Updates to Wines of Long Island, 3rd ed., since it was published.
The book was published on August 19, 2019; since then, significant changes have taken place in the wineries of Long Island. This, of course, is no surprise. I knew that my book would be out-of-date the day it was published. But I’m not planning to write yet another edition. I haven’t even sold all the copies that I had printed so am still out of pocket. However, it’s now possible to update a book online, so I urge all the purchasers of my book to read this and even download it for reference when using the book.
First, the really good news: not a single winery in Long Island went out of business due to the Covid outbreak. In fact, the wineries thrived in 2020, partly because people couldn’t travel abroad, so locals and people from the City made their way to Long Island Wine Country.
Indeed, the Long Island Wine Council has changed its name to Long Island Wine Country, and as of May 2021 has 30 members, up from 24 at the time of publication.
Recently, three wineries have changed their names. Most notably, Shinn Estate, which was sold by Barbara Shinn and her husband, David Page in 2017, is now Rose Hill, according to an article in the Northforker by Grant Parpan (April 15, 2021). The owners, Randy and Barbara Frankel, felt that enough time had passed and they wanted a name that resonated for them. Rose Hill is a neighborhood in Manhattan where they first lived, and though the terrain of the vineyard is flat as a pancake, they chose the name Rose Hill for apparently sentimental reasons.
The second winery to change its name is Laurel Lake, which changed hands this winter when it was sold by the Chilean consortium that had owned it. The new owner, Dan Abrams of ABC News, also chose a personal name of great sentimental meaning, taking the names of his two young children, Everett and Emily, and deriving from them the logo EV&EM. For now, Juan Sepúlveda continues as the winemaker. While Rose Hill is now an official and registered name, EV&EM will not be official until this summer. Sentimental names are not unusual, by the way. Consider Channing Daughters, named in honor of the late Walter Channing’s two daughters when that winery was established, or Martha Clara, named for the mother of Robert Entemann, who purchased the property 1978, initially as a horse farm, but eventually it became a 100-acre vineyard, which was recently bought by a Mexican winemaking family, Ribero-González, which renamed it RGNY.
Then, Sal Diliberto, now 75, decided that it was time to sell his eponymous winery and vineyard, given that none of his children was interested in continuing the business, and it was purchased in February 2021 by a young couple from Riverhead, Jacqui and Greg Goodale. They have renamed it Terra Vite Winery & Vineyard. They hired Kelly Koch, formerly of Macari, as their winemaker, which means that they’ll be making very good wine in the future. The tasting room and winery have been renovated and opened again for business on Memorial Day. diliberto-long-island-wine-country
Another name change since publication is that of Chronicle Wine at Peconic Cellar Door. This needs some explanation. Originally, Alie Shaper and Robin Epperson-McCarthy were independent winemakers. A few years ago they decided to offer their labels from a tasting room on Peconic Lane that they called Peconic Cellar Door. That is now Chronicle Wines at Peconic Cellar Door, but their individual labels remain. In the book Alie’s main brand, BOE, has its own entry, though she has other labels of her own, including Shindig, As If, and Haywater Cove. So too does Robin have her own entry under Saltbird Cellars. Today they would be written of as a single entry, which by no means would diminish their individual accomplishments. In fact, it’s a real and very successful partnership.
In December of 2020 Juan E. Micieli-Martinez, the former winemaker of Martha Clara Vineyards, and his sommelier wife Bridget Quinn Micieli-Martinez, proudly unveil Montauk Daisy Wines in collaboration with Theresa Dilworth and her husband Mineo Shimura of Comtesse Therese Vineyard. Collectively, the group shares 80 years of experience within the Long Island Wine industry. Juan and Bridget, after multiple years of making wine and running operations for many noteworthy producers including Pellegrini Vineyards, Shinn Estate Vineyards, Martha Clara Vineyards, Palmer Vineyards, Clovis Point, and Premium Wine Group, decided it was time they produce wine for themselves. So now there is a new winery, formed taking the fruit of the Comtesse Therese vineyard and Juan making the wines at PWG. This deserves a blog post of its own, which should be forthcoming this summer.
Most remarkable may be the resurrection of the Peconic Bay Winery, now Peconic Bay Vineyard, purchased by Stefan Soloviev, with Stacey Lynne (formerly Mrs. Stefan Soloviev) listed as the owner, and Ken Cereola is the General Manager. Happily, winemaker Greg Gove has returned to his old haunt to resume his work and continue producing excellent and distinctive wines. Furthermore, Evan Ducz, who was at Sparkling Pointe, is the tasting room manager, which means that the room will be very well-managed and run. The winery had been closed for eight years and the vines had been tended by other wineries, so they’re in very good shape. There are now 125 acres planted to grapevines. The winery and its tasting room officially opened in May. As the winery had been closed when the book was published, it was not included, but it will have a new blog post dedicated to it pending an interview with Stacey, which we hope we can do this coming November.
