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Long Island Wine Council President Sal Diliberto.

This letter was originally published in the winter 2015 edition of the Long Island Wine Press

The harvest is over. The leaves are gone and The Modern Snack Bar in Aquebogue is closed for the season. It must be winter.

Grapes have been picked, crushed, fermented and pressed. Tanks and barrels are bursting as a result of what was truly a bountiful season. Springtime, when the crisp whites and rosé wines are bottled and released, will give us our first taste of the 2014 vintage. All indications are that it will be another excellent vintage in the Long Island wine region following on the heels of a spectacular 2013 harvest.

But before we can experience these new wines, we’ll all have to get through the winter. Despite the snow and ice that will surely come, I have always believed that winter is the warmest season of all. I know the temperature won’t reflect that, but the life we live in the winter will bring us warmth.

To me, winter is coming in from the cold and feeling the warmth of your home. It is the aroma of a chicken roasting in the oven or a soup being made on the stovetop. Most especially, it’s being around a table with family and friends, sharing our lives. There’s so much we can do outdoors in the spring, summer and fall, but the winter forces us all indoors and allows us to feel the warmth of time spent in each other’s company.

You can find this warmth at home or here on the East End, where the tasting rooms and restaurants will welcome you with the warmth that only winter can bring.

In the heart of winter, from February 21 to March 29, come out and join us on Saturdays and Sundays for the eighth annual Long Island Winterfest “Live on the Vine” Festival — six weeks of outstanding music at venues across the East End. We look forward to seeing you and promise a warm welcome.


Sal Diliberto

Long Island Wine Council President