07/27/17 12:18pm

Martha Clara Vineyards Estate Reserve Riesling. (Credit: Lenn Thompson)

When a lot of people think about New York riesling, they think about the Finger Lakes region in central New York, where it has earned a reputation for consistent quality. Some local wineries buy riesling juice from up there and make the wines here. Often, you’ll see “New York State” listed on those labels where you’d usually see “North Fork of Long Island” or “The Hamptons, Long Island.”

But that doesn’t mean that the Finger Lakes have a monopoly on delicious, food-friendly riesling in New York. (more…)

10/16/15 5:50am

grapes vineyardWhat do you think of when you hear the term “Long Island wine?”

Does it call to mind supple, sophisticated bottles of cabernet franc and merlot, or a crisp sauvignon blanc that pairs perfectly with oysters harvested from Peconic Bay? Or maybe, for you, Long Island wine is less synonymous with the product itself, but a summer day spent “out east” drinking rosé and laughing with friends?

In the 42 years since Alex and Louisa Hargrave planted the first commercial vineyard in Cutchogue, the industry, like that of any burgeoning wine region, has experienced periods of significant change in both atmosphere and reputation.

And until recently, there has never been a large-scale, unified effort to create a brand.  (more…)

09/21/15 6:00am

Mila Almeida and Janyll Pisani both of Sound Beach channel the spirits of Lucy Ricardo and Ethel Mertz at the fifth annual Martha Clara Vineyards Grape Stomp on Sunday.

If anyone was wondering whether or not the end results of the Martha Clara Vineyards grape stomping party are used to make the winery’s Northville Red or Northern Solstice Rosé, winemaker and general manager Juan Micieli-Martinez has an answer for you.

“Only for the reserves,” Micieli-Martinez said, referring to the winery’s higher quality vintages.

The winemaker stressed he was kidding, of course, but guests at the Riverhead vineyard last weekend rolled up their pant legs and made grape juice the old fashioned way.

Dozens of wine lovers and newcomers alike visited the winery Sunday for the stomping of the grapes, an annual party that celebrates the harvest and lets guests have a bit of fun.  (more…)

05/18/15 6:00am
Merliance scrimshaw

2012 Merliance poured during the  dinner at Scrimshaw on Saturday. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

Six different clones of merlot, all expressing different characteristics of this Bordeaux-originating grape, are grown on more than 800 acres on Long Island.

But of all the tons of fruit those acres yield every year, there is only one wine that combines the thumbprints of some of the region’s best winemakers. (more…)

01/19/15 11:00am
A flight of Martha Clara Vineyard's pinot noir. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

A flight of Martha Clara Vineyard’s pinot noir. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

Winemaker Juan Eduardo Micieli-Martinez admits Martha Clara Vineyards‘ 2007 pinot noir, harvested during his first year at the Riverhead vineyard, might not have completely harnessed the power of this notoriously tricky grape.

But take of sip of his 2012 Island Series pinot noir and notice a darker wine with more complex woody flavors — a vintage that many would agree shows marked improvement over its predecessor. (more…)

10/29/14 7:00am
Martha Clara's 2010 Northville Red Blend. (Cyndi Murray photo)

Martha Clara’s 2010 Northville Red Blend. (Cyndi Murray photo)

The Long Island wine region, relatively young in comparison to that of California or the Old World vines, often gets put into broad categories like North Fork and South Fork. But Martha Clara Vineyards winemaker Juan Micieli-Martinez is hoping to change that. (more…)