North Fork in the news: Shinn, cHarissa and a winasaur

cHarissa owner Earl Futz at the Mattituck Farmers Market  in May. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

cHarissa owner Earl Futz at the Mattituck Farmers Market in May. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

What do Shinn Estate Vineyards, a 91-year-old man and his recently-launched business and Cutchogue’s own winasaur have in common?

They all received favorable press this week.

Shinn Estate Vineyards in Mattituck was recently highlighted by The New York Times’s Eric Asimov for their 2013 sauvignon blanc “First Fruit.” Asimov named it one of his picks of 20 wines under $20.

“Shinn Estate is one of my favorite Long Island producers,” Asimov wrote. “Its wines always seem alive in the glass, energetic and full of pleasure, and this sauvignon blanc is no different.”

Maybe that’s because Barbara Shinn and her husband David Page abide the biodynamic approach to farming.

Our friend Laura Klahre and the Coffee Pot Cellars‘ winasaur, a public art project that when completed will include thousands of used corks, were recently paid a visit by Doug Geed of News The East End show.

“I see this as a living piece of art. And so I actually love that it’s taking a while,” Klahre told Geed. “That’s the fun of it. To have people come back and say ‘you know what, we enjoyed a bottle of your wine the other night and then we decorated the cork. And we had so much fun.'”

The seven-foot-high, 18-foot-long winasaur can be found on Main Road outside the Cutchogue winery. It was made by Joanie Finch, a topiary artist who has also made frames for the Sand Diego Zoo.

You can read more about it here.

And one of our favorite northforkers, 91-year-old cHarissa spice-maker Earl Futz, received a lengthy feature in Newsday this week. Fultz began making the Moroccan-inspired spice, a recipe created by his wife Gloria, and selling it at local farmers markets several years ago.  Soon after, Gloria passed away.

“That’s when Fultz, now 91, shifted into higher gear, determined to make cHarissa a kitchen staple,” Newsday’s Erica Marcus wrote. “And he’s off to an impressive start.”

Fultz also recently received a $25,000 grant from Wells Fargo.