Zander Hargrave, who worked as an assistant winemaker at Peconic Bay Winery and is a member of the North Fork Wine Country’s founding family, has been named the new winemaker at Pellegrini Winery & Vineyard in Cutchogue.
Hargrave, 37, of Jamesport succeeds longtime Pellegrini winemaker Tom Drozd who is leaving the North Fork for Florida, according to vineyard owner Bob Pellegrini.
He begins his new role Monday, Aug. 4.
“He can do the job and I’m happy to hire him,” Pellegrini said. “He’s very educated, he seems personable and I think he’ll do a great job.”
Pellegrini, who founded the vineyard in 1982, said Hargrave came highly recommended by former Peconic Bay winemaker Greg Gove.
Hargrave bought a home in Jamesport and has been working on the property in the time since Peconic Bay closed in 2013.
“I’ve always respected Pellegrini,” Hargrave said on Thursday. “Bob and Joyce are fully dedicated to making the best wine on the North Fork of LI and that that’s something I can get behind.”
Hargrave’s parents, Louisa and Alex, planted the vines of the region’s first commercial vineyard in Cutchogue in 1973. The family later sold the winery to the late Ann Marie and Marco Borghese.
Though he grew up on the North Fork, his love for wine grew following a high school trip to France.
“Coming home from that trip in 1994 I began to take a much more active role in the work on the farm and in the tasting room. I began to really learn about the many varietals we grew,” he told New York Cork Report in 2011. “So I worked in every facet of the operation at Hargrave Vineyard, from running tours and tastings, driving the tractor, suckering in the vineyard, picking, pruning, mowing, bottling, and many other jobs in the cellar and lab. I have always loved harvest the most, there is so much energy to be drawn from harvest.”