Local viticulturist Steve Mudd took out a napkin over dinner and drew a picture of the North and South forks, pointing out to Tom and Cynthia Rosicki that little room was left for new vineyards in Long Island’s wine region.
“He said, ‘If you’re going to do anything, you have to do it now,’” Mr. Rosicki recalled.
Mr. and Ms. Rosicki had grown up in East Marion and Southold, respectively. They knew the North Fork, and they knew wineries. They wanted a vineyard of their own, but needed a bit of a push.
With Mr. Mudd’s guidance, they purchased a 29-acre parcel in Southold and were scanning the land and discussing what to plant when Mr. Mudd asked them what they like to drink.
After thinking back to their first date — at a French bistro in SoHo, where they shared their first bottle of sparkling wine — “we both said ‘champagne,’ at the same time,” Mr Rosicki said.
Nine years later, Sparkling Pointe Winery in Southold is Long Island’s only vineyard that exclusively produces sparkling wine.
The winery, which sits on Sound Avenue in Southold, was designed in a French chateau-style by Cutchogue architect Nancy Steelman. Large crystal chandeliers hang from a marble-floored tasting room, filled with plush white furniture and decorated with Brazilian art. Glass balls reminiscent of tiny bubbles dangle from the ceiling in the adjacent “bubble room.”
“We wanted it to be elegant but also warm and comfortable,” Ms. Rosicki said.
The “bubble room” overlooks a state of the art winemaking facility, where winemaker Gilles Martin, who has a masters degree in oenology, makes all sparkling wines on site.
Visitors to the vineyard would be hard-pressed not to notice Brazilian influence throughout the winery.
The Brazilian paintings featured around the winery can also be found on almost all of the vineyard’s bottle labels, Brazilian music plays continuously on the outdoor veranda and gift items from Brazil, like sarongs, can be purchased in the winery’s retail store.
Mr. and Ms. Rosicki, lawyers who live in Muttontown and own a vacation home in Southold, often visit Brazil and participate in the country’s largest festival, Carnaval.
“We love the energy of Brazil,” Mr. Rosicki said.
Many Brazilian tourists visit their winery and are “overwhelmed by emotion,” he said. “They can’t believe two Americans who aren’t from Brazil love their country so much.”
One of their first releases, a 2004 rosé, is called Topaz Imperial after a Brazilian gem. They named one recent release after their favorite festival: Cuvee Carnaval is a pale gold blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.
Ms. Rosicki loves the smell of her wines so much she recently had a company create fragrances inspired by their aromas.
“The wines smell so beautiful and a lot of the same principles apply to perfume and wine, like blending,” she said.
Sparkling Pointe teamed up with Drom Fragrances, an international producer, to create two perfumes named after the vineyard’s signature wines. One perfume, Seduction, is inspired by the Sparkling Pointe’s Brut Seduction bottle, and the other, Topaz Imperiale, is inspired by a champagne of the same name. The 2008 Brut Seduction was recognized at the prestigious San Francisco Chronicle wine competition in 2009, when it was awarded Best of Class and a Sparkling Sweepstakes.
The Rosickis, who like to give tours to visitors themselves, say their champagnes have put the North Fork on the map of sparkling wine destinations.
“We’re lucky,” Mr. Rosicki said, sitting on an outside bench near his grapevines . “This is a special place for Cynthia and I.”