recognizes an individual for dedication and contributions to the New York grape industry.

John and Jo have been sustainably growing grapes on the Western Shores of Canandaigua and Keuka Lakes in the Finger Lakes since 1972, making them one of the original pioneers of the Finger Lakes wine business. They 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.

John and Jo have been lifelong advocates of the Finger Lakes region, its grape growers, and wine producers for many decades and will continue to be for the future. You can visit the iconic winery in Hammondsport on the west side of Keuka Lake or their satellite locations on Canandaigua and Seneca Lakes. To read on about Heron Hill’s sustainability and growing practices, visit