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Meadowlark opened earlier this year. Photo by David Benthal

Thanks to an unusually hot and dry growing season, vineyard managers and winemakers reported that the industry fared well this year.

Kareem Massoud, president of Long Island Wine Country and winemaker at Paumanok Vineyards, said the summer drought was “excellent” for vineyards.

Rich Olsen-Harbich, winemaker at Bedell Cellars in Cutchogue, said this vintage is among the best he’s seen and resulted in his earliest harvest ever.

In addition to a successful harvest, there was plenty of exciting news in the local wine world in 2022.

In May, RG|NY in Riverhead welcomed Jonathan Bomberg as their new winemaker, replacing Lilia Perez. A Wisconsin native, Bomberg grew up around their mother’s family dairy farm and studied oenology at University of California-Davis.

May also brought the grand opening of Ev&Em Vineyards in Laurel at the former Laurel Lake Vineyards. Under new ownership by news personality Dan Abrams, the property was renovated with a new lineup of wines from former Laurel Lake winemaker Juan Sepulveda, who stayed on.

Mattituck’s Macari Vineyards also celebrated the reinvention of its Cutchogue tasting room as Meadowlark, which opened on Main Road in July. The seasonal venue was transformed into a space for experimental wines and a relaxed tasting experience.

In September, veteran winemaker Kelly Koch celebrated the first vintage of her new label, Poppy & Rose Wine Co.

Koch, a Napa Valley native, has been on the North Fork since 2006 and is the current winemaker at Terra Vite in Jamesport. She previously worked at Bedell Cellars and Macari Vineyards. The name combines her California and New York experiences, as the poppy is the flower of California and the rose is the flower of New York.

Several wine clubs also launched this year.

Stephen Scarnato of Long Island Vine Care, a private vineyard management service, started New Roots Wine in October with his wife, Sarah, dubbing it “a wine club for those intrigued by the process.”

Mattituck natives and lifelong friends Jessica Green and Rachel Bosworth also launched their own wine club, Sediment & Sentiment, this year. Green, a sommelier who owns Down the Rabbit Hole Wines in Sayville, and Bosworth, a local marketing expert, got their start working in area tasting rooms and hope to help others explore wine through tastings and events.