Alexandra and Joe Macari were cruising into the Midtown Tunnel on Wednesday when they dropped a call from the staff back home at Macari Vineyards & Winery.
Thinking winery matters could wait, Alexandra took a while to call back.
When she finally picked up the phone, she realized they were calling with big news: the family-owned vineyard had won “Winery of the Year” in the annual New York Wine & Food Classic in upstate Watkins Glen.
“It’s been 17 years since we opened these doors,” said Alexandra Macari, whose father-in-law, also named Joe, founded the vineyard. “I got very emotional because it’s well deserved for this amazing team.”
The 2014 competition included 835 wines, 20 hard ciders and eight spirits from across New York. The awards were decided by 22 expert judges through a blind taste.
It is the second time in two years that a Long Island vineyard took home the honor. McCall Wines in Cutchogue was best in state at last year’s competition.
Chateau Lafayette Reneau of the Finger Lakes region took home The Governor’s Cup, the competition’s top prize, for their 2013 Semi-Dry Riesling.
“New York is home to some of the world’s finest wines, beers, spirits and ciders, an industry that supports thousands of jobs in all corners of this state and is an important partner to our agricultural and tourism sectors,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a press release.
Macari’s 2010 Cabernet Franc was also named “best red” in the competition.
Macari winemaker Kelly Urbanik Koch said she wasn’t surprised that that particular vintage was recognized, as 2010 was a warm year and produced great wines.
“For us, cab franc is the red we most believe in,” she said. “I’m happy it won. We’re seeing more and more that it’s the best red out here.”
Sparkling Pointe in Southold also took home the award for best sparkling wine and best vinifera sparkling wine for their 2005 Brut Seduction.
Coffee Pot Cellars in Cutchogue had the best oak fermented chardonnay in the state for their 2013 chardonnay. Martha Clara Vineyards in Riverhead took home honors for the best unoaked chardonnay and best overall chardonnay for their 2012 vintage. And Osprey’s Dominion in Peconic was awarded for having the best merlot. Harbes Vineyard won “best vinifera red” for their 2012 red blend.
Other local metal winners included Wolffer Estate Vineyard, Kontokosta Winery, Lieb Cellars, Baiting Hollow Farm Vineyard, Bedell Cellars, Roanoke Vineyards, One Woman Wines & Vineyard, Castello di Borghese Winery & Vineyard, Bouke Wines, Pellegrini Vineyards, Scarola Vineyards, Sherwood House Vineyards, Suhru Wines, T’Jara Vineyards and Waters Crest Winery.