06/28/17 6:01am
Bordo Antico

Anthony Nappa with a bottle of Anthony Nappa Wines Bordo Antico, the first certified organic wine grown and produced on Long Island. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

Editor’s note:  An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified the classification of Anthony Nappa Wines Bordo Antico as Long Island’s first certified organic wine. It is certified “wine made with organic grapes,” according to NOFA-NY. 

Organic local food enthusiasts can now incorporate wine into that lifestyle.

Anthony Nappa Wines released Bordo Antico last month, the first certified wine made with organic grapes grown and produced on Long Island. It’s also the first certified organic vitis vinifera — meaning common wine grape variety — bottle grown and produced in all of New York State.

“It’s a pretty cool barrier to break,” said Nappa, who in addition to his own label owns The Winemaker Studio and is winemaker at Raphael Winery, both in Peconic. “For me, if you tell me something is impossible, I’m like ‘Let’s do this.’”

Although this is the region’s first certified bottle made with organic grapes, one farmer, Rex Farr of Calverton, has been harvesting organic grapes since 2011. Mr. Farr has sold his grapes to local wineries, although none have received certification to produce organic wine. (more…)

06/16/17 6:01am

Raphael 2015 Cabernet Franc. (Credit: Lenn Thompson)

This time of year it’s always great to have an armory of barbecue red red wines at one’s disposal — bottles that are fruity, not too complicated and most definitely affordable. Opinions vary on the “best” wines for food hot off the grill, but drinking what tastes good to you matters more than anything any so-called expert says. Even this one.

Our “Wine of the Week,” Raphael 2015 Cabernet Franc ($23), is a good option if you like local cabernet franc in a silky smooth style.

Winemaker Anthony Nappa has spent much of his career here on the Island dedicated to making wines that remain true to the region’s terroir and letting the vintage’s conditions shine through. (more…)

01/30/17 6:01am
Raphael La Fontana. (Credit: Krysten Massa)

Raphael La Fontana. (Credit: Krysten Massa)

“My goal for this wine is more savory and tannin driven, but still light on its feet. The influence is from my love of Italian wines, in this case particularly Barolo.”

That’s how Raphael winemaker, Anthony Nappa, describes his approach to Raphael 2013 La Fontana, a blend of estate-grown merlot, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, malbec and petit verdot that was aged in French oak barrels for 18 months. You won’t hear many local winemakers talk about Italy as their inspiration, but Nappa often does. It’s refreshing in a region still dominated with Bordeaux references and descriptions of why the wines aren’t like those in California. (more…)

08/17/16 10:30am
Raphael 2013 Rosé of Pinot Noir. (Credit: Lenn Thompson)

Raphael 2015 Rosé of Pinot Noir. (Credit: Lenn Thompson)

In a wine region dominated by merlot, cabernet franc and other varieties found traditionally in Bordeaux, those same grapes also dominate the rosé landscape.

Raphael winemaker Anthony Nappa focuses on a red variety that you don’t see nearly as much on Long Island: pinot noir. Perhaps the best-known wine in his eponymous private label is his Anthony Nappa Wines Anomaly, a white pinot noir that looks like a rosé, even if Nappa doesn’t call it that. (more…)

05/21/16 5:51am

Raphael

Earlier this month, we told you Anthony Nappa is one of four North Fork winemakers highlighted in a June 2016 Wine Enthusiast article about the future of the local industry.

Now, the magazine has awarded a coveted 93 points, or “excellent,” to Raphael Winery’s 2013 Primo Reserve Estate Bottled Red — a wine Nappa produced in his role as winemaker at the Peconic operation. It’s among the highest rankings the publication has ever given a Long Island wine.

(more…)

05/05/16 6:05am
From left: Kelli Urbanik Koch, Anthony Nappa, Regan Meador and Kareem Massoud. (Credit: Northforker file photos)

From left: Kelly Urbanik Koch, Anthony Nappa, Regan Meador and Kareem Massoud. (Credit: Northforker file photos)

Four of Long Island’s most respected young winemakers were highlighted in a recent Wine Enthusiast article about the future of the local industry.

Kelly Urbanik Koch of Macari Vineyards, Anthony Nappa of Raphael and Anthony Nappa Wines, Regan Meador of Southold Farm + Cellar and Kareem Massoud of Paumanok Vineyards are featured in the magazine’s June 2016 issue in an article called “Long Island & The Big Dreamer’s Out East.” (more…)

03/26/16 6:15am
A bottle of Anthony Nappa Wines Bordo. (Credit:  Katharine Schroeder)

A bottle of Anthony Nappa Wines Bordo. (Credit: Katharine Schroeder)

When Anthony Nappa, winemaker at Raphael and owner of Anthony Nappa Wines, released his label’s 2010 Bordo — the traditional Italian name for cabernet franc — it wasn’t the first unoaked cabernet franc in the local market.

There were already one or two others available, but none before had captured the essence of Long Island cabernet franc the way Bordo did and has since. The wine’s transparent purity is a direct reflection of when it’s picked and how Nappa handles it in the cellar.

Made in 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2014, Nappa has crafted Bordo across varied growing seasons and with fruit from different vineyards.

“I try to get the fruit very ripe without being overripe, but with naturally balanced chemistry so I don’t need to make any adjustments in the winery,” he said. “If the acid starts to fall and the pH is out of sorts, I’ll usually pick it. But of course this often has a lot to do with the weather and crop levels.” (more…)