Get Up to Speed on the Latest Happenings in Long Island’s Wine Country

WINERY ALCHEMY

  • At Channing Daughters in Bridgehampton, mad scientist Christopher Tracy has been turning various white wines into five different vermouths using local, seasonal botanicals. Three have been launched thus far, with flavors ranging from garden herbs to habañero peppers to arugula and beets.
  • Onabay, the high-end winery set on 180 acres along Peconic Bay in Southold (alas, it has no tasting room), has been experimenting with an old-world technique of Cot-fermenting grapes, releasing a 2011 Cabernet Franc with raspberry and savory herbal notes.
  • Wölffer Estate, which sold all 9,000 cases of its signature rosé last year (winemaker Roman Roth called the 2013 vintage “epic”), has put out a new cuvée called Summer in a Bottle ($24), a bright, light copper rosé with a riper fruit profile of strawberry, lychee, and cantaloupe notes.

 

Screw cap wine machine

NORTH FORK ROAD TRIP

Is touring some of the North Fork’s best vineyards on your bucket list?

  • Then brake for Kontokosta, the only tasting room overlooking Long Island Sound, in Greenport
  • Croteaux, in Southold, where you can get your rosé fix in a Provençal-style flower garden
  • One Woman Wines & Vineyards, in Southold, for tasting (one woman) Claudia Purita’s Grüner Veltliner and Gewürztraminer in a tiny atmospheric barn
  • Diliberto, in Jamesport, whose tasting room resembles a small piazza in Italy
  • Sparkling Pointe, in Southold, perfect for drinking bubbly in a French Country–style château replete with crystal chandeliers

AW, SCREW IT! EAST END VINTNERS JOIN THE SCREW-CAP MOVEMENT

In 2007, when Paumanok’s Massoud family heard that PlumpJack in Napa Valley was screw-capping its $100 Cabernet, they decided to put the screw to all their whites, investing in a $50,000 machine that is capable of both corking and capping bottles. “Capping keeps the wine quality purer and eliminates any worries about cork taint,” says Kareem Massoud, Paumanok’s winemaker. “Now we’re 90 percent screw-cap, and we let others use our machine.” Fellow wineries Martha Clara, McCall, Lieb, Bouké, Wölffer, Suhru, and T’Jara have all followed suit.

TOWNLINE TAP DANCE

It’s not just beer that flows from the taps in the popular barroom at Sagaponack’s Townline BBQ. Thanks to the restaurant’s new Slovenian tap system, patrons can enjoy Pilsner Urquell from the Czech Republic, as well as Chilean Sauvignon Blancs, Malbecs from Argentina, and refreshing Texas Tea (Old Overholt rye whiskey and passion-fruit peppermint tea, served carbonated).

CorkWhat's corking?

  • Vine Time Wine Getaway: Enjoy a full day of Long Island wine tours and tastings, meals, and accommodations at one of several charming B&Bs on the North Fork, all for $499 per person for two nights. 
  • Tasting Under the Stars: Every summer Saturday from 6 to 10 p.m., enjoy wine with movies, a bonfire, and candlelight at Southold’s One Woman Wines & Vineyards.
  • Vineyard Walk: On summer Saturdays and Sundays at 1:30 p.m., learn about organic, sustainable, and biodynamic winemaking at Shinn Estate Vineyard in Mattituck.
  • Jazz and Juice: During tasting hours, Clovis Point in Jamesport features live music all summer long.
  • Wine Camp: Forget the kids. From July 14 to 17, enjoy four days of wine-tasting camp on the North Fork, including a kickoff dinner at the North Fork Table & Inn and a five-course wine-pairing dinner at Castello di Borghese, for $1,299 a person.
  • Chefs & Champagne: Sagaponack’s Wölffer Estate hosts the annual foodie festival Chefs & Champagne on July 26, with special honoree Bobby Flay.

A version of this article appeared in the June 2014 issue of Hamptons Cottages & Gardens with the headline: Through the Grapevine