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Farrm Wine’s 2020 Merlot. (Credit: Lee Meyer)

Rex Farr and his wife, Connie, have the distinction of owning the first certified organic/biodynamic farm on Long Island. The grapes grown on their vineyard are no exception, but the Farrs never set out to make wine.

“At a bar one night, someone said, ‘You can’t grow an organic grape,’” said Farr. “Well, there was a bottle of Jack, and by the time I woke up, the Jack was gone and the vineyard was in.”

That possibly apocryphal anecdote by Farr is the (very) abbreviated origin story of the Calverton-based Farrm Wine, which has just released a 2020 collection that includes three varietals.

Farrm Wine’s 2020 vintage. (Credit: Lee Meyer)

Farrm Wine’s offerings are all made with certified organically grown grapes, which is no small feat. Even more impressively, they’re farmed biodynamically, an alternate way of farming that integrates the care of livestock, soil and plant growth together and works from a planting calendar that involves moon cycles and tides. 

It might sound complicated, but the Farrs love explaining it to anyone who wants to learn. He and Connie give educational tours of the farm and love to impart their knowledge.

Rex, who started out representing musicians, and Connie, who worked in the designer textile industry, first purchased the farm in 1984 despite not having a background or education in farming. They started out growing vegetables and culinary herbs. There was a lot of trial and error, but the Farrs were determined to farm organically.

“We believe in organics,” said Connie. “We’ve always tried to eat that way, so it made sense.”

Added Rex, “I swam into that ocean as a kid. And after Vietnam, I can tell you it’s not the same ocean. I figured out, my god, if this is what we’re doing to our waters, what are we doing to our land?”

Farming proved very successful for the Farrs, who sold their produce to outlets such as King Kullen and various vendors in Manhattan.

Rex Farr (Credit: Lee Meyer)

Farr first planted the vineyard in 2005 and focused on selling the grapes to other vineyards with the exception of a blended reserve bottle and a rosé, both made at Premium Wine Group. In 2020, Farr enlisted Peconic Bay Vineyards winemaker Greg Gove to create three wines using merlot, malbec and cabernet franc.

“There was no epiphany of ‘gee, I gotta make wine!’” said Farr. “The grape is a very, very difficult crop. I do know that if we hadn’t had an industry out here — if we didn’t have the Hargraves [Long Island’s first winery] — I don’t think we’d be doing grapes.”

While Farr’s 2020 bottles are small-batch, you can try them out at Farrm Wines this weekend on Nov. 5 and 6. Visit for more information.