09/28/17 5:59am

A bottle of Bedell Cellars merlot. (Credit: Randee Daddona)

Narrowing down the nearly two cases of merlot tasted for this story into a Long Island merlot “six-pack” was incredibly difficult. Nearly every wine was worthy of inclusion.

Ultimately, these choices cover a wide range of what is available, mixing some more-affordable options in with some of the region’s best. (more…)

09/28/17 5:57am

Vineyard workers at Lenz Winery harvest merlot grapes in 2016. (Credit: Krysten Massa)

Look out the window the next time you find yourself on the East End. If you see grapevines, there’s a fair chance they are merlot, which makes up nearly 30 percent of the total grape plantings on Long Island. Roughly 700 acres of local vineyards are dedicated to merlot, making it the most-planted red grape variety. Its dominance is on full display in local tasting rooms, too, where you’ll find merlot bottled by itself, as well as in many red blends, rosés — and a few wineries even use it in sparkling wine production.

The importance of merlot to the local wine industry simply cannot be overstated. It is a workhorse for the region while also leading to some of its most lauded and adored wines. (more…)

05/18/15 6:00am
Merliance scrimshaw

2012 Merliance poured during the  dinner at Scrimshaw on Saturday. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

Six different clones of merlot, all expressing different characteristics of this Bordeaux-originating grape, are grown on more than 800 acres on Long Island.

But of all the tons of fruit those acres yield every year, there is only one wine that combines the thumbprints of some of the region’s best winemakers. (more…)

01/23/15 4:35pm
Workers harvest cabernet franc at Macari Vineyards in Mattituck this past fall. (Credit: Carrie Miller)

Workers harvest cabernet franc grapes at Macari Vineyards in Mattituck this past fall. (Credit: Carrie Miller)

In Long Island Wine Country, merlot has always been king.

As the island’s most widely planted and produced grape, the ubiquitous, sturdy varietal has certainly made its mark.  (more…)