07/15/17 6:00am
vineyard grapes

The vines at Paumanok Vineyards on Thursday, July 13, 2017. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

We’re two-plus months into the 2017 grape-growing season, a time when I always like to check in with local growers and winemakers to find out how the season is going, how it compares to other seasons and how close to “normal” it’s been so far.

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07/12/17 9:46am

Bridge Lane Wines red blend. (Credit: Lenn Thompson)

There are two main theories when it comes to pairing wine with food, mirroring flavors or contrasting them. Having a heavy pasta dish with butter, cream and maybe some pancetta? You could have a rich chardonnay with a healthy dose of oak to reinforce the same flavors. Or you could have a bright, citrusy unoaked white that cuts through the heft and weight of the food.

Personally, I lean toward the contrasting mode of wine pairing. (more…)

07/10/17 6:06am

Several local bottles of sauvignon blanc. (Credit: David Benthal)

“We planted about five acres of sauvignon blanc because we couldn’t get any chardonnay until the next year.”

And that, according to Louisa Hargrave, is how Long Island’s first sauvignon blanc vines found themselves planted in Cutchogue by her and her then-husband, Alex Hargrave. That first year, the vines were eaten to the ground by rabbits, so it took an extra year for the region’s first sauvignon blanc vines to really get going — but as the saying goes, the rest is history for this increasingly important Long Island wine grape.  READ

07/08/17 6:18am

Chimene MacNaughton of Wainscott Main Wine and Spirits inside her shop. (Credit: Craig McNaughton)

Chimene MacNaughton, general manager of Wainscott Main Wine & Spirits in Wainscott, was born in Pasadena and educated in California public schools. She eventually went to UCLA and then jumped right into what she thought would be a career in retail management.

While still in her early 20s, MacNaughton “peeled out of women’s ready-to-wear and luxury accessories” and entered the San Francisco fine-dining scene. She’s been in hospitality ever since.

Despite her admitted West Coast wine bias, she has embraced Long Island wine from the beginning and continues to do so today. She has lived on the East End full time since 2005 and helped open Wainscott Main Wine & Spirits in early 2014. (more…)

07/01/17 5:26am
Sherwood House Vineyards

Alex Rosanelli inside the Sherwood House Vineyards tasting room. (Credit: Monique Sigh-Roy)

Chardonnay, merlot, cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon and petit verdot. That’s what Alex Rosanelli, managing partner of Sherwood House Vineyards and Hound’s Tree Wines, where he also makes the wines, has growing in the vineyard shared by both labels. It’s a fairly standard set of grapes for any North Fork vineyard, although many have some sauvignon blanc, too.

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06/30/17 6:01am
Sauvignon Blanc

Macari Vineyards Lifeforce Sauvignon Blanc. (Credit: Lenn Thomspson)

Summer and Long Island sauvignon blanc go hand in hand. As the hot, humid weather descends upon us, the bright citrusy flavors of local sauvignon slakes our thirst and refreshes us.

But not all Long Island Sauvignon Blanc is created equal. There are myriad styles thanks to experimentation on the part of local winemakers. Some producers pick their grapes a bit earlier to capture the most acidity. Others wait a bit longer to mitigate some of the green flavors that many expect in sauvignon blanc. You’ll find varying degrees of skin contact, lees contact and even barrel fermentation or aging too.

Note: Keep an eye out for the next issue of Long Island Wine Press, where we take and in-depth look at Long Island Sauvignon Blanc.  

Our “Wine of the Week,” Macari Vineyards 2015 Lifeforce Sauvignon Blanc, shows of yet another experimental side of local sauvignon blanc. Winemaker Kelly Koch uses one of the winery’s concrete eggs — they look exactly how you’re picturing them — to ferment a portion of the Lifeforce blend. The remainder is fermented in stainless steel. (more…)