If you’re a long-time Long Island wine lover, you may remember Ternhaven Cellars, Harold Watts’ old winery with tasting room in Greenport. Back in the mid-2000s, Watts sold his five-acre Cutchogue vineyard to Lisa and Anthony Sannino of Sannino Vineyard. Their house and their bed and breakfast are nestled among those vines. (more…)
Vineyard workers at Lenz Winery harvest merlot grapes in 2016. (Credit: Krysten Massa)
Look out the window the next time you find yourself on the East End. If you see grapevines, there’s a fair chance they are merlot, which makes up nearly 30 percent of the total grape plantings on Long Island. Roughly 700 acres of local vineyards are dedicated to merlot, making it the most-planted red grape variety. Its dominance is on full display in local tasting rooms, too, where you’ll find merlot bottled by itself, as well as in many red blends, rosés — and a few wineries even use it in sparkling wine production.
The importance of merlot to the local wine industry simply cannot be overstated. It is a workhorse for the region while also leading to some of its most lauded and adored wines. (more…)