In the meantime, a few wineries are currently for sale: Osprey’s Dominion and Bedell are now on the market and Castello di Borghese has sold a parcel of acres along with the family house, but not the tasting room. Meanwhile, they continue producing wine as they always have.
If you haven’t yet bought my book, please do so here, and download this page to insert it in the book when you receive it.
Now that my book, The Wines of Long Island, 3rd edition has been published as of August 2019 (see the Press Release) , it seems appropriate to review all of the other books on the subject that have come out since 2000. These are presented in order of publication:
Vital–thanks to its clear, lucid writing and very useful history and background of the region’s viniculture and winemaking–was the excellent if outdated Wines of Long Island, 2nd edition (2000) by Edward Beltrami & Philip E. Palmedo. It included profiles of many of the most important personalities in the LI wine world (as of 2000), descriptions and reviews of 25 wineries and their wines (12 of which have since gone out of business) and a generally judicious insight into the trends and achievements of the region as of the end of the 20th Century. It has been superseded, of course, by the 3rd edition, mentioned above.
Louisa Thomas Hargrave wrote a gracious memoir, The Vineyard: The Pleasures and Perils of Creating an American Family Winery (2002). One cannot begin to understand what was involved in creating the Long Island wine industry without reading this charming and touching account of the establishment of Long Island’s first winery, Hargrave Vineyard, in 1973, when there were only small farms and potato fields. It is charming in its modesty, touching in its honesty, and a remarkable tale of what it takes to start a vineyard from scratch when you don’t even know what you’re doing! And look at what it started–a whole industry that is one of the dominant features of the East End of Long Island, begun with passion, commitment, and hard work, but ultimately at the cost of heartbreak and renewal. Now out of print, it is still available on Amazon or AbeBooks. Some used copies are available for a penny plus shipping from various book dealers.
An interesting and somewhat chatty book is The Story of North Fork Wine: Historical Profiles and Wine Country Recipes (2009), John Ross’s up-close-and-personal look at the people who work in and run the wineries. A chef who owned Ross’s North Fork Restaurant, he became close to many in the wine trade, especially given that he was interested in devising recipes and menus that would best accompany the wines of the region. The first half of the book is comprised by his personal profiles, which include everyone from owners to winemakers to vineyard managers to tasting room personnel. The second half is devoted to recipes from his restaurant and suggested wine pairings. In the intervening years since the book was published many of the persons featured in the book have moved on, but many of their stories remain relevant even now. Also out of print, but it can be found on Amazon.com.
Long Island Wine Country: Award-Winning Vineyards of the North Fork and the Hamptons, is well-illustrated guide to visiting Long Island vineyards and wineries. Written by Jane Taylor Starwood, editor-in-chief of Long Island Wine Press, she gives us an insider’s track on the owners, the winemakers, and the wineries themselves. In a conversational tone (and amply illustrated), the book leads the reader from East to West on the North Fork, and then down to the Hamptons, as though the route would be followed by visitors travelling by car. It’s a bit frustrating an approach if one wants to do research and would prefer an alphabetical organization, but it’s a quibble given the overall quality and usefulness of the book, which is still reasonably up-to-date as of 2015, given that it was published in 2009. One should bear in mind though, that already important personnel changes have taken place: Richard Olsen Harbich left Raphael in 2010 and went to Bedell Cellars, Anthony Nappa is now Raphael’s vintner, Kelly Urbanik Koch is winemaker at Macari, and Zander Hargrave, who was assistant winemaker at Peconic Bay Vineyards, is now at Pellegrini; Peconic Bay has closed its doors.
Eileen Duffy’s book, Behind the Bottle: The Story of the Rise of Long Island Wine, came out in 2015). This is a book that focuses on the winemakers and their wines. In fact, the conversations that Duffy had with the winemakers as they discussed their wines in considerable depth, give the reader the clearest sense possible of what the winemakers look for and try to achieve with their wines. It makes for fascinating reading. Unlike John Ross, who tried to include anyone whom he knew that was in the business, Duffy’s book includes interviews with just 16 of the region’s winemakers, including Louisa Hargrave. My favorite conversations, due to the great detail with which the winemakers discussed their craft, include one with Roman Roth, who talks about his 2008 Merlot as though he were painting a portrait of a lover.
