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Kareem Massoud, winemaker, in front of the vines at Paumanok Vineyards (credit: Felicia LaLomia).

Long Island wineries had quite a showing at this year’s New York Wine Classic. 

For the third time, Paumanok Vineyards won Winery of the Year, which goes to the winery with the best overall showing in the annual competition, organized by the New York Wine & Grape Foundation. The Aquebogue vineyard previously won top honors in 2004 and 2015.

Pindar Vineyards‘ 2019 Dr. Dan’s Signature Collection Gewurztraminer won the Governor’s Cup, the top prize for all individual entries in the contest.

“It’s further validation of what we already knew, which is that our wines are quality wines,” said Kareem Massoud, winemaker at Paumanok. “We’re dedicated to the production of fine wine. And that really has been our focus from day one. Everything else is secondary and so these sorts of awards really are sort of a nice validation of that pursuit of producing the highest quality wines.”

A panel of expert judges tasted more than 600 wines from 96 wineries across New York State over a period of four months. Judging for this year’s competition was conducted over a four-month period from November through February.

Paumanok Vineyard also won Best Red Blend and Best Red Wine for its 2015 Assemblage Red Blend, Best Sauvignon Blanc for its 2019 Sauvignon Blanc and Best Traditional Methods and Best Sparkling Wine for its 2016 Blanc De Blancs.

Pindar Vineyards in Peconic also won Best White Wine and Best Gewurztraminer for the 2019 Dr. Dan’s Signature Collection and Best White Blend for its 2019 Dr. Dan’s Signature Collection White Blend.

McCall Wines of Cutchogue also came home with a win in Best Pinot Noir for its 2014 Reserve Corchaug Estate. The Cutchogue vineyard won Winery of the Year in 2013.

“We had a particularly strong showing from the North Fork of Long Island,” said New York Wine & Grape Foundation executive director Sam Filler. “The results of the Classic shine a spotlight on the fact that New York produces amazing wine worth exploring in every region across the state.”

Filler called Paumanok and Pindar “historic and important” wineries.

Pindar Vineyards was founded by Dr. Herodotus “Dan” Damianos – a pioneer that helped create the winemaking industry on Long Island in the early 1980s — and continues today to be a family-run operation. Pindar produces more wine than any other vineyard on Long Island.

In a statement, Gov. Andrew Cuomo congratulated Pindar for “showcasing why New York State is a premier wine destination.”

Paumanok was also founded in the early 1980s by Charles and Ursula Massoud and is now run with the help of their three grown sons. The family has also owned nearby Palmer Vineyards since 2018.

In 2015, Paumanok received the highest score ever for an east coast winery from Wine Advocate.