Jim Waters inside his Cutchogue tasting room. (Credit: Randee Daddona)
It was the biggest leap of faith Jim Waters ever took in his life.
In October 2003, Waters, then a home winemaker working out of his Manorville garage, opened Waters Crest Winery in Cutchogue. The boutique operation initially produced a few hundred cases per year, which is teeny-tiny even by Long Island standards. But it attracted a loyal following of wine enthusiasts looking for an intimate tasting experience.
Two years later, Waters realized he needed to make a deeper commitment to his hobby-turned-business. So after two successful decades in hospitality and service businesses, he quit his management position at Budget Truck Rental.