08/11/17 6:01am

In the 1960s, Southold Town was home to approximately 100 farmers, most of them focused on growing potatoes.

Now the only potato farmer left in Peconic, Gene Wesnofske is celebrating his 50th year in business at Wesnofske Farms.

“I’m happy that we’ve lasted this long,” he said. “This is a tough business. When we moved out here in ’67, there was probably, in Southold Town, there might have been like 100 farmers … now we’re down to a handful from the Mattituck line to Orient … So to survive 50 years is a great accomplishment and to have my family behind me and helping out is even greater.” (more…)

07/20/17 6:00am

Sannino Bella Vita Vineyard 2014 Syrah. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

Compared to other red grapes like merlot, cabernet sauvignon or cabernet franc, you just don’t see a lot of syrah being grown on Long Island. And you don’t find many varietal Syrahs — that is wines made of at least 75 percent Syrah with that word printed on the label.

Maybe I’ll get into the reasons why in an upcoming column, but for now just know that there just aren’t that many. But, they always seem to stand out in my tastings. Maybe it’s just the novelty of them — they have entirely different flavor profiles than those other red grapes — but I almost always like them. Maybe not as much as I like Syrah from the Northern Rhone, but still, I feel like there is unrealized potential for this grape here on the North Fork.

Our “Wine of the Week,” Sannino Bella Vita Vineyard 2014 Syrah, hints at that potential. (more…)

07/06/17 6:02am

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. (more…)

06/20/17 9:17am

This Peconic Lane homes is listed for (Credit: Douglas Elliman Real Estate, courtesy)

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Garden and history lovers, this house is for you.

A portion of this Peconic Lane home was built in the 1700s while the remainder of the 3,000-square-foot structure was built in the 19th century.

Naturally that means it offers features rarely seen anymore, said listing agent Chris Chapin of Douglas Elliman Real Estate.

(more…)