In exploring vinicultural practices in Long Island, I intend to particularly examine the practice of sustainable farming, which includes organic and Biodynamic® agriculture. My original, first posting on 15 June 2010, Can 100% Organic Grapes be Grown in Long Island?, provoked some interesting and even useful responses. I have since renamed it The Challenge of Growing Certified Organic Grapes in Long Island, given the developments at Shinn Estate and The Farrm that have taken place since that 2010 posting. The series now continues with this posting (now updated to April 2015 to include new developments and information, particularly with the Long Island Sustainable Winegrowing [LISW] program established in 2012).
This Part II post serves as an introduction to the Part III articles devoted to the individual vineyards and wineries of Long Island.
To put things in perspective, one should bear in mind that New York State is the 3rd-largest producer of grapes by volume in the United States, after California and Washington. Admittedly, most NY vineyards grow table grapes, but as of 2014 there were, according to the NY Wine & Grape Foundation (NYWGF), 373 wineries in the State, of which of which one in six are in Long Island. Of all the wine regions of the State, Long Island is the one that is most committed to growing Vitis vinifera varieties, with very little planting of French-American hybrid vines and no Native American grapes at all.
I want to point out some factors that I believe appertain to most of the vineyards that I’ll be writing about—which is to say, all of the ones in Long Island, of which there are sixty-six bonded wineries, all but a handful of which are on the North Fork, as well as seven vineyards that sell their fruit to others. They comprise, by my own calculation, about 2,565 acres of planted vines (the NYGWF calculates 2,041 acres.)
Geology & Soils
Geologically, Long Island is extensively formed by two glacial moraine spines, with a large, sandy outwash plain extending south to the Atlantic Ocean. These moraines consist largely of gravel and loose rock that would become part of the island’s soils during the two most recent extensions of Wisconsin glaciation during the Ice Age some 21,000 years ago (19,000 BCE). The northern, or Harbor Hill, moraine, directly runs along the North Shore of Long Island at points. The more southerly moraine, called the Ronkonkoma moraine, forms the “backbone” of Long Island; it runs primarily through the very center of Long Island. The land to the south of the Ronkonkoma, running to the South Shore, is the outwash plain of the last glacier. When the glaciers melted and receded northward around 11,000 BCE, their moraines and outwash produced the differences between the North Shore and the South Shore soils and beaches.
A General Soil Map (below), devised by the USDA Soil Conservation Service and the Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station in 1972, shows the different kinds of soils that dominate the East End of Suffolk County, the part of Long Island that is home to most of the vineyards there.
The soil associations (or types) for Suffolk County as listed in the General Soil Map (and relevant to viniculture) are as follows:
“Carver-Plymouth-Riverhead association [N. shore of the North Fork, extending across the Fork at Mattituck and then running East along the S. shore of Great Peconic Bay to Southold]: Deep, rolling, excessively drained and well-drained, coarse-textured and moderately coarse-textured soils on moraines
“Haven-Riverhead association [running from Brookhaven along the southern edge of 1 (above). With an interruption at Mattituck, then extending as far as Orient Point; this is the dominant soil of the North Fork]: Deep, nearly level to gently sloping, well-drained, medium-textured and moderately coarse-textured soils on outwash plains
“Plymouth-Carver association [runs across the middle of the West-East axis of the county, encompassing Riverhead just south of 2. It then extends into the Hamptons or South Fork as far as East Hampton but at no point touches the south shore.] rolling and hilly: Deep, excessively-drained, coarse-textured soils on moraines [the Ronkonkoma Moraine].
“Bridgehampton-Haven association [actually runs immediately adjacent to, and south of, 3.]: Deep, nearly level to gently sloping, well-drained to moderately well-drained, medium-textured soils on outwash plains”
“Textures refer to surface layer in major soils of each association.” [A caveat regarding the use of the map says,] “The map is . . . meant for general planning rather than a basis for decisions on the use of specific tracts.”
(There are ten soil types shown on the map, but we list only the four that form part of the terroir of the vineyards of the East End.)
With respect to the soil types in the North Fork and Hamptons AVAs, Louisa Thomas Hargrave wrote an article, “The Dirt Below Our Feet,” in the Spring 2011 issue of Edible East End, in which she made some important observations:
Every discussion of a wine region’s quality begins with the soil. Going back to ancient Roman times, around ad 50, Lucius Columella advised, in his treatise on viticulture, De Re Rustica (“On Agriculture”), “Before you plant a piece of ground with vines, you should examine what sort of flavor it has; for it will give the wine a similar taste. The flavor can be ascertained…if you soak the earth in water and taste the water when the earth has [g]one to the bottom. Sandy soil under which there is sweet moisture is the most suitable for vines…any soil which is split during the summer is useless for vines and trees.”
The “useless” soil that splits is clay, a colloidal suspension of particles similar to Jell-O. Clay retains too much moisture when it rains, making the tender roots of wine grapevines rot; it withholds nutrients from the vine when the weather is dry.
