10/02/19 5:55am

The dry white wine spritzer and dry rosé wine spritzer. (Credit: Alie Shaper)

Forget any unfair pretense of the wine spritzer. For many, the beverage conjures thoughts of watered-down chardonnay or sugary concoctions suited for college parties. (more…)

05/31/19 5:55am

Robin Epperson-McCarthy, owner and winemaker at Saltbird Cellars, won the Les Dames d’Escoffier International Legacy Award. (Credit: Madison Fender Photography)

Saltbird Cellars owner and winemaker Robin Epperson-McCarthy is heading to California this summer after winning a prestigious Les Dames d’Escoffier International Legacy Award. (more…)

07/06/17 6:02am

Alie Shaper and Robin Epperson-McCarthy outside their new tasting room, Peconic Cellar Door, in Peconic. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

Peconic Cellar Door, an airy space with a farmhouse chic aesthetic, is the recently opened joint tasting room for winemakers Alie Shaper and Robin Epperson-McCarthy.

An Australian term for the tasting room of a boutique winery, cellar door is also often cited as being one of the most beautiful phrases in English. It’s an apt description for the inviting, consumer-friendly spot.

At Peconic Cellar Door you’ll find Shaper’s two wine brands, Brooklyn Oenology and As If Wines, as well as Epperson-McCarthy’s Saltbird Cellars. Tastings, glasses and bottles of those wines will be available. Brooklyn Oenology makes about 4,000 cases per year and the other two produce about 500. The wines are made from North Fork grapes, and in the case of BOE, some from the Finger Lakes, at Mattituck’s Premium Wine Group.

“We want this to be an experience, an education and a way to hang out with the winemakers,” said Epperson-McCarthy, who along with Shaper can be found pouring behind the bar this summer. (more…)

03/27/17 6:02am
An aerial view of the Long Island Sound in Greenport. (Credit: Bridget Elkin)

An aerial view of the Long Island Sound in Greenport. (Credit: Bridget Elkin)

As an aerial photographer, Bridget Elkin has a unique view of the North Fork. On a regular basis, the East Marion resident pilots a drone a few hundred feet above creeks, beaches, and rows of corn or vines, sharing the beauty she discovers with more than 9,000 Instagram followers at @northforkgrown.

But it’s not just from that rarely explored vantage point that Elkin fell in love with the place she’s called home for the past several years.

“Even just running an errand, I’m often stopped in my tracks and find myself needing to stop to take a photograph,” she said. “Photographers talk about the golden hour, but every hour on the North Fork is truly special.” (more…)

06/24/15 6:51am
Robin Epperson-McCarthy pf Saltbird Cellars. (Credit: David Benthal photography)

Robin Epperson-McCarthy pf Saltbird Cellars. (Credit: David Benthal photography)

There is a trend for artisanal food producers in Long Island Wine Country, a region once dominated by vegetable farms now giving way to small-batch coffee roasters, a U-shuck oyster shack and an antique fire engine-turned-pizza truck.

Young people tired of waiting for the perfect job in their industry or second homeowners looking to live on the North Fork full time are forging their own career paths. They’re betting that they can build a brand around a niche concept or create a new take on a familiar product.

Robin Epperson-McCarthy, who has spent more than a decade working in viticulture both on the North Fork and abroad, is the latest entrepreneur to make that wager (more…)

01/23/15 4:35pm
Workers harvest cabernet franc at Macari Vineyards in Mattituck this past fall. (Credit: Carrie Miller)

Workers harvest cabernet franc grapes at Macari Vineyards in Mattituck this past fall. (Credit: Carrie Miller)

In Long Island Wine Country, merlot has always been king.

As the island’s most widely planted and produced grape, the ubiquitous, sturdy varietal has certainly made its mark.  (more…)