Last Sunday, something important and exciting happened in the lives of the LENNDEVOURS family. I wish I could tell you that we bought a house (sometime in the next year I hope) or that some generous Long Island bazillionaire decided to thank me for bringing Long Island wines into his life by buying me a small, five-acre vineyard filled with mature cabernet franc vines.
But no, the exciting news is slightly less exciting than that -- we finally took a group of friends out to wine country to visit three of our favorite wineries on Route 48, the northern-most wine trail on Long Island.
It's probably surprising that we haven't done this before, but few of our local friends drink (and appreciate) wine. And those that do are married to those that don't...so it just hasn't happened.
Some friends from Florida were in town though (both of whom love wine), some other friends came out from Hoboken, and we were able to convince two half-wine lover couples to joins us as well. Everyone had a great time...I think even those that didn't enjoy the wine all that much.
We started at a LENNDEVOURS favorite -- Roanoke Vineyards. I picked that as our first stop because of the diverse list of wines they have available there. For the less-serious wine drinkers, they pour and sell some great whites from the Finger Lakes, from a simple blend of hybrid varieties, to racy and aromatic riesling and gewurtztraminer. They also pour several wines from Wolffer Estate on the South Fork of Long Island and three of their own wines, including a 2000 merlot that I love.
Richie, the owner, spent probably an hour pouring for us, telling us about the wines and fielding questions. Then, as we unpacked our picnic lunch to enjoy, Richie brought out a couople bottles of Wolffer 2003 Rose for us to enjoy.
Next, we headed to Shinn Estate Vineyards on Oregon Road. Though not technically on Route 48, it's just a bit north off of 48. Barbara Shinn and her husband David Page are big into organic and biodynamic grape farming, and we enjoyed doing a vineyard walk with Barbara despite the intense heat of the day. Hearing about the compost tea and liquified fish they use in the fields is interesting, even if I'd like to hear more about the wines, which I enjoy -- especially their two merlots.
Lastly, we visited Lieb Family Cellars, where Nena starts working as a tasting room pourer this Saturday. Gary, the general manager didn't get there until we were leaving, but it's always great to see him and to taste their wines. Nena and I, being quite familiar with the offerings, just ordered a glass each as our friends sipped through their flights.
Friends and devoted LENNDEVOURS readers Matt (green shirt) and Al (red shirt) tasted Lieb's first cabernet franc release as well.
After Lieb, four members of our gang had to leave for various reasons, so rather than visit Macari Vineyards or Castello di Borghese, we decided to head back closer to home and grab a casual dinner at Phil's in Wading River.
I think it's safe to say that everyone had a great time. So I'm hopeful that this won't be the first and last tasting tour for the group.