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Croteaux Vineyards 2014 Chloe sauvignon blanc rosé. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

Sitting on a fluffy orange cushion on the second floor of Croteaux Vineyards‘ tasting barn, one could be forgiven for forgetting that there are still several inches of ice on the ground outside.

That’s because the multi-colored tunics for sale, bright decor and, of course, bottles or rosé bring us back to summer, if only for a moment.

The nation’s only all-rosé producing vineyard released six of its still wines this weekend and vineyard owner Michael Croteau reported a standing room only crowd on opening day.

“We doubled [attendance from] last year,” he said. “It was packed. Our parking lot was full. It’s nice that people were so excited about our wines.”

Our wine of the week is the first we feature from the 2014 vintage. We recommend the crisp and refreshing 2014 Chloe sauvignon blanc rosé.

Made from 100 percent estate-grown sauvignon blanc grapes with just a bit of contact from cabernet franc skins, this is a white wine lovers rosé. This stainless steel fermented pink-tinged wine has grassy notes and a citrusy finish. It retails for $25 in the tasting room.

“[The cabernet franc contact] doesn’t really change the flavor at all,” Croteau said. “It softens the finish.”

Croteaux has produced 200 cases of this wine and another 250 of a yet-to-be-released sparkling version in 2015. The vineyard produced a record 4,000 cases or rosé total — up from about 2,400 last year — from the 2014 vintage.

Though this wine made from white grapes is considered rosé here in the U.S., it is not something you would find in the most famous rosé-producing region, Provence, France. French law prohibits wine from white grapes to be called “rosé,” Croteau noted.

Croteaux will be open Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Monday from noon to 5 p.m. through Memorial Day. Visit them, snuggle up with a flight and forget that the summer season is still several months away.

Wine of the Week features Long Island wines that the northforker staff enjoys.


Pugliese Vineyards 2010 Merlot Reserve

Laurel Lakes Vineyards 2010 Pinot Noir

Paumanok Vineyards Chenin Blanc

Sparkling Pointe’s 2005 Brut Seduction

Sherwood House’s 2007 Sherwood Manor 

Southold Farm + Cellar The Devil’s Advocate

Coffe Pot Cellars 2010 Meritage

See more photos from Croteaux below:

DSC_1500 DSC_1503 DSC_1505 DSC_1506 Croteaux