One of the best parts of covering the North Fork’s food and wine industry is getting to know the passionate people who make it happen. Second to that is telling their stories, which are often illustrated with portraits that, at the very least, attempt to convey who they are and what they are about.
This year, contributing shutterbugs Randee Daddona, Katharine Schroeder, David Benthal and Madison Fender, as well as Times Review editor Jen Nuzzo, captured these faces at their respective places of business. In doing so, they created a visual representation of the subjects’ passion and dedication to their work.
Here are my 10 favorite portraits of the year.
The Baiz family
For me, telling the story of the Baiz family was a highlight of 2016. They have built their lives around working in nature, preserving their land, spending time with family and making good wine. What they have created at The Old Field Vineyards in Southold is a Long Island Wine Country must-visit.
Photographer Katharine Schroeder captured their spirit in this photo taken on their property.
Channing Daughters winemaker Christopher Tracy is another local professional I enjoyed getting to know this year. We talked about the winemaking business, creative expression and family during a late-winter interview at the Bridgehampton facility. Photographer Randee Daddona was there to capture the moment.
Brian and Ettore Pennacchia
Family is a common theme that comes up when interviewing business owners here on the East End. But there are only a handful of father-and-son teams you can find in the kitchen. This photo by Randee Daddona encapsulates the working relationship between Ettore and Brian Pennacchia of Touch of Venice in Cutchogue.
“Gibson Campbell. As dignified-sounding as it is melodic, the name evokes an era long past, when Old Hollywood actors chain-smoked their way to fame in the latest film noir.”
So wrote our Rachel Young in a recent Q&A with the Macari Vineyards staffer. This photo by contributing shutterbug David Benthal is worthy of her description.
If there’s an unflattering photo of Wölffer Estate Vineyard winemaker and Long Island Wine Council president Roman Roth, we haven’t seen it. This photo, shot by Randee Daddona inside Wölffer Kitchen in Sag Harbor, is especially striking.
I found it fascinating to read about the concrete fermentation eggs at Macari Vineyards.
Using concrete has several advantages over oak and stainless steel, and in some ways offers characteristics of each, we learned in this piece by Lenn Thompson.
I especially enjoyed the framing of Macari Vineyards winemaker Kelly Koch between the eggs in this photo by David Benthal.
This year, Peconic Escargot in Cutchogue — the East Coast’s first snail farm — received its initial batch of molluscs. This is not just one of my favorite photos of the year, but one of my favorite stories.
And while the accompanying portrait of the company’s co-owner, chef Taylor Knapp, is very nice, the closeup of a snail in his palm is an all-time standout.
This photo appeared on the cover of the May 19 issue of The Suffolk Times and was tweeted by The Newseum.
We don’t know where Alie Shaper, creator of As If wines and the now-closed Brooklyn Oenology, got that dress, but we dig it. She was spotted by photographer Madison Fender, who took this picture at A Land & Sea Gala, the kickoff event for the Greenport Maritime Festival.
Laura Klahre and Adam Suprenant
Everyone looked like they were having a blast at Dan’s Harvest East End this year, but this photo of North Fork winemaker Adam Suprenant and his wife, beekeeper Laure Klahre, was one of my faves. The pair owns Coffee Pot Cellars in Cutchogue, where Laura sells products made from beeswax and honey.
If you’ve ever stopped by Coffee Pot to sip wine or chat bees with Laura, you know her positive energy is infectious. That comes through in this pic taken by Madison Fender.
Lucy Senesac, farm manager at Sang Lee Farms in Peconic and the North Fork’s school garden liaison, might have appeared in our newspaper more times this year than any non-elected official. And there’s a good reason for that.
Senesac was instrumental in the design of the expanded Greenport School Garden. She has also helped North Fork school districts secure grant funding and spent many hours teaching children about farming.
It’s always nice to see her at the weekly Riverhead Farmers Market.