I was disappointed to hear early this week that, as a result of major spending cuts at Stony Brook University, the Center for Wine, Food, and Culture will become inactive at the end of the current semester. Louisa Thomas Hargrave, the founding mother of Long Island wine, will also obviously no longer serve as the program's director.
The Center started in 2004, with a state grant via State Senator Ken LaValle. And, from the fall of 2007 to now, they have offer 40 separate wine tasting classes, including the first Wine and Spirits Education Trust accredited courses on Long Island). They also hosted three international conferences.
Louisa has encouraged the university to keep the website up in the hopes that, down the road, the program can be re-started.
This is a loss for the Long Island wine world, and it certainly leaves a void that is unlikely to be filled in the near term.
I emailed with Louisa a bit and when I asked her what her plans are, she told me simply "I will continue writing. I'm looking forward to planting my vegetable and enjoying life on the East End."