By Evan Dawson, Managing Editor

Debwhiting We are devastated to report the loss of Deb Whiting, co-owner and chef of Red Newt Cellars and Red Newt Bistro.

Deb died in a car accident last night while returning home from Vermont with her husband Dave, who was injured in the crash. Dave is listed in stable condition after being taken to a Syracuse hospital.

The Whitings have long been regional ambassadors, reaching into new markets and pushing for higher quality standards. The restaurant, built around Deb Whiting's passion for local agriculture, has won many awards and is the reigning NYCR Finger Lakes Restaurant of the Year.

We will have more to say about the Whitings next week. For now, we can only try, and fail, to convey our sadness over the loss.

This is an industry that takes great pride on a spirit of collaboration, and that spirit has never been needed more.

Our thoughts go out to the Whiting family as well as the entire Red Newt family and Finger Lakes wine community.