04/04/19 6:00am

Thomas Spotteck is helming the winemaking process at Lenz in Peconic. (Credit: David Benthal)

The year 2018 was one of celebration and transition at The Lenz Winery in Peconic.

In its 40th year, the winery said goodbye to longtime winemaker Eric Fry, who helped the company establish itself as a respected producer of meticulously made estate-grown varietals. (more…)

10/29/16 6:00am

If you were to compare the 2016 Long Island vintage to a bottle of wine, it might be the kind you’d serve at a dinner party for friends — but perhaps not the special occasion reserve you were saving for your 25th wedding anniversary.

Harvest reports from across the East End are rolling in, and the prognosis is that 2016 is shaping up to be a challenging but manageable year. It will likely be remembered as a perfectly respectable vintage. (more…)

08/06/16 6:41am
A sampling of vintages from The Lenz Winery. (Credit: Lenn Thompson)

A sampling of vintages from The Lenz Winery. (Credit: Lenn Thompson)

As a society, we are easily distracted and drawn to the new, the cool and the trendy. It’s particularly true in the wine world, where trends abound and we are continually bombarded by salespeople and writers touting “the next big thing.”

Gruner veltliner. Orange wine. Pet nat. Dry rosé. Those are just some of the larger wine trends of the past decade or so. Locally, we’ve seen these, a growth in the sauvignon blanc category and the emergence of new-to-the-region varieties like albarino and teroldego. These are exciting times to be a wine lover.

There’s always something new to drink. That’s fun. But it can also distract us from other great wines.

The Lenz Winery in Peconic and its winemaker, Eric Fry, aren’t known to chase trends. At Lenz, the focus is still set squarely on chardonnay and Bordeaux varieties, particularly merlot and cabernet sauvignon. There is a dry rosé — a very good one from the 2014 vintage — but Fry has been making rosé for a long time, certainly well before it became such a huge category for some wineries.  (more…)

10/01/15 9:49pm
Southold Farm and Cellar winemaker Regan Meador takes a sample of cabernet franc as his father-in-law Steve O'Connor stomps on some whole grape clusters. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

Southold Farm and Cellar winemaker Regan Meador takes a sample of cabernet franc as his father-in-law Steve O’Connor stomps on some whole grape clusters. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

Things are pretty weird at Southold Farm and Cellar‘s makeshift winemaking facility in Peconic.

But the Southold-based vineyard — one of Long Island’s newest wine producers with a promise to grow “weird” Italian grapes not common on the East End — has never been one for convention. (more…)

08/04/13 2:00pm
riverhead project wine project

Photo by Claire Leaden

Over two decades ago, The Lenz Winery’s winemaker, Eric Fry, and North Fork chef John Ross had an idea that would profoundly influence Long Island’s wine industry. Bemoaning the lack of collegiality among Long Island’s winemakers, Fry and Ross organized a monthly wine tasting dinner at Ross’ Restaurant in Southold. No press, no spouses, no vineyard managers, no hangers-on; only those who actually made wine professionally would be allowed to attend. (more…)

01/18/13 6:26pm
COURTESY PHOTO  |  Louisa and Alex Hargrave left Harvard University, where they met, 40 years ago to head to Long Island's East End.

COURTESY PHOTO | Louisa and Alex Hargrave left Harvard University, where they met, 40 years ago to head to Long Island’s East End.

Louisa and Alex Hargrave stood under a sunny sky one unseasonably warm winter afternoon with two grape experts who had come from afar to take a gander at Long Island’s very first vineyard.

The young couple, neither of whom had any viticulture experience, were soliciting advice on growing stronger, more fruitful grapevines. The expert, who grew grapes in California, told them to keep the vines with the thickest wood and cut off the side shoots.

The Hargraves exchanged puzzled glances. Just minutes earlier, a grape expert from Cornell University’s Agricultural Experiment Station in upstate New York had given the exact opposite advice: Keep the thinnest wood and do not cut off the side shoots. (more…)