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(Credit: Vera Chinese)
Madison Fender, Dana Kowalsick, Alissa Goodale and Ami Opisso of Lieb Cellars. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

Winemakes, tasting room staffers and vino lovers joined together for the first Long Island Merlot Alliance Industry Night at Pace’s Dockside Restaurant in Mattituck Monday evening.

Members of the wine trade sipped and mingled and the organization introduced its new executive director, Deborah Brenner.

The Long Island Merlot Alliance, whose mission is to raise the profile of Long Island merlots, is funded through the sale of Merliance wine, a cooperative red blend.

“I try to ring that bell … to let the world know you can make world class red wines, you can make world class merlot. That’s what our group sets out to do,” LIMA president and Wolffer Estate Vineyards winemaker Roman Roth told the crowd.

The winemakers blend their wines together at the Premium Wine Group’s winemaking facility in Mattituck. The final barrel is barrel-aged for one year before it is bottled and released. The recently released 2011 vintage will be the ninth year the wine has been offered.

Wine lovers can pick up a bottle at one of the seven participating wineries: Sherwood House VineyardsRaphaelWolffer Estate VineyardClovis PointMcCall WinesT’Jara Vineyards or Lieb Cellars.

See our photos from the event below.