There is little clay on the East End of Long Island, except in specific and easily identified veins. We have remarkably uniform sandy soils here that vary in available topsoil (loamy organic matter), but all contain the same fundamental yet complex mixture of minerals. These soils are ranked by the U.S. Soils Conservation Service as “1-1,” the most auspicious rating for agriculture. Any single handful of Long Island soil will show the reflective glint of mica; the dull gray of granite; the mellow pink, salmon and white of quartz; the red and ochre of sandstone; and black bits of volcanic matter. To describe them simply as “sandy loam” fails to acknowledge the profound effect that having this mixture of minerals must have on the vibrancy and dynamic quality of Long Island’s wines.
It should also be pointed out that Long Island soil, regardless of its composition, tends to have a rather low pH, which is to say too acidic for Vitis vinifera vines to grow well as it weakens the vines’ ability to assimilate nutrients from the soil. The vines need the addition of lime to balance the pH and is something that nearly every vineyard must do to get itself established for vinifera. It can take years—Paumanok Vineyards was adding lime to its vineyards every year for twenty years before it was able to relax the practice. It nevertheless has to be done again every few years when the pH gets too low again, as it appears that the added lime may get leached out of the soil over time.
Overall, Long Island displays a cool maritime climate. The brutal summer heat seen in the Iberian Peninsula, which is at the same latitude, is tempered in the Hamptons AVA by the Labrador Current which moves up the eastern Atlantic Ocean. Summer temperatures are also moderated by Little Peconic Bay to its north. The North Fork enjoys the moderating influences of Long Island Sound. These same bodies of water help to temper the effects of the Canadian air masses that move in during the winter. The influence of these waters helps prevent late spring frosts which can kill young grape buds. The cumulative effect is a lengthening of the growing season to approximately 210-220 days. Wine-grape varieties can thrive here, as they can grow better and ripen further than just about anywhere in the U.S. outside of California. The North Fork is such a narrow band of farmland, situated between the bay and the sound that virtually all of the vineyards or near or on the water. According to the Appellation American Website:
Despite being next door to each other, there are notable differences between the South Fork and the warmer North Fork. The South Fork is more exposed to onshore Atlantic breezes, delaying bud-break by as much as three weeks. Even after bud-break, the area is frequently foggy, keeping early season temperatures and sunshine hours lower than on the North Fork. By the end of the growing season, the seemingly subtle weather differences between the Forks add up to quite different overall climates. The Hamptons are generally very cold to moderately cool, while the North Fork is moderately cool to relatively warm. The damper silt and loam soils of The Hamptons, along with climactic differences, create a unique style, with wines from The Hamptons generally being more restrained and less fruit-forward than wines from the North Fork.
Wineries & Vineyards
By my own count, as of March 2015, there are a total of 76 wine production entities in Long Island, of which:
21 are wineries with vineyards, though they may also buy fruit from others
3 are wineries without vineyards that buy their fruit from growers
11 are wine producers that have neither a winery nor a vineyard, but outsource their production, having their wine made to their specifications from purchased grapes
33 are vineyards without a winery, but use an outside facility to make wine to their specifications from their grapes
1 is a crush facility that makes wine from fruit, provided by others, to the providers’ specifications
7 are vineyards that sell their fruit to wine producers
In all, there are 58 tasting rooms in Long Island
Regardless of the different terroirs of either Fork, the first point that I’d like to make is that, based on my visits, so far–to Wölffer Estate and Channing Daughters in the Hamptons AVA, and to Bedell Cellars, Castello Borghese, Diliberty, Gramercy, Jamesport, Lieb, Lenz, Macari, Martha Clara, McCalls, Mudd Vineyard, The Old Field Vineyards, Osprey’s Dominion, Palmer, Paumanok, Peconic Bay, Raphael, Kontakosta Winery, Sherwood House, and Shinn Estate in the North Fork AVA–the standards of vineyard management are of a very high order. The neatness of the rows of vines, their careful pruning and training (most, if not all, are using Double Cordon trained on two wires with Vertical Shoot Positioning, or VSP, and cane pruning), the use of cover crops between rows, and much else besides, attest to the high standards and sustainable practices to which the vineyard managers aspire.
