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November 13, 2008

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There's been a for sale sign on the property since not soon after he died in January 2007.

Guess that shows you how often I cut up Peconic Lane.

wow. let us all bemoan the gentrification of wine growing. im sure the man's airs will reap a windfall profit from selling off his life's work, but they will inevitably be selling off a piece of their community as well. the sale of a quality vineyard almost always means its sale to someone outside of the community. surely there is a young man or woman who would be more than willing to throw all their energies into making that place work.

tell them about this organization if you are able to. http://nyfarmlink.org/

Rowland,

"...im sure the man's airs will reap a windfall profit from selling off his life's work,":

The man in question , Ray Blum, is dead as was pointed out by Lenn. The one in the video is probably the broker or a stand in.

Rowland,

On second reading it might be that your posting did not make sense to me as you may have meant, perhaps, "heirs" when you wrote "airs". Spellcheck would not have caught this one...

How much are they asking??? Looks great, how were their wines?

yes i meant "heirs." im not trying to take a cheap shot at the family or anything. and im glad that the place will more than likely remain a vineyard and winery. here in the hudson valley it would probably be bulldozed for more and more expensive yet crappy housing. i guess im just angry that as a 24 year old who is not the son of a multimillionaire, i have exactly no chance of ever being able to create something like that here in my own community (i love you dad, but couldnt you have been john dyson?). sure i could go somewhere where land is cheap, but then the rest of my life would be out of context.

i also want to comment on that last statement made in the video -

"as a world class vineyard, winery, or farm, a family compound or a corporate retreat, Ackerly pond awaits a passionate investor to 'uncork' its infinite possibilities." -

now ... aside from that red-flag of a word 'corporate retreat,' does this strike anyone else as not only an empty sale pitch, but a massive understatement? now i mean no disrespect to any long island vigneron, but LI is not a 'world class wine area,' and therefore no vineyard on LI is a 'world class vineyard.' we have potential to be, in time. we cant just say that we are world class on our web pages, we have to be around long enough to prove it. so as of 2008, as non-european, non-california wine growers, we are at best a well-regarded 3rd tier wine area.
That said, Mr. Massoud, of all people, you know that despite all the nice words that we have, WINE MAKING IS FARMING, and really hard, exacting, and unforgiving farming at that. which word is closer to describing you and what you do; "Farmer" or "Passionate Investor?" i think selling the farm to some shlub with money will in the end be counter productive to LI as a whole. "how do you make a small fortune making wine? start with a large one." can LI afford to have a floundering winery in its ranks? every vineyard and every winery needs to put out its very best, to enhance the reputation of the area. one bad bottle has more negative impact than a case of good ones, especially for us. consumers are willing to forgive a bad bottle of French wine without doubting the whole of France's ability to make wine, LI, and NY in general, does not have that luxury.
if the family dosent want to or cant continue, then the other wineries in the area should buy the grapes and expand their own production.
also, Mr Massoud, (forgive my frankness) re-watch that video, and every time he says "Ackerly Pond," replace it in your head with "Paumanok Vineyards." then sit down with your wife and children, and start the discussion about the transition to the next generation and your estate planning. life happens at a terrible pace, God forbid some real estate agent to set up his camera on your land and tell us all what a nice 'corporate retreat' it would make.

So I have read all of your comments. First, Lenn you shouldn't comment on things you are unsure about. Your posting about Ackerly Pond was a shot in the dark. The farm has been for sale for some time now. And you are more than welcome to pop into the tasting room on any Saturday or Sunday. There are some excellent wines being poured.

Rowland,
You write kind of like you know what you are talking about. But I read your comments and see no capitalization and misuse of words. Also if we aren't a world class wine region why has Michael Lynne; CEO of New Line Cinema decided to invest millions in the region? Also our "non-world class" wine region has a restaurant that has been rated in the top ten best restaurants in NY. Ranking right up there with Per Se. Which features many local wines.

Anonymous commenter: I'm not sure that I see exactly how my post a shot in the dark? Show me an inaccuracy and I'll gladly edit my post.

I found out after the post that it has been for sale for some time. That's me not driving up Peconic Lane very often.

I never said they weren't open. In fact, I said that his family was trying to keep it going. I've even reviewed some of their wines. Go to their website and take a look, it's right on their homepage.

I'm not sure what you're talking about. Perhaps you can enlighten me?

NOTE: I tried to contact the above commenter directly via email, but he/she left a comment using an invalid email address.

Lenn
You wouldn't have seen the sign on Peconic Lane because it's on Main Road, where the larger parcel is located.

Rowland
You seem to have a tremendous passion for wine and even your romantic notion of the business. Why not take that to a lesser known (i.e. inexpensive land) area and build the reputation of that area, as people such as Ray Blum and Charles Massoud have done here on LI?

Finally
Let no one forget that Ray developed and sold vineyards (and one winery)as part of his overall business scheme; this property was on the market before his death, I believe.

Rowland,

If you are in fact 24 you have a golden opportunity to achieve a lot but it is going to be if you are willing and able.
I hope your comment that you wished your father was wealthy was just a bad joke, for if that is your current way of looking at life you may miss what America is about.

