Peconic Cellar Door serving Saltbird Cellars, Brooklyn Oenology and As If wines

Alie Shaper and Robin Epperson-McCarthy outside their new tasting room, Peconic Cellar Door, in Peconic. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

Peconic Cellar Door, an airy space with a farmhouse chic aesthetic, is the recently opened joint tasting room for winemakers Alie Shaper and Robin Epperson-McCarthy.

An Australian term for the tasting room of a boutique winery, cellar door is also often cited as being one of the most beautiful phrases in English. It’s an apt description for the inviting, consumer-friendly spot.

At Peconic Cellar Door you’ll find Shaper’s two wine brands, Brooklyn Oenology and As If Wines, as well as Epperson-McCarthy’s Saltbird Cellars. Tastings, glasses and bottles of those wines will be available. Brooklyn Oenology makes about 4,000 cases per year and the other two produce about 500. The wines are made from North Fork grapes, and in the case of BOE, some from the Finger Lakes, at Mattituck’s Premium Wine Group.

“We want this to be an experience, an education and a way to hang out with the winemakers,” said Epperson-McCarthy, who along with Shaper can be found pouring behind the bar this summer.

The new tasting room is located at the Peconic Lane storefront that was most recently home to the café and general store Provisions and Ingredients. Epperson-McCarthy has hosted tastings at the adjacent Winemaker Studio, but has never had a permanent tasting room for her wine. Shaper closed BOE’s Williamsburg tasting room in 2016.

“I was in Brooklyn for a decade and I reached a point where I wanted to switch,” said Shaper, who now lives in Cutchogue.

She launched As If Wines at about the same time, a smaller, higher end producer that is a “celebration of possibility and opportunity,” she said.

Bottles of Saltbird Cellar rosé for sale at Peconic Cellar Door. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

The 600-square-foot space that is now home to Peconic Cellar Door was the right size and location for the pair, who said having a brick and mortar storefront was the natural progression for their brands.

“It’s becoming more important,” Epperson-McCarthy said. “People want to connect with you and they want to know about your wines.”

“They want to shake the hands of the winemaker,” Shaper added.

The two women are longtime friends and colleagues, having worked together at Premium Wine Group more than a decade ago.

The logo, which they designed themselves, features a whimsical cellar door key, which they said historically would contain a cork screw.

Their first weekend, which they dubbed a “mushy-squishy-super-soft opening,” brought scores of customers to the Peconic Lane location.

“This whole weekend has been an ongoing social hour,” Shaper said. “I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time. What a great community oriented industry we have out here.”

Find Peconic Cellar Door at 2885 Peconic Lane, Peconic or visit peconiccellardoor.com.