A handful of vineyards are endeavoring to farm organically and/or Biodynamically, though only a single vineyard, Shinn Estate, is actually working to obtain actual certification for both. Then there is The Farrm, in Calverton, run by fruit and vegetable grower Rex Farr, who obtained full organic certification in 1990 and planted vinifera vines in 2005–thus harvesting the first certified-organic grapes on LI in 2012. It is expected that the first wine to be made from its fruit will be produced in 2013 by a newly-established winery on the North Fork. None of this is to say that a vineyard that does not seek to grow organic or Biodynamic grapes is the lesser for it, though all should seek to farm sustainably. Excellent, even great wines have been and shall continue to be produced whether farmed organically or not. Indeed, as I pointed out at the beginning of my first post, there is no proven correlation of quality of a wine because it is made with organic or Biodynamic grapes. (A case in point is the famous and incredibly expensive wine of the Domaine de la Romanée Conti, in Burgundy. It has been long acknowledged as the source of some of the greatest red and white wines of all of France, and this was the case before it was converted to Biodynamic farming, and continues to be the case today.) Part of what makes it so difficult to quantify the quality of a wine made by either method is that fact that there is vintage variation every year, due primarily to factors of weather and climate. Thus, there is no objective way of being sure that viticultural practice was the dominant reason for the quality of a particular vintage, rather than the weather of a particular season. Nevertheless, those who practice organic/Biodynamic viniculture do aver that it is reflected in the wine and there are consumers who do think that they can detect the difference.
By now virtually all of the vineyards on the two forks are attempting some form of sustainable farming, though the kind of sustainable work can vary considerably across the gamut of over sixty vineyards. Along these lines, an important development took place when a new accreditation authority was created in May 2012: Long Island Sustainable Winegrowing, Inc., with the intent of setting out the guidelines for sustainable viticultural practices for all wineries in the region. Membership is voluntary, but already, as of April 2015, there are sixteen vineyards that have joined, with thirteen already certified and three in transition. Others are giving membership serious consideration. A post devoted to the LI Sustainable Winegrowing authority was published on this blog inApril 2012 (since updated as of 21 June 2013).
Another important factor to keep in mind is the role of clone selection for the vineyards. A very useful article about the significance of clones was posted by Richard Olsen-Harbich of Bedell Cellars on March 19, 2013: Revenge of the Clones. The piece is well worth reading in its entirety, but there are two salient paragraphs that are worth quoting:
Over the past 10 years, grapevine clones have shown themselves to be of increasing importance in our vineyards. Simply put, clones are a genetic variant of a particular variety. The Chardonnay grown on Long Island decades ago is not the same vine we have today. Plantings since that time – especially in the past 10-15 years, have benefited from a wider selection of available plant material. Back in 1990, if you wanted to plant Chardonnay, you had one choice. Today there are more than 70 registered clones of this noble white grape being grown throughout the world and they all have their particular nuances and characteristics. Many of these clones are already in existence in Long Island vineyards – from the tropical and aromatic Musqué to the classic and alluring Dijon clones from Burgundy. Although these are all Chardonnays, each exhibits their own distinctive character.
This fact is also true of grapes like Merlot and Cabernet Franc, where profound differences in wine quality can be seen between clones grown in the same vineyard, on the same soils. Over 50 clones of Merlot have been identified in Bordeaux. Pomerol alone has over 35 clones of Cabernet Franc. Newer French clones, long kept overseas as tightly held trade secrets, are finding their way into the United States. In most cases these new clones are better suited to our maritime climate. Often these clones will ripen earlier than the older selections we used to have. Some are more resistant to disease. The ultimate result is higher quality wines. I’ve seen clones so different from each other that you would think the wines were made from another variety entirely.
In other words, when the first vinifera vines were planted in the 70s and 80s most of the clones came from California. Many of these clones had been developed at the University of California at Davis (UCD) but of course were created with California vineyards in mind. This meant that the clones were less suitable for the very different, maritime climate of Long Island. For example, the Sauvignon Blanc clone 1 (the ‘Wente clone’) was very vigorous and produced large clusters but it was also very susceptible to rot in LI. Only in the 90s were new clones planted to replace clone 1, and all of these came not from California but France (primarily from Bordeaux, in the case of the Sauvignon Blanc.) This process was true for several other varieties. In other words, the new clones are part of what makes Long Island the most ‘European’ of the wine-growing regions of the United States.
As a matter of fact, the Long Island Wine Region, which includes both the North Fork and the Hamptons AVAs, in 2010 became signatory to the Declaration to Protect Wine Place and Origin that was first enacted in 2005 in Napa (it is also known as the Napa Declaration on Place). The original signers included not only the Napa AVA but also Washington and Oregon State AVAs, and Champagne, Jerez/Sherry, and Oporto/Port in the EU, among others. (The point of this, of course, is to control the use of place names and prevent the misuse of the name ‘Champagne’ for example, on any sparkling wine that is not from there. Chablis, Port, and Burgundy were also place names that were widely abused around the world.)
There is no intention whatsoever in my series to judge a vineyard because it does or does not grow or intend to grow organically or Biodynamically. (Indeed, wineries that are technically organic can still choose not to be certified. Among the many reasons for this, for example, are that a winery may not want the added costs and the bureaucracy entailed in registering, or a winery may disagree with the government standards. Whatever the case, such wineries are not allowed to use the term organic on their labels.)
