01/20/17 6:03am
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 Visitors and Friends,

The long and seemingly never-ending winter season is upon us with all its highs and lows. It’s a wonderful time to be cozy in front of a fireplace (with your favorite Long Island wine at arm’s length). (more…)

10/29/16 6:00am

If you were to compare the 2016 Long Island vintage to a bottle of wine, it might be the kind you’d serve at a dinner party for friends — but perhaps not the special occasion reserve you were saving for your 25th wedding anniversary.

Harvest reports from across the East End are rolling in, and the prognosis is that 2016 is shaping up to be a challenging but manageable year. It will likely be remembered as a perfectly respectable vintage. (more…)

09/27/16 8:40am
Long Island Wine Council president Roman Roth. (Credit: Randee Daddona)

Long Island Wine Council president Roman Roth. (Credit: Randee Daddona)

Dear friends,

The most important, and by far the busiest, time for a vintner is harvest.

It’s the pinnacle of a year’s work and the rewarding moment when one carefully picks the grapes and brings in the harvest. The intensity and excitement are at their highest. Every decision has a major impact on quality. There’s no room for error. Paying close attention to every detail is crucial and, after countless 12- to 16-hour workdays, it takes everything of you to ensure that another great vintage gets safely into the tanks and barrels. (more…)

08/21/16 10:36am
The crowd at Dan's Harvest East End. (Credit: Madison Fender photos)

The crowd at Dan’s Harvest East End. (Credit: Madison Fender photos)

The crowd was dense and the wine flowed freely at the 7th annual Dan’s Harvest East End Saturday night at McCall Vineyards and Ranch in Cutchogue.

Food and wine lovers came together at this annual celebration to sample the best of the North and South forks. More than two dozen wineries were on hand to pour their wines, while over 30 of the region’s best chefs and food purveyors served up samples of their specialities.

The party was once again organized by Dan’s Papers and the Long Island Wine Council and the Food Network’s Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian served as host for the second year in a row. (more…)

05/18/16 1:53pm
(Credit: Lenn Thompson)

(Credit: Lenn Thompson)

I don’t really subscribe to the all-too-common term “rosé season.” I do drink more rosé from May to September than the cooler months, but I drink it year round. Thanksgiving dinner doesn’t happen in my house without rosé.

The reasons are plentiful, but the main thing I look for in any wine is versatility. Rosé, depending on its style, can work with most any food. Not Frosted Flakes, perhaps, but you can find rosé that helps everything from local fluke crudo to duck confit to a burger shine. A bold, slightly tannic rosé can even work with a steak.

This week’s Wine of the Week doesn’t fall into that category. It’s more of a rosé to enjoy on the beach, by the pool or with lighter fare.

Wölffer Estate 2015 “Summer in a Bottle” Rosé ($24), made from 57% merlot, 20% cabernet franc, 12% chardonnay, and 11% gewürztraminer, isn’t as overtly fruity as previous vintages, but is still focused and super refreshing.

(more…)

03/21/16 6:00am
Long Island Wine Council president Roman Roth. (Credit: Randee Daddona)

Long Island Wine Council president Roman Roth. (Credit: Randee Daddona)

Dear Reader,

Once again, as the sun warms the earth, a new growing season is ahead of us with all its promises and hopes. We start to dream of making great wine, winning awards, having tasting rooms filled with satisfied visitors enjoying our wines and the vista of meticulously cared vines.

The East End of Long Island is one of America’s most wonderful places to be. Beautiful sandy beaches, the ocean, the bay and the Sound, each with its own aquaculture. Precious farmland with its agriculture, acres of lush vineyards with its viticulture, all set among quaint towns and hamlets provide a dream getaway from the stress of work and city life. Our farm stands, restaurants, galleries, antique shops, wineries, museums, B&Bs, hotels and a myriad of others all work together to create this wonderful East End experience.

The Long Island Wine Council is embarking on an exciting year. Our goal is to bring together all those who are deeply involved in our beloved East End, to be the glue that ensures that we all work hand in hand to become a year-round, world-class destination for wine and food lovers.

We’ve taken the first step to clearly distinguish the region as a world-class appellation for wine by launching a new point of view, centered around the region’s character and a commitment to quality. We have a diverse group of talented winemakers who can come together to make this happen, to make wines that are truly reflective of the unique character of our region. Our wines are balanced, sophisticated, delicious, food friendly and long lasting. Wines that you can’t get anywhere else in America! I believe that this will serve as the pulse to draw year-round visitors who will stay at our local inns and hotels, eat and drink at our wonderful restaurants with extensive local choices for both food and wine, visit wineries and walk leisurely through our towns visiting shops and cafés. I envision them going home, having fallen in love with our region, and sharing that affection with friends and family.

Please visit and get a feeling for this experience on our new website, liwines.com.

Here’s to an incredible 2016!

Roman Roth

President, Long Island Wine Council

Winemaker and Partner, Wölffer Estate Vineyard

This letter originally appeared in the spring 2016 edition of the Long Island Wine Press

01/21/16 6:05am
Winemaker Roman Roth and chef Brian Cheewing inside Wölffer Kitchen in Sag Harbor. (Credit: Randeed Daddona)

Winemaker Roman Roth and chef Brian Cheewing inside Wölffer Kitchen in Sag Harbor. (Credit: Randeed Daddona)

Painted the color of drawn butter, the textured ceiling at Wölffer Kitchen is evocative of the pleasing swirl chardonnay makes when poured into a glass.

This is no accident, said Roman Roth, who consults on the Sag Harbor restaurant’s wine list and is partner and winemaker at Wölffer Estate Vineyard in nearby Sagaponack. With the addition of its cork walls, this is an establishment where subtle intention reigns.

“All wine has texture and life,” Roth said. “It’s not cookie-cutter stuff.” (more…)