I’m Sharon Rubin Levine, one of the owners of Baiting Hollow Farm Vineyard and one of the founders of Baiting Hollow Farm Horse Rescue.
There is no normal day here. I think sometimes I spend a good portion of my day just changing my clothing.
So I ended up starting the day out in the barn with our vet, who was here to do routine things like shots and so forth. Then I came in to meet a couple about their wedding. We do weddings here, we do all kinds of events here.
Later in the day I’ll be spending time in my office, and then I’ll go back outside to do some grooming and then it’s time to feed the horses and get them ready for the night.
On the weekends we have tons of people here so I’ll often be behind either a bar or behind our jewelry counter or running somebody’s party.
My dad purchased this land in the late ’80s as a hobby farm because he wanted his family to eat organic produce.
In the mid ’90s he decided he would plant some grapes, and he did — but everything he grew always grew so magnificently. Before you knew it, we were surrounded by all these gorgeous vines. And so you have to make wine. We did, and people liked it, so we needed a tasting house. In 2007 we rebuilt the house piece-by-piece and opened our tasting house. It was one these snowballing things.
Just about the time we were opening the tasting house, I was getting emails about horse slaughter, which I did not believe. When I found out it was still going on, my brother and I said when we’ve been open for six months, we’ll take in one rescue. I went online to learn about horses. About two weeks after we opened, I saw Angel, she had three hours until they were leaving for slaughter. I took one look at her and knew I had to save her.
Any horse can find themselves in the kill pen, unfortunately. We’ve rescued about four dozen horses; we have 21 here now. Four of our varietals here, 100 percent of the profit goes to the horse rescue. Those are our horse rescue wines. Right now we are working on getting donations to get enough hay through the winter. Donations can be made at bhfhorserescue.org.
So one thing for sure, we work a lot but we have a lot of fun doing it because it’s really all fun things that we get to do.
“The Work We Do” is a News-Review multimedia project profiling workers on the North Fork. It is made possible by Peconic Landing. See more photos on Instagram @riverheadnewsreview and watch the video on facebook.com/riverheadnewsreview.