Two glasses of sparkling wine at Sparkling Pointe in Southold. (Credit: Randee Daddona)
Champagne is all about fun. We love those cascading bubbles, that vivacious zing and the laughs that follow. It symbolizes celebration. But for a winemaker, champagne and other “methode champenoise” sparkling wines present winemaking’s greatest challenge. (more…)
Richie Pisacano at Roanoke Vineyards in Riverhead. (Credit: Randee Daddona)
You could argue the region’s best wines — both from a fan perspective and that of a wine critic — are grown by Richie Pisacano.
It’s in part because Pisacano, vineyard manger at Wölffer Estate Vineyard and co-owner of Roanoke Vineyards in Riverhead, has the benefit of 40 years’ experience in an industry that is just four years older than that.
The longtime vineyard manager took a job with Mudd Vineyards in 1977, at age 15, working to install some of the North Fork’s first vineyards. Now 55, he’s probably the youngest person among the first wave of Long Island wine growers still working in the business.
He recalled the energy and enthusiasm in the region after the Hargraves planted the first commercial grapes in Cutchogue in 1973.
“We started grafting grapevines and that’s what drew me in,” he said during an early June interview. “It was magnetic.” (more…)
Lieb Cellars Blanc de Blancs. (Credit: Madison Fender)
When the weather warms up, so do our grills — which means you’ll probably need a chilled glass of rosé to offset the heat.We asked food and wine industry pros which Long Island wines they’ll be reaching for this summer. Here’s what they had to say. (more…)
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…)
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…)
Jacqueline Malenda inside Madiran The Wine Bar. (Credit: David Benthal)
It’s rare that a sixth-grade science fair project predicts one’s career, but that was the case for Jacqueline Malenda, proprietor of Madiran the Wine Bar in East Setauket. While her classmates were growing sugar crystals and measuring electrical currents, Malenda made wine with grapes from the supermarket.
With her parents’ help, she made that single bottle of 8 percent alcohol-by-volume wine using household items like a potato masher, cheesecloth, pitchers and a funnel.
“After making a presentation at the science fair, I came home with the blue ribbon. And the faculty drank my bottle!” (more…)