By Lenn Thompson, Executive Editor
Yesterday, the Long Island Merlot Alliance (LIMA) announced that T’Jara Vineyards label has joined the merlot promotion group.
That means that two barrels of 2010 T’Jara merlot will be included in the 2010 Merliance, LIMA’s cooperative merlot blend.
T’Jara is a brand created by winemaker Russell Hearn and business partner Jed Beitler, who together own T’Jara Vineyards -- an established vineyard in in Mattituck, NY. T'Jara released two 2007 vintage wines, a Merlot and Merlot-based blend, in late 2011.
According to the press release, “T’Jara is the phonetic spelling of an aboriginal word that, roughly translated, means ‘where I’m from.’ We wanted our wines to convey a definite sense of place—Long Island’s East End.”
It's no surprise that T'Jara has joined LIMA -- Russell is also the winemaker at Pellegrini Vineyards, one of LIMA's founding members.
Beyond the blending and making of Merliance every year, LIMA has largely been an event-focused organization, organizing tasting events that pit member merlots against merlots from other regions.
With the addition of T’Jara Vineyards, the Long Island Merlot Alliance has six members, including Clovis Point, McCall Wines, Raphael, Sherwood House Vineyards and Wölffer Estate Vineyard.