Mattebella Vineyards is like a shot of espresso along the wine trail. It wakes you up, warms you up, and maybe even boosts your energy.
That feeling could be the because of their wine, or it might be the cozy tasting cottage — it might even be the owner, Mark Tobin, and his larger than life presence.
Tucked off the Main Road in Southold, a dirt driveway leads to the winery’s tasting cottage, which holds just enough space for a sturdy table and bench, wine, and you and a few friends.
People might come for the wine, but they stay for the ambiance. The outdoor patio, complete with blazing fire pits, is meant to keep you cozy even in the cooler months.
“When people come here, everyone interacts with each other and before you know it people are talking with one another and sharing wine,” Mr. Tobin said. “It makes it cozy.”
Mark and his wife Chris, opened the tasting room this summer, but have been making wine for some time. What started as a hobby in his garage, turned into a serious passion for North Fork wines. In April, they received a score of 90 points in Wine Spectator for their 2005 Old World Red.
“We go out of our way to make people feel comfortable,” says John Roselli, Mattebella’s tasting room manager. “We structure the tasting for people to learn with side-by-side tasting and comparisons. We like to talk about wine and learn about wine and we end up learning from each other.”
Mr. Tobin works alongside winemaker Les Howard to produce approachable wines ranging from their Famiglia Chardonnay for $16 to the Old World Blend for $35. Everything is sustainable, low impact, and hand harvested for low yields and high quality.
They even have a wine club and host small, unique events like “Pick and Crush Party,” where guests crush grapes with their feet.
Mr. Tobin, who is a lawyer based in Miami, travels back and forth between states every week to be with his wife and two children, Matthew and Isabella, for which the Vineyard is named.
“The only reason I can do it all is because I have help from my great wife and great consultants,” he said.
Mattebella Vineyards is just a fun place to be. Even the music gets you excited to be there, with everything from Michael Jackson and Frank Sinatra to Jay-Z and the Carpenters.
“It’s small, meaningful, intimate place,” Mr. Tobin said. “It’s a place to hang out, drink wine, learn something and laugh.”