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July 24, 2007


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Lenn, The am New York article is not as terrible as you make it seem. The writer, Barbara Shea is a long-time pro--she formerly worked at Newsday. Yes, growing conditions are different between the forks, but it has taken Hamptons growers a much longer time to figure this out. Before you arrived on Long Island, the few vineyards that existed on the South Fork were out of business, because of poor growing locations. Vineyards in low spots froze over, then there was the high water table and salt spray. As for Shea's count on the number of places to visit, she's right. Yes, there are almost 40 "wine producers" on LI, but count the number of public tasting rooms on the North Fork (which some now call it the NoFo) and you get to about 20. The fact that am New York took notice of the region can only help attract more visitors and, hopefully, fans of LI wine. The same could be said for the more limited approach of the recent article in the Malaysia Star. http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2007/7/21/focus/18354890&sec=focus

Thanks for the comment, Alan, but I think you're a little off in defending the piece this way.

Sure, there were some failed wineries/vineyards in the Hamptons in the past, but this was a news story...not a history lesson, right? To say either the North for South Fork has "better" growing conditions is like saying that the Napa Valley has better growing conditions than say Alsace or the Mosel. No one will argue that Napa is "better" for Cabernet, but is anyone going to say that its' "better" for Riesling? Again, the growing conditions are different, not better or worse.

I count, off the top of my head, 29 tasting rooms on the North Fork (with two more, Baiting Hollow Farm Winery and Clovis Point opening any time now):

1. Roanoke Vineyards
2. Diliberto Vineyards
3. Palmer Vineyards
4. Martha Clara Vineyards
5. Macari Vineyards
6. Lieb Family Cellars
7. Shinn Estate Vineyards
8. Sherwood House Vineyards
9. Castello di Borghese
10. Duck Walk North
11. Vineyard 48
12. Waters Crest Winery
13. Paumanok Vineyards
14. Jamesport Vineyards
15. Laurel Lake Vineyards
16. Pellegrini Vineyards
17. Peconic Bay Winery
18. Pugliese Vineyards
19. Bedell Cellars
20. Pindar Vineyards
21. Osprey's Dominion Vineyards
22. Galluccio Family Wineries
23. Raphael
24. The Lenz Winery
25. Ackerly Pond Vineyards
26. Corey Creek Vineyards
27. The Old Field Vineyards
28. The Tasting Room
29. Ternhaven Cellars

It's easy enough to count the wineries by going to any number of websites or looking at most any promotional materials from wine country. The Long Island Wine Council's site only lists members but even that is more than 20 on the North Fork I think.

And even if I was being a bit harsh on those first two points, referring to Bidwell Vineyards is pretty bad.

In the end though, you're right. It's great when the region gets the coverage. But how do you think the Pipia's feel about the reference to Bidwell when they bought the place two years ago and re-named it? What about places like Shinn Estate, Roanoke, Waters Crest and The Old Field who weren't listed as there at all?


Much of this would not be a controversy if there was agreement on the definition of "winery". There are today in excess of 45 wine producers on the North Fork and I am no longer able to keep track of them. To an outside observer one would think that the industry is growing rapidly. Yet, the acreage has hardly changed over the last three years. What is happening is that anyone can become a wine producer, as you have with your Lenndevours Cabernet Franc 2006 that you must have picked up at Raphael. If you were to obtain a license, you would have been able to add yourself to the list. Does this make you a "winery" though?? At least ten producers from your list do not own their own winemaking facility but use predominantly a local crush facility of another winery.

If however a winery is defined as having all of the necessary elements including a vineyard, a winemaking facility as a tasting room (although the latter is not necessary ) then Alan and Barbara Shea may have been correct in their evaluation.

You might have a point there, but the ones that are listed (or not listed) in the 20 don't necessarily fit your definition or argument either. Looking at their list, but the definition you offer (which is probably a pure, solid definition):

- Martha Clara Vineyards: Makes their wines at Premium Wine Group
- Lieb Family Cellars: Makes their wines at Premium (though I guess they do share a property, so that could be considered on site)

And, Shinn Estate Vineyards has their own, on-site winery, as does Waters Crest Winery. Neither were listed.

So I think that even if we agree that on-site wine making facility is the definition of "winery" the story's count is still off.

Honestly, even if I were to retract my comments about the "20 wineries", the NoFo thing and the "better" growing conditions of the North Fork...can anyone give a good reason for calling Vineyard 48 Bidwell this long after the change?

As I said in the original post, coverage is coverage and it's great to see the region get it, but as someone who is passionate about the region, I find it annoying that easily checked errors get published.

"By the way, I don't think I've heard anyone refer to the North Fork as 'NoFo'....have you?"

No, but occasionally I see one of those sickening NoFo bumper stickers (in the style of the country ovals).

I hope upon hope that NoFo goes NoWhere.

And I do agree, the article is poorly written and researched. It looks just like the kind of work I do when I don't know what I'm talking about.

"By the way, I don't think I've heard anyone refer to the North Fork as 'NoFo'....have you?"

No, but occasionally I see one of those sickening NoFo bumper stickers (in the style of the country ovals)."


I got my wife NoFo sticker for her car. I think to call it "sickening" is a bit harsh. My wife loves visiting the North Fork and I believe her NoFo sticker is a pleasant reminder of good times. We don't refer to NoFo though - for us it's "out east".
Anyway, I hope our sticker doesn't offend you if your stuck behind us on Sound Ave someday.

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