In any event, the point of this series is to understand the reasons for choosing a particular approach to grape production over another. We want to understand why Long Island vineyards do what they do before we go on to explore their methods of vinification, for between what is done in the vineyard and what happens in the winery is what determines the quality of the wine that is produced. The wines from Long Island have long been improving since those first, tentative years going back to 1973 (when the Hargraves planted the first vinifera vines in LI) and in recent years are receiving their due recognition in the form of positive reviews, awards, and high scores for individual bottlings.
Important Terms Defined
AVA or American Viticultural Area: An area defined by a unique geology and climate that is distinctive from other vine-growing areas and hence that produces wines of a distinctive overall character. There are none of the restrictions as to varieties planted, vine density, allowable harvest per acre, or any of the other limitations that exist in European appellations, such as the French Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC). Long Island has three AVAs, all applied for to the TTB (Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau) which administers the program, in the mid-1980s: The Hamptons (South Fork), the North Fork AVA, and the Long Island AVA.
Biodynamic®, or Demeter USA, certification; also, Demeter USA, FAQ, Biodynamic wine (PDF file). Also, see an excellent discussion in a 5-part series beginning with New York Cork Report, Biodynamics, Part I, by Tom Mansell, along with the ensuing debate in the comments that follow each of the postings. There is also a controversial series against Biodynamics by Stuart Smith, a winemaker in California, called Biodynamics is a Hoax, a polemic that is worth reading, along with the comments in response.
Compost Tea: A type of natural compost mixed with water for distribution in liquid form (it may be seen as agricultural homeopathy); see National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service, Compost Tea Notes
Cover crops: Vegetation that is either deliberately planted between vineyard rows (e.g., clover, to replenish nitrogen in the soil) or weeds that are naturally allowed to grow between and into rows (the Biodynamic approach); see UC Davis, Cover Crop Selection and Management for Vineyards
Integrated Pest Management (IPM): A major component of sustainable agriculture, it is labor-intensive but effectively reduces the need for certain kinds of pesticides; pheronome ties are a typical method of disrupting the reproduction cycle of some insect; see EPA, Factsheet on IPM
Macroclimate: The climate of a large area or region, such as that of all of Long Island, or perhaps just the East End of LI.
Mesoclimate: The distinct climate of a smaller area, such as that of a single vineyard or a parcel thereof.
Microclimate: The climate of a very small area; it could be as small as a single vine or a distinctive climate of a tiny part of a vineyard, such as a depression in a row of vines. (NOTE: These terms are often used interchangeably, but most often microclimate may be used to refer to the mesoclimate of a vineyard.)
Organic Certification: USDA, National Organic Program, Organic Certification
Serenade: A biologically-based pesticide; see PAN Pesticide Database, Products–Serenade
Stylet oil: defined in the industry as a Technical Grade White Mineral Oil, it is used as a biodegradable fungicide and insecticide in integrated pest management programs. It also serves as as a substitute for sulfur, reducing or eliminating the need for that application, according to Steve Mudd, a LI vineyard owner and consultant.
Sustainable agriculture: according to Mary V. Gold, on the USDA Website, “Some terms defy definition. ‘Sustainable agriculture’ has become one of them. In such a quickly changing world, can anything be sustainable? What do we want to sustain? How can we implement such a nebulous goal? . . . If nothing else, the term ‘sustainable agriculture’ has provided talking points, a sense of direction, and an urgency, that has sparked much excitement and innovative thinking in the agricultural world.” Follow this interesting, full explanation of the term at USDA, Sustainable Agriculture definition. Another excellent source for information about sustainable agriculture is to be found on the NY State VineBalance Program website, which is dedicated to sustainable practices in NY State vineyards, and as mentioned above, the Long Island Sustainable Winegrowing certification program, with sixteen vineyards already committed to its regulations and guidelines.
Variety vs. Varietal: not to be pedantic (though I can be), Variety is the term applied to a particular kind of vine and its grape; e.g., Cabernet Franc or Riesling; Varietal is the wine made from a variety or a blend of different varieties. The terms are often used interchangeably but shouldn’t be.
Vertical Shoot Positioning: is a training system used with single or double Guyot, cane-pruned training, or with a Cordon, spur-pruned system. VSP is very common in cool and/or humid climate regions with low to moderate vigorous growth, as it encourages better air flow through the vine. This is accomplished by making all the shoots grow vertically, with no vegetative vine growth allowed below the cordon/cane. The increase in air flow helps prevent problems associated with disease and also allows the fruit to dry out more quickly after it rains.
