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Just in time for the dog days of summer, Harbes Family Vineyards is releasing three refreshing new wines in the coming weeks – and we had the chance to preview them. 

Edward Harbes IV, who has worked as the Mattituck vineyard’s manager since 2006, describes his winemaking philosophy is minimalistic, with an emphasis on lean, steel-fermented white wines.

“Growing things is in my blood,” he says. “Pretty much everything is done by hand and I think that contributes to the quality of the grapes.”

We think so, too.


2012 Chardonnay-Riesling Blend:

What’s in it: This crisp, dry white wine blend is made with 60 percent estate-grown chardonnay and 40 percent Seneca Lake riesling sourced from the Finger Lakes region of upstate NY.

What it smells like: honeysuckle and green apple, two of the predominant aromas found in Finger Lakes riesling. The lakes here keep the grapes warm in the winter and cool in the summer, producing sleek, elegant wines.

How it tastes: Smooth on the tongue, with a crisp finish. Drink it with spicy cuisine for a refreshing, balanced flavor.

“The hint of sweetness [in the wine] pairs nicely with the heat of a dish,” Harbes says.


2012 Steel-Fermented Chardonnay:

What’s in it: 100 percent estate-grown chardonnay.

What it smells like: nectar, with floral overtones.

How it tastes: Smooth, with just the right amount of bite. Harbes suggests enjoying this wine with shellfish or other light seafood.


2012 Sparkling Blanc de Blancs:

What’s in it: This sparkling wine, the first ever produced by Harbes Vineyards, is made with 100 percent estate-grown chardonnay that undergoes a second fermentation inside the bottle. This procedure, known as méthode champenoise, is the traditional French process for creating bubbles in Champagne and sparkling wine.

What it smells like: A heady mix of floral and citrus aromas.

How it tastes: perfect as an aperitif or as a celebratory toast, this brut’s acidity is well balanced by its bright fruit flavors.


Harbes Family Vineyard is located on 715 Sound Avenue, in Mattituck. For hours of operation or for more information, call 631-298-WINE (9463).


Photo by Rachel Young. From left: Harbes Family Vineyards’ 2012 Chardonnay-Riesling Blend, 2012 Sparkling Blanc de Blancs, and the 2012 Steel-Fermented Chardonnay.