Surrey Lane Vineyard Orchard Farm owner David Shanks is seeking a license to produce wine under the Surrey Lane label.
Shanks has sold the yield of his 25 acres of grape vines — mostly merlot and cabernet franc and some sauvignon blanc — to Wölffer Estate Vineyard in Sagaponack for the past three harvests.
“The property grows really good grapes,” Shanks, the former CEO of Penguin Group, told northforker. “[Wölffer winemaker] Roman Roth is an amazing winemaker.”
Now he wants to offer bottles and wine tastings at the Southold farm stand served among the apples, peaches, blueberries and veggies grown at the 44-acre farm.
“We have sort of a unique combination on this farm,” Shanks said. “In addition to roughly 25 acres of grapes, we have close to 3,000 apple trees. Last year we had peaches and I sort of wanted to see what would grow well on the land.
“It just seemed like a natural thing that when people came to buy that stuff they could taste and ultimately buy our wine,” Shanks added.
Shanks said the wine would likely only be available at the Main Road vineyard and that he does not plan to distribute wholesale.
“It would be such a boutique vineyard that I probably wouldn’t have to do that but who knows,” he said. “I think I’m happy with where I am.”
Shanks said he has not selected a winemaker or decided on a facility to produce the wine.
During his career in publishing, Shanks commuted into Manhattan from his home in New Jersey for four decades, he said. Today he said he is enjoying spending his days in Southold.
“I couldn’t be happier,” he said. “After 40 years of having to commute into New York City, this is a luxury to be five minutes from my home.”