05/05/17 6:01am
A bottle of Sannino Bella Vita Vineyard Petite Verdot. (Credit: Lenn Thompson)

A bottle of Sannino Bella Vita Vineyard Petite Verdot. (Credit: Lenn Thompson)

Petit verdot is a grape that you’ve probably tasted before, though perhaps without realizing it.

A red grape used in classic Bordeaux blends, it’s grown in many vineyards on the North Fork, though not in large quantities. It’s a late ripener and often among the last grapes picked every harvest. On Long Island, it’s mostly used to add color, tannin and acidity other red wines. It can really help with mid-palate weight and concentration, making wines taste more complete.

And once you recognize its telltale structure and flavors, you can pick it out even in small amounts in a blend. (more…)

05/05/17 6:00am
Aldo's greenport

Aldo Maiorana inside Aldo’s Coffee Company in Greenport. (Credit: Krysten Massa)

Aldo’s Coffee Company has been a Greenport staple for over three decades and now owner Aldo Maiorana is looking to fulfill one of his dreams to open a second location in Greenport.

An application for a proposed retail sales store will be before the Village Planning Board Thursday night. Maiorana, in a telephone interview Wednesday, said the new location would be an extension of Aldo’s and he referred to it for now as “Aldo’s too.’

“I’ve been excited for many years and we’re finally ready,” he said. (more…)

05/03/17 6:01am
A bottle of Bridge Lane Rosé. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

A bottle of Bridge Lane Rosé. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

It’s going to be a rosé kind of day.

The second annual North Fork Rosé Crawl, a self-guided rosé crawl at four North Fork wineries, will be held on Saturday, June 10 in celebration of National Rosé Day. Enjoy tastes of rosé and rosé-themed treats along the tour which will feature stops at Martha Clara Vineyards, Bridge Lane Wine, Lenz Winery and Osprey’s DominionREAD

05/02/17 5:58am

Bottles of Channing Daughters VerVino. (Credit: Randee Daddona)

Bottles of Channing Daughters VerVino. (Credit: Randee Daddona)

For most Americans, vermouth tends to be binary — either red and sweet or white and dry. It’s the stuff on the bottom shelf at the liquor store that’s usually cheap and only useful for martinis and Manhattans. That’s a bit like thinking that all there is to wine is $7 merlot and chardonnay.

It’s just not true  — and if you feel that way, you’re really missing out. (more…)

04/28/17 6:02am
A bottle of Roanoke VIneyards Rosé of Cabernet Franc. (Credit: Lenn Thompson)

A bottle of Roanoke VIneyards Rosé of Cabernet Franc. (Credit: Lenn Thompson)

If you quickly glance at this week’s “Wine of the Week,” Roanoke Vineyards 2016 Rosé of Cabernet Franc, you might think it a white wine — it’s that light in its copper tint.

On that color, Roanoke Vineyards’ Scott Sandell told me in an email, “Visuals are important, but we didn’t shape this wine around them. It’s not dyed or otherwise altered for good looks. We don’t go there with any of the wines, and this one is just lighter in color; not a lot of skin contact: styled for taste over color.”

He’s right. It’s light on color but not on flavor. (more…)

04/26/17 5:58am

It’s been more than 40 years since Alex and Louisa Hargrave planted Long Island’s first commercial grapes and much has changed in the year’s since. (For example, you probably won’t see Paumanok Vineyards founder Charles Massoud wearing bell bottoms.)

But what has remained is a love and commitment to our unique terroir and growing grapes in the sometimes-challenging, always-rewarding maritime climate.

If these phtos leave you feeling a little nostalgic, we highly recommend picking up Louisa Hargrave’s memoir “The Vineyard” (available here) for a more in-depth account of local wine history.

Enjoy looking back on Long Island Wine Country’s past. All photos courtesy of the vineyards. (more…)