By Lenn Thompson, Executive Editor
Mudd planted his first vines the year after Alex and Louisa Hargraves planted Long Island's first commercial vineyard. He never made his own wine commercially, but the name of his vineyard has appeared on numerous labels over the years -- most notably on wines made by Chris Tracy at Channing Daughters Winery.
"He touched almost everyone who came after him and provided leadership, guidance and a vision that was years ahead of his time. He knew of the potential for Long Island wine and was never afraid to tell anyone who would listen," said Rich Olsen-Harbich, winemaker at Bedell Cellars.
It's difficult to overstate the impact Mudd and his son Steve have had and continue to have on Long Island wine. Their company Mudd Vineyards has planted nearly two-thirds of the acreage on the North and South Forks.
"He provided a service to people who wanted to get into the wine business but had neither the time nor the cultural information or skills to do so. He educated himself in all aspects of grape growing and was tireless in finding out new information and techniques for the region," Olsen-Harbich said in an email earlier today, adding "Many of us wouldn’t be here today. He gave me my very first job in the wine business as a field worker."
David Page of Shinn Estate Vineyards said "The visionary work that Dave began nearly 40 years ago is an inspiration."
Visiting hours will be held at DeFriest-Grattan Funeral Home in Mattituck on Wednesday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Thursday from 1p.m. to 3 p.m. A funeral service will be held at 2:30 p.m. Thursday followed by interment at Cutchogue Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to East End Hospice, P.O. Box 1048, Westhampton Beach, NY 11978.