Most people who accomplish big things in life did so against the odds. Most kids of wealthy fathers underperform their perceived potential.
Think about and decide .

Ben, you are correct.

Lenn, you should research the actual date of the real estate posting. And your last posting was August 2007 about APV.

Although I am unable to determine the exact date of the posting of the property, I have found online postings dating back to May 2007. This would make your statement inaccurate.

"Most people wondered if this was coming. It appears that it has."

Charles I do echo your concerns for Rowland. If he is 24 he should try to live up to his potential and not just live the comfy life with a silver spoon.

NOTE: Lenn wrote about Ackerly Pond in August 2007. That would be approximately 3 months after the posting of the property.

Anonymous poster: Again, I've tried to email you and it bounced back.

Your definition of "inaccurate" is clearly different than mine. I do not get press releases about wineries/vineyards on the market. My statement is not wrong or inaccurate. I simply was not aware that the property has been for sale.

I have tasted all of the wines currently listed on their website, so I have not revisited them of late.

Thanks for reading LENNDEVOURS and commenting.

Lenn, Good catch. As with most vineyard estates on LI, Ackerly Pond Vineyards comprises several real estate lots, including agricultural land as well as residential lots, farm buildings, wine inventory, farm equipment, goodwill of the business and so on. Some have wineries, some don't. This one does not.

Not all of the real estate was included in the original offering, and various other items were also excluded until recently. The main residence and Tasting Barn for example.

Therefore the comment that "the farm has been for sale for some time", and the comment "...most people wondered if this was coming. It appears that it has." are not mutually exclusive. Both of these statements could be regarded as accurate.

No, I'm not the listing broker featured above, but I am a local real estate broker who specializes in representing the best interests of existing and potential farmers.
Peace.

Sorry to post so late after, but Ive been in Holland for a few weeks. I really appreciate the support, thank you. And yes, I was absolutely joking about my father, I love him very much and am not at all ashamed of my family's economic status.
"if we aren't a world class wine region why has Michael Lynne; CEO of New Line Cinema decided to invest millions in the region?" Because Mr. Lynne understands that LI has the potential to become one. We must always separate our potential, from our actual position, where we want to be from where we are. Again, I don't mean to disparage or insult, but I defend my statement that LI and NY wine are 3rd tier. France, Italy, Spain, Germany occupy the top, with the rest of Europe on the second, along with California, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Then come NY and a random spattering of other ares like Chile. I think you'd find this general pattern again and again if you asked the general public, as well as people from other wine regions (as "experts" our opinions are skewed by fact; we know LI is a world class wine region, but the world does not regard it as such, yet. Know that I truly believe they will). Also, since you seem to have a thing about grammar, I feel obliged to point out your misuse of the semicolon. Your statement should have read "... why has Michael Lynne, CEO of New Line Cinema, decided to invest ..." ;)
Ben, your correct, I do have a romantic notion of the business, and farming, and life in general. I am constantly slamming my head into the brick wall of reality (a perfect example being this years harvest; cold, wet, windy. I was aching after the 10th bushel. not to mention the f*#@ing rot). But as far as leaving the Hudson Valley, that is an option of last resort. For me, Shangrila truly exists in this vale, along the Hudson, between the Fishkill ridge and the Catskill mountains. This is the context of my life. Not just in the personal sense that I grew up here and have connections, but I also know the land. I know the soil and the water and the rocks. I'm familiar with the climate and the weather, the fungi and the insects. Were I to leave, not only would I not have the same passion, the same love of place, but I don't feel I would be as effective a farmer as I could be here. I could go on and on about the Hudson Valley, but suffice it to say that I love it.
Charles, I agree. Every time someone tries to discourage me I tell them "lesser people have done much more with a lot less." And I do understand America and what it's about, both in the larger sense, as well as my personal opportunities to own land. At the turn of the last century, my family owned several thousand hectares of land in the Ukraine; my great great grandfather was the last naval attache to the last Czar. After the revolution and collectivization, they were persecuted as kulak land owners, reduced to abject poverty, and almost wiped out with the rest of the Ukraine under Stalin's famines in the 30's. Then the Nazis came and almost all of them were taken west as slave labor, then left as scattered refugees when the war was over, mostly Austria and Germany. I myself was born into the English branch in London, and have, since my birth, lived a live qualitatively better in almost every sense than any of them since 1918. Even though all of them are now quite well to do, none of them could ever realistically consider buying a large lot of land. Not only is it prohibitively expensive, but land really doesn't exist to be had in Europe. Outside of the ultra wealthy, only those who inherit can realistically hope to own any land at all, let alone anything of decent hectarage. Again, I could go on and on, but suffice it to say I do get what America is all about. I may not be personally wealthy, but there are other ways. Ive been very impressed with the progress of several land trusts that work in my area (http://www.scenichudson.org/ ... http://www.walkway.org/ ... http://www.highlandriverfrontpark.org/) and I as of now I think this is the best path to pursue. Maybe Ill write a progress blog.

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