12/09/11 8:05pm

SAMANTHA BRIX PHOTO | Bouké Wines founder and proprietor Lisa Donneson (right) with winemaker Gilles Martin.

Lisa Donneson was picking sangiovese grapes in Chianti Classico, Italy with a classmate, who would later be her husband, in 1971.

The visit to the vineyards during a trip to study abroad was her “first romantic exposure to wine and grapes.”

She didn’t know then that she’d one day have her own wine company. (more…)

11/28/11 8:07pm

CAROLYN IANNONE PHOTO | Russ McCall at the Cutchogue vineyard that shares his name.

Just a swirl of McCall’s 2007 pinot noir hitting your nose is proof Russ McCall has more of one special thing than the rest of us: patience.

Mr. McCall planted the first vines on his Cutchogue farm more than 14 years ago. But it was only in 2007 that he labeled his first bottle of wine with the McCall brand. (more…)

11/18/11 8:11pm

SAMANTHA BRIX PHOTO | Cynthia and Tom Rosicki, owners of Sparkling Pointe Winery, near their Pinot Noir grapevines.

Local viticulturist Steve Mudd took out a napkin over dinner and drew a picture of the North and South forks, pointing out to Tom and Cynthia Rosicki that little room was left for new vineyards in Long Island’s wine region.

“He said, ‘If you’re going to do anything, you have to do it now,’” Mr. Rosicki recalled.

Mr. and Ms. Rosicki had grown up in East Marion and Southold, respectively. They knew the North Fork, and they knew wineries. They wanted a vineyard of their own, but needed a bit of a push.

With Mr. Mudd’s guidance, they purchased a 29-acre parcel in Southold and were scanning the land and discussing what to plant when Mr. Mudd asked them what they like to drink. (more…)

11/08/11 8:13pm

SAMANTHA BRIX PHOTO | Theresa Dilworth, owner of Comtesse Therese Vineyard, in Comtesse Therese Bistro in Aquebogue.

She was going to grow a little grape garden in her front yard, that’s all.

Theresa Dilworth loved cooking and gardening at her weekend home in Mattituck, where she’d escape from her weeks in Manhattan working as an international tax attorney.

When she told some friends and colleagues she wanted to make small batches of wine, they suggested she buy land and start a vineyard.

She wasn’t so sure — until they offered to invest money in some property on Union Avenue in Aquebogue and help her start up a winery. (more…)

11/07/11 8:14pm

CAROLYN IANNONE PHOTO | Mattebella Vineyards owner Mark Tobin shows off some of his winery’s inventory.

Mattebella Vineyards is like a shot of espresso along the wine trail. It wakes you up, warms you up, and maybe even boosts your energy.

That feeling could be the because of their wine, or it might be the cozy tasting cottage —  it might even be the owner, Mark Tobin, and his larger than life presence.

Tucked off the Main Road in Southold, a dirt driveway leads to the winery’s tasting cottage, which holds just enough space for a sturdy table and bench, wine, and you and a few friends. (more…)