Both cluster thinning and harvesting are generally made easier using VSP, given that there is better access to the fruit. The objective is to train the shoots so as to create a narrow layer that provides good sunlight exposure and air flow in the fruiting zone of the canopy. Each shoot is thus trained to grow vertically by attaching it to movable catch wires. The shoot’s length can easily be controlled by pruning any growth above the top catch wire. The fruiting zone is generally kept at waist height, which makes it more convenient for the vineyard workers, given that the vineyard rows are worked throughout the season.)
For a full explanation of VSP, see Cornell Univ. Agriculture Extension, Training, and Trellising Vinifera Vines.
Viticulture vs. Viniculture: again my pedantic side will out–Viticulture is the general term for the growing of any kind of grape vine, whether intended for the table or for wine; Viniculture refers to the raising of wine grapes in particular.
The vineyards that I intend to write about are listed below in alphabetical order (those wineries that have no vineyard but purchase their grapes from others will not be part of the vinicultural survey– these are shown in gray; the ones that have already had articles posted on this blog are shown in purple; those that have been ‘indirectly interviewed’ are shown inlight purple. If the vineyard has been certified by the Long Island Sustainable Winegrowing Group (LISW), that is indicated:
Ackerly Ponds, North Fork AVA (85 acres) is now part of Sannino’s Bella Vita Vineyards (which see)
Anthony Nappa (no vineyard) posted 6/14
Baiting Hollow Farm Vineyard, North Fork AVA (11 acres)
Bedell Cellars, North Fork AVA (78 acres, LISW sustainable-certified); Rich Olsen-Harbich interviewed on May 12, 2011; posted June 2, 2011
Bouké Wines (no vineyard)
Castello di Borghese Vineyard & Winery [formerly Hargrave Vineyard], North Fork AVA (85 acres); Giovanni & Allegra Borghese interviewed on Nov. 18, 2014 and Mar. 27, 2015, to be posted
Channing Daughters Winery, Hamptons AVA (25 acres, LISW sustainable-certified); Larry Perrine interviewed on April 30 & May 21, 2012; posted January 22, 2013
Clovis Point, North Fork AVA (20 acres); see Bill Ackerman interview
Coffee Pot Cellars (no vineyard)
Corey Creek Vineyards, North Fork AVA (30 acres, LISW sustainable-certified), owned by Bedell Cellars; posted June 2, 2011
Corwith Vineyards, Hamptons AVA (3 acres; LISW sustainable-certified); Dave Corwith interviewed May 20, 2014 and Nov. 16, 2015; posted Oct. 15, 2014, updated Nov. 19, 2015.
Croteaux Vineyards, North Fork AVA (10.5 acres); see Steve Mudd interview
Deseo de Michael, North Fork AVA (.3 acres)
Diliberto Winery, North Fork AVA (4 acres); Sal Diliberto interviewed Mar. 28, 2015, to be posted
Duck Walk Vineyards, Hamptons AVA, and Duck Walk Vineyards North, North Fork AVA (130 acres; LISW candidate); Ed Lovaas, winemaker, on Nov. 16, 2015. to be posted.
Gramercy Vineyards, North Fork AVA (3.5 acres); Carol Sullivan, owner, interviewed October 2, 2012; posted; as of June 2015 the vineyard is leased out; no longer making wine
The Grapes of Roth (no vineyard)
Harbes Family Farm & Vineyard, North Fork AVA (5 acres, LISW sustainable-certified)
Harmony Vineyards, LI AVA (7 acres); see Steve Mudd interview
Influence Wines (no vineyard); Erik Bilka interviewed 6/15; to be posted
Jamesport Vineyards, North Fork AVA (60 acres); Ron Goerler, Jr. interviewed on April 14, 2014; posted Sept. 9, 2014.
