What (and where) was the first bottle of wine you remember drinking?
My first glass or bottle of wine was Chateau Latour 1949. My mother received a case for Christmas and I remember her saying it was a real treat. This was in 1973. The next week I had a friend who was barbecuing. We had the best hamburgers with this wine. I didn't realize how expensive this bottle was, but everybody else did!
What event/bottle/etc made you decide that you wanted to be in the wine industry?
My husband and I were in France visiting the vineyards and we went to Chateau Beaucastel. we sat out on their veranda and said how great it would be to have a vineyard in our own backyard.
Which of your current wines is your favorite and why?
My favorite wine of ours is our library wine, 2000 Merlot. It is very smooth and exceptional. I'm sorry I didn't put away 35 cases. I only have 8 cases left.
What has surprised you most about being a vineyard owner on Long Island?
What has surprised me the most owning a vineyard in this region is the quality of wine produced here. The wines are getting better and better and we are being recognized as a first-class region. We have met some wonderful people being in the wine industry. Our loyal customers are so knowledgeable about wine and continue to follow us and are always interested in our future releases.
Other than your own wines, what wine/beer/liquor most often fills your glass?
My husband and I love Sauternes. I have bought ice wine from every vineyard on the North Fork. I think they are wonderful, and I hope someday we produce one ourselves.
Is there a 'classic' wine or wine and food pairing that you just can't make yourself enjoy?
I am not fond of turkey with Chardonnay. I prefer a red, although a chardonnay is often paired with Thanksgiving dinner.
Wine enjoyment is about more than just the wine itself. Describe
the combination of wine, locations, food, company, etc. that would make
(or has made) for the ultimate wine-drinking experience.
I suppose that when people are on vacation, they are more likely to enjoy the dining experience much better. There is no stress and one takes in the beauty of their surroundings. France is one of those places we have traveled to frequently and subsequently have bought a house. Going to the markets every day and getting fresh produce, cheese and local wine has always been great for us. But, I must say that my husband and I have challenged ourselves on the North Fork. We try to prepare foods grown (on) and only drink wines from Long Island. Great produce, cheese and wine are right outside our back door. Long Island has it all. With the help of certain people (David Page and Barbara Shinn of Shinn Estate Vineyards) show us how to cook with all these elements. The local restaurants are also helpful. The ultimate wine and dining experience is outside in our garden looking out on our vineyard and saying to each other "our dream came true!