04/24/17 6:03am
The tasting room at Kontokosta Winery . (Credit: Randee Daddona)

The tasting room at Kontokosta Winery. (Credit: Randee Daddona)

Choosing the exact coordinates for Kontokosta Winery’s tasting room was no arbitrary decision.

To find them, brothers and business owners Michael and Constantine Kontokosta set out on the Greenport property one day with a yardstick, some duct tape and a ladder in search of the perfect sightline to the bluff at the edge of their 62-acre property.

“We’d put the ladder down. Step up a few rungs and say, ‘Nope. It’s got to come over a few feet,’ ” said Michael Kontokosta, who also has the added surveying advantage of being 6-foot-4.

It took about an hour and quite a bit of bickering, but the brothers finally pinpointed what would be the center of the stately yet modern structure.

“We said, OK, everything starts from this point,” he said.

When asked if he thinks he made the correct decision, he doesn’t even pause: “I know we got it right.” (more…)

04/21/17 5:59am
Long Island Wine Council president and Wolffer Estate Vineyard winemaker Roman Roth. (Credit: Randee Daddona)

Long Island Wine Council president and Wolffer Estate Vineyard winemaker Roman Roth. (Credit: Randee Daddona)

Dear Friends of the Long Island wine region,

Spring is one of the best times of year on the East End. You’re finally free from the shackles of layers of clothing and are able to enjoy the sun’s warm rays. I’m sure plants feel the same way. The gardens, trees, farm fields and vineyards come alive again. Their tender leaves soak up the sun, displaying a beautiful, fresh light-green color that symbolizes new beginnings, youth, hope, immortality and fertility. (more…)

04/19/17 10:08am
Long Island Wine Press

Matt Michel of 1943 Pizza Bar. (Credit: Randee Daddona)

Great pizza is the holy grail for countless Americans, so it’s not surprising that the wood-fired pies from Rolling in Dough, Southold restaurateur Matthew Michel’s aptly named food truck, quickly amassed an East End following when the business was featured in a 2009 Vogue magazine spread.

“The issue came out in August and I started getting a bunch of Hamptons parties,” said Michel, who is 33 and grew up in West Haven, Conn. “Since then, it’s really taken off.”

In less than a decade, Rolling in Dough, which operates from a retrofitted 1943 K-6 International Harvester truck, has developed a loyal base of East End customers who tend to book parties a year in advance. Demand is so high, in fact, that Michel recently purchased a second truck, which he hopes will be operational by early June. (more…)

04/18/17 6:00am
A bottle of 'Share the Love' White Blend. (Credit: Madison Fender)

A bottle of ‘Share the Love’ White Blend. (Credit: Madison Fender)

It’s spring on the North Fork. The air is fresh and the great outdoors is calling.

We asked Long Island food and wine pros what they will be drinking this season. This is what they said.

The catch? Winemakers cannot pick their own brands.

(more…)

01/31/17 6:03am
Inside the tasting room at Wölffer Estate Vineyard. (Credit: David Benthal)

Inside the tasting room at Wölffer Estate Vineyard. (Credit: David Benthal)

Suellen Tunney’s instincts about her destiny were confirmed by a glass of rosé.

In 2007, the New Jersey native, then working as a restaurant manager, took a trip to Napa Valley that prompted an aha! moment.

During a stop on a wine tour, Tunney, now tasting room director at Wölffer Estate Vineyard in Sagaponack, asked someone in the industry, “How in the world did you get this amazing job?” (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…)