Jason’s Vineyard, North Fork AVA (20 acres)
Kings Mile, North Fork AVA (leased vineyard); Rob Hansult interviewed on Sept. 26, 2013; posted same day
Kontokosta Winery (23 acres, LISW sustainable-in transition); Michael K. interviewed Nov. 18, 2014, Gilles Martin interviewed Mar. 28, 2015; to be posted
Laurel Lake Vineyards, North Fork AVA (21 acres); Juan Sepúlveda interviewed Sep. 26, 2015
Lenz Winery, North Fork AVA (65 acres); Sam McCullough interviewed April 20 & 27, 2011; posted May 16, 2011; Eric Fry interviewed Mar. 27, 2015, to be added to original Lenz post
Leo Family Wines; John Leo interviewed for PWG on October 3, 2012; posted February 11, 2013
Lieb Family Cellars, North Fork AVA (50 acres, LISW sustainable-in transition); Logan Kingston, Sarah Kane, & Jildo Vázquez interviewed June 6, 2013; posted October 4, 2013
Loughlin Vineyards, Long Island AVA (6 acres)
Macari Vineyards & Winery, North Fork AVA (200 acres); Joe Macari, Jr. interviewed July 9, 2009 & June 17 2010; posted June 30, 2010
Martha Clara Vineyards, North Fork AVA (101 acres, LISW sustainable-certified); Jim Thompson & Juan Micieli-Diaz interviewed Feb. 3 & March 27, 2012; posted May 3, 2012
Mattebella Vineyards, North Fork AVA (22 acres, LISW sustainable-in transition)
McCall Vineyards, North Fork AVA (22 acres); see Steve Mudd interview
Mudd Vineyards, North Fork AVA (50 acres, LISW sustainable-certified); Steve Mudd interviewed; posted September 18, 2012
The Old Field Vineyards, North Fork AVA (12 acres); Ros & Christian Baiz & Perry Weiss interviewed on May 12, 2011; posted on June 7, 2011
Onabay Vineyard, North Fork AVA (180 acres total, not all with vines): see Bill Ackerman interview
One Woman Vineyards, North Fork AVA (12 acres, LISW sustainable-certified)
Osprey’s Dominion Vineyards, North Fork AVA (90 acres); Adam Suprenant interviewed April 23 & May 8, 2012; posted February 3, 2013
Palmer Vineyards, North Fork AVA (100 acres, LISW sustainable-certified); Miguel Martín interviewed October 12 & 22, 2010; posted November 13, 2010
Paumanok Vineyards, North Fork AVA (72 acres planted, LISW sustanble-certified); Kareem Massoud interviewed May 3, 2011; posted May 23, 2011
Peconic Bay Winery, North Fork AVA (58 acres); Jim Silver & Charles Hargrave interviewed; posted May 9, 2011; winery is now closed but see interviews with Steve Mudd & Bill Ackerman, since Peconic Bay’s vineyards have been turned over to Lieb Cellars as of January 2013
Pellegrini Vineyards, North Fork AVA (72 acres); see Steve Mudd interview
Pindar Vineyards, North Fork AVA (500 acres; LISW candidate); Pindar Damianos interviewed Sept. 26, Ed Lovaas on Nov. 16, 2015. to be posted.
Pugliese Vineyards, North Fork AVA (45 acres); Pat Pugliese interviewed Jan. 19, 2015
Raphael, North Fork AVA (55 acres, LISW sustainable-certified); Leslie Howard & Steve Mudd interviewed May 21 & June 13; posted September 17, 2012; Anthony Nappa interviewed
Roanoke Vineyards, North Fork AVA (10 acres, LISW sustainable-certified); interviewed Richard Pisacano, owner; posted July 10, 2013
Sannino’s Bella Vita Vineyard (5.25 acres, LISW sustainable-certified); interviewed Jan. 30, 2015; to be posted
Sherwood House Vineyards, North Fork AVA (36 acres); interviewed Bill Ackerman on September 26, 2012; posted
Shinn Estate Vineyard, North Fork AVA (20 acres, LISW sustainable-certified); Barbara Shinn & David Paige interviewed June 18, 2010; posted July 12, 2010
Southold Farm+Cellar, North Fork AVA (9 acres; as of Sept. 2014 just entering production); Regan Meador interviewed Jan. 30 & Nov. 16, 2015; to be posted
Suhru Wines (no vineyard); Russell Hearn, owner, interviewed for PWG on October 3, 2012
Surrey Lane Vineyards, North Fork AVA (25 acres, LISW sustainable-in transition); see Steve Mudd interview
T’Jara Vineyard, North Fork AVA (14 acres); Russell Hearn , owner, interviewed for PWG
Vineyard 48, North Fork AVA (28 acres planted)
Waters Crest Winery (no vineyard); interviewed Nov. 17, 2014, to be posted
Whisper Vineyards, Long Island AVA (17 acres); interviewed Steve Gallagher on Mar. 27, 2015, to be posted.
Wölffer Estate, Hamptons AVA (174 acres, LISW sustainable-certified); interviewed Roman Roth & Rich Pisacano on April 30, 2012 & June 20, 2013, updated and posted on July 10, 2013
Three very useful links that serve as portals to most of these vineyards are 1) Long Island Wine Country which lists only those wineries and vineyards that are members of the LI Wine Council; 2) Uncork New York! (aka the New York Wine and Grape Foundation) which provides links to all wineries and wine vineyards in New York State. Also indispensable for New York State wines is the New York Cork Report by Lenn Thompson, with its many interviews, coverage of wine tastings, reviews, and more.
A framable 24 by 36-inch map of the wineries and vineyards of the East End of Long Island, by Steve De Long, can be purchased on Amazon: