03/26/12 7:23pm

SAMANTHA BRIX PHOTO | Sannino Bella Vita Vineyard owners Lisa and Anthony Sannino in their Peconic tasting room.

When it was time to name their vineyard, Anthony and Lisa Sannino pictured their lives together.

Mr. Sannino would be tending to the grapevines and making wine during the day while his wife poured glasses of wine for customers in a tasting room, a restored potato barn and hog house built in the 1900s.

They would then return to their four children at their home, which would stand majestically in the middle of the vineyard.

“That’s a beautiful life,” Mr. Sannino said. “That’s the way we wanted to live.” (more…)

03/01/12 7:25pm
Macari Vineyards

GIANNA VOLPE PHOTO | Kelly Urbanik, head winemaker at Macari Vineyards, sits among the casks in the Mattituck winery’s barrel room.

Winemaking is not just a man’s world, at least not anymore.

Of the more than 50 wine-producing entities on the North Fork, 11 percent have a woman behind the wine. Seven percent of the wineries produce an entirely female-made product, with day-to-day responsibilities falling to the head winemaking woman — or women, such as Old Field’s mother-daughter winemaking team of Rosamond and Perry Baiz.

“One of the strengths of our region is our very high percentage of women in the wine industry — from ownership to management, through the vineyards, wineries and tasting rooms,” said Steve Bate, executive director of the Long Island Wine Council. (more…)

02/06/12 7:35pm

SAMANTHA BRIX PHOTO | Gilles Martin in the production facility of Sparkling Pointe holding a bottle of 2002 Brut Seduction.

Gilles Martin doesn’t remember a time when he wasn’t making fruit juice.

The winemaker at Sparkling Pointe Vineyard in Southold remembers picking, coring and slices apples for cider as a child with his grandfather about 10 miles outside the Champagne region of France, where he was born. (more…)

01/31/12 7:36pm

COURTESY PHOTO | A laying hen at Shinn Estate Vineyards in Mattituck. The Shinn family will soon bring new baby chicks and beehives to the vineyard.

There’s lots of wildlife at Shinn Estate Vineyards in Mattituck.

Those walking around the vineyard can spot rabbits, birds, deer, raccoons and even a fox.

In the next few months, there will be even more: a new frock of baby chicks and a bunch of new beehives. (more…)

01/26/12 7:41pm

SAMANTHA BRIX PHOTO | Sparkling Pointe winemaker Gilles Martin prepares to box bottles after they’re labeled by the winery’s labeling machine.

We visited Sparkling Pointe in Southold last week to capture winemaker Gilles Martin labeling and boxing bottles of 2002 Brut Seduction, the winery’s signature sparkling wine.

The bottles are washed, dried, labeled and capped before being shipped out in boxes. Last week, the bubbly was heading to the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Manhattan.

Sparkling Pointe has a complete winemaking, bottling and labeling facility on site. View the labeling — the last part of the process before wine is out the door — in the video below.

01/24/12 7:43pm

SAMANTHA BRIX PHOTO | Marco and Ann Marie Borghese, owners of Castello di Borghese, in their Cutchogue tasting room.

Marco and Ann Marie Borghese visited the North Fork for the first time for a wine tasting on Thanksgiving of 1998.

The longtime wine lovers — Mr. Borghese’s relatives owned a vineyard in Florence for generations and Ms. Borghese studied French wine in Paris — at once fell in love with Long Island’s land of grapevines.

“We came here to taste — not to shop for a vineyard,” Mr. Borghese said. (more…)

01/17/12 7:54pm

SAMANTHA BRIX FILE PHOTO |A bottle of Jamesport Vineyards Petit Verdot for sale at Empire State Cellars for $99.

The New York Wine and Grape Foundation is kicking off a campaign targeting New York City in an effort to increase sales of local wine.

The campaign, which will be held through the first three months of 2012, includes vineyard visits from New York City media and trade representatives to the Hudson River region, Finger Lakes and Long Island Wine Country. It also includes a visit to the city from the 38 participating wineries. (more…)