Damianos family land sale won’t affect Duck Walk, Pindar production

The property includes mature vines producing pinot noir, merlot and chardonnay. (Credit: Town & Country Real Estate)

The property includes mature vines producing pinot noir, merlot and chardonnay. (Credit: Town & Country Real Estate)

Update: The land mentioned sold for $6.5 million, according to public records. See the original story below.

One of Long Island’s pioneering wine families has sold nearly 90 acres of waterfront land in Cutchogue to a mystery buyer — including nearly 30 acres of mature vineyards — in an arrangement that will allow the family to retain control of those vines for nearly a decade.

The land in question amounts to just a small parcel of a vast amount of grape-producing acreage controlled by the Damianos family, which owns and operates about 130 vineyard acres for Duck Walk Vineyards as well as 360 acres for Long Island’s largest wine producer, Pindar Vineyards. The move will not affect wine production, as the Damianos clan will maintain the land and harvest the grapes per a seven-year renewable lease, according to those involved in the deal.

“The buyers had no intention of taking the vines out,” said Judi Desiderio, president and broker at Town & Country Realty, the real estate firm that handled the deal. “What you see will remain for many years to come. I think everyone loves the idea.”

The unidentified purchasers, who live in Manhattan and have a second home in Bridgehampton, plan to use the property as “a family compound and vineyard farm,” Ms. Desiderio said.

“The purchasers have been exceptional clients of Town & Country for over 10 years. They have always been forward thinking and recognized the value of investing on the North Fork,” read a statement announcing the deal from Town & Country.

The Damianos family, whose patriarch, Herodotus “Dr. Dan” Damianos, died in 2014, will use the profit to invest in the company.

“It’s land that we’ve had for 15 years that we were not doing anything with,” said Pindar and Duck Walk general manager Alex Damianos. “We never intended to extend the vineyards there. We figured we’d sell it and use it for capital improvement.”

Lovers of Duck Walk’s Gatsby Red and Windmill White blends can rest easy. Pindar will continue to produce about 60,000 cases of wine a year while Duck Walk will produce about 25,000, Mr. Damianos said.

Although real estate transactions are a matter of public record, those involved declined to immediately disclose the selling price, which will become available to the public later. The buyers purchased the property through an LLC and wish to remain anonymous. The property, which is located on Oregon Road and includes mature vines producing pinot noir, merlot and chardonnay for Duck Walk, was listed at $8.8 million on the real estate company’s website.

“One could correctly assess there was a discount for [the arrangement to maintain the vineyard],” said Nick Planamento, a Town & Country agent involved in the deal. “The payer did not overpay and they did not underpay. I would say it was an equitable transaction for both parties.”

The property is somewhat unique, as it contains 856 continuous feet of waterfront property and because of its size, Mr. Planamento noted.

“These people were specifically looking for a large tract of land on the water,” Ms. Desiderio said. “They probably looked at maybe eight or nine properties.”

The buyers may want to open a tasting room and produce their own wine one day, Mr. Planamento said.

“They feel it’s safe bet for them. When they are ready to roll over into vineyard ownership, it will happen,” he said. “They want to create for their children a farm vineyard compound.”

Mr. Planamento — who sold the most expensive home on either the North Fork or Shelter Island in 2014 — noted that interest in these North Fork family compound-type properties is peaking as high-end buyers become more interested in the Hamptons’ quieter sibling.

And if that sounds intriguing to you, he recently listed 72 acres of Soundfront land on Route 48 in Peconic, complete with a 19th century Victorian farmhouse. The asking price? $7 million.

“Its a natural progression to bring the buyers from Hamptons to the North Fork,” he said. “And this is a gorgeous opportunity for someone to create a family compound.”

vchinese@timesreview.com