Roanoke Vineyards moving to ‘members only’ tasting room next year

Randee Daddona Photo

One of the rooms at Roanoke Vineyards’ tasting room on Sound Avenue. (Randee Daddona Photo)

Members only.

That’s what Roanoke Vineyards will be moving to in 2016, as the Sound Avenue winery will be closing its tasting room to the public, limiting access solely to its wine club members and their guests.

As tasting rooms become more and more busy by the season, it’s a move that comes as a necessity to the 15-year-old vineyard so it can keep some of its wines left for members of its wine club, according to the winery’s owner, Richard Pisacano.

“With a tsunami in tourism on Long Island’s North Fork, largely focused on the region’s wine industry, it’s not unreasonable to expect all of the tasting rooms to be packed in the coming years,” he said. “This move ensures Roanoke’s energies will remain focused on the wines, and our wine club.”

According to Scott Sandell, the winery’s creative director, the wine club, which is currently free for anyone to join, will remain so. However, they plan on capping it at 1,000 members.

Producing about 4,000 cases of wine per year, he said via email, “the wines have been selling out faster than we ever imagined. I guess that’s a pretty awesome problem to have.”

According to Sandell, several of the 2013 vintages sold out before they even hit the shelves, leaving limited access to those who are in Roanoke’s wine club.

“Aside from the availability issues the goal is to enhance the wine experience for the wine club,” he said. The Love Lane tasting room will remain open to the public, he said.

The Sound Avenue tasting room closes to the public on Dec. 31.