01/14/13 2:58pm
01/14/2013 2:58 PM

GIANNA VOLPE FILE PHOTO | Peconic Bay Winery will now do all its non-member tastings at Empire State Cellars at the Tanger Outlet Center.

Peconic Bay Winery will be closing its Cutchogue tasting room to the general public, but the location will continue to be the site of special events and where the company’s wine will be fermented, bottled and stored, according to general manager Jim Silver.

Mr. Silver said Empire State Cellars at Tanger Outlets in Riverhead — where the company currently sells almost 800 New York wines and some liquor — will soon feature an exclusive space for Peconic Bay Winery products and will also serve as the winery’s retail and tasting room headquarters. Peconic Bay Winery owns the outlet, which it opened about a year ago.

The Cutchogue property will still serve as the location for the Peconic Bay Winery wine club and other private events, as well as food and music festivals.

“A lot of people don’t know what to make of this and some think we are closing,” Mr. Silver said. “We are absolutely not closing our tasting room. We are just changing it and re-purposing the [Cutchogue] property. The biggest crowds came out for the special events and we’re going to keep doing them.”

In a press release, Mr. Silver said the Riverhead tasting room “can accommodate dozens of interested wine tasters each day and the hours of operation are much longer than they are at the winery. We’ll reach a lot more people this way.”

He said though the company laments no longer offering open mic and other frequent events for local musicians, the sound of music will not be leaving the property for good.

Two festivals are already planned with event production company Starfish Junction which puts on such events as the North Fork Craft Beer, BBQ & Wine Festival at Martha Clara Vineyards and the Pour the Core hard cider festival held at Peconic Bay Winery in October.

“We’re planning another cider festival for Oct. 5 and I have a meeting in two weeks for a wine-related festival,” Mr. Silver said, adding that the Cutchogue Lions car show will also soon be held at the Cutchogue location.

Mr. Silver said he is currently talking with limo and other private driving companies to make Tanger a stop on the North Fork wine trail.

“On the way out after a day of touring the area, who wouldn’t feel like a little shopping,” Mr. Silver said. “Guys can come have a beer at the bar and girls can check out some of the shops. It’s going to be a fun place.”

Mr. Silver said the North Fork region accommodates about two million people annually, a number he said is growing all the time.

“Our piece of that is 40 to 50,000 and that’s a lot. I think with this move, there will be more traffic to go around to the other local vineyards and will bring loyal Peconic Bay wine drinkers to Tanger,” he said.  “It’s going to be a bit more quiet around here in Cutchogue, but we’re going to keep ourselves just as busy and I don’t think it will end up having too much of an impact.”

Mr. Silver said North Forkers who truly love the Cutchogue location should join the wine club.

“Wine club members come in all the time to pick up their shipments and hundreds of them will show up,” he said. “We’re going to have eight wine club weekends in Cutchogue, so wine club members can have the place all to themselves.”

gvolpe@timesreview.com

 

01/13/13 12:00pm
01/13/2013 12:00 PM

TIM KELLY PHOTO | Times/Review Newsgroup owner Andrew Olsen (right) introduces legislative candidates Al Krupski and Sean Walter at the start of the Jan. 7 debate sponsored by Times/Review.

Andrew Olsen, who with wife Sarah recently purchased the Times/Review Newsgroup, which publishes The Riverhead-News Review, will be the featured speaker at the next dinner meeting of the Mattituck Chamber of Commerce Thursday, Jan. 17.

A native of Southold now residing in Cutchogue, Mr. Olsen has served as a publisher of Times/Review’s publications since 2003.

The meeting will take place at the Bayview Inn in South Jamesport, starting at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $25.

RSVP to Pat Patchell at 722-3458.

Times/Review also publishes The Suffolk Times, Shelter Island Reporter and Long Island Wine Press.

11/02/12 3:43pm
11/02/2012 3:43 PM
Aerial Photos, Gas Crisis, Long Island, Tanger, Hurricane Sandy

GIANNA VOLPE PHOTO | Gas lines at Hess in Riverhead after Sandy.

News-Review staffer Gianna Volpe took to the sky Friday in an airplane — but with a camera in hand — and took these aerial photos of gas lines stretching in both directions from Hess station on Route 58.

Lines at the Hess, near the Tanger Outlets, stretched past the Long Island Expressway to the west when the photos were taken about noon.

Readers reported some 200 cars were waiting for gas at the station, with Riverhead Town police officers and New York State troopers standing by.

Read more about the gas crisis.

See riverheadnewsreview.com on Saturday for shoreline aerial photos.

GIANNA VOLPE PHOTO | Gas lines stretching from the Route 58 Hess near Tanger.

GIANNA VOLPE PHOTO | Gas lines stretching from the Route 58 Hess near Tanger.

Aerial shots, News-Review, Riverhead, Hess, gas lines

GIANNA VOLPE PHOTO | Gas line along Route 58 about noon Friday in Riverhead.

Tanger, Gas Crisis, Long Island, Riverhead

GIANNA VOLPE PHOTO | Gas lines stretching from the Route 58 Hess near Tanger.

10/18/12 9:45am
10/18/2012 9:45 AM

A 22-year-old Riverhead man was arrested Wednesday evening in Cutchogue after a physical altercation with police, Southold Town police said.

Curtis Trent was pulled over by police at the intersection of Eugene Road and Beebe drive about 9 p.m. for traffic violations when he became combative, fighting with officers, police said.

After Mr. Trent was subdued, he was found to be in possession of marijuana.

Mr. Trent was arrested for three misdemeanor offenses, transported to police headquarters, processed and held for arraignment, according to the report.

Police did not name the exact charges in a release, and were not immediately available to provide more detailed information.

10/13/12 10:00am
10/13/2012 10:00 AM
Lieb, Craft restaurants

GIANNA VOLPE PHOTO | Lieb Cellars director of sales John Morales (from left), advertising consultant Peter Pace and owner Mark Lieb in front of the the new ‘Vineyard’ tasting room.

A harvest party will be held at Lieb Cellars’ new tasting room at 13050 Oregon Road in Cutchogue tonight, Saturday, between 5 and 8 p.m. Organizers say it’s a chance to showcase the winery’s new digs.

It took a month longer than owner Mark Lieb originally hoped to open the new tasting room, which opened for business Oct. 1.

An official grand opening kick-off will take place there between 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 19.

Live music will also be held at the location every Saturday between 2 and 6 p.m.

Lieb Cellars’ original Mattituck tasting room will remain open in the Premium Wine Group facility, which Mr. Lieb also partially owns.

“I’m very happy,” Mr. Lieb said of the new tasting room last month. “This is something we’ve wanted for a long time. We built this building years ago. It’s a beautiful spot.”

Click here to read our previous story about the new tasting room.

09/12/12 5:00pm
09/12/2012 5:00 PM

GIANNA VOLPE FILE PHOTO | JABS founder Jill Schroeder at one of her classes last month.

Shape magazine announced this week that Cutchogue resident and local Zumba instructor Jill Schroeder won the first round of its national online contest seeking the nation’s most inspirational Zumba instructor.

According to Shape, Ms. Schroeder, owner of JABS in Mattituck, received the most votes out of the total 400,000 votes cast last month.

Ms. Schroeder said she found out she won Monday night after her fiancé stumbled upon an article about the contest at shape.com.

“I was excited and thought it was cool that I was featured on the website,” Ms. Schroeder said. “If it actually turns into a print article, I think it would be very good for me and my business.”

Created in Cali, Colombia during the mid-90s by aerobics instructor Alberto “Beto” Perez, the fitness program is an international sensation. To become an instructor, one must be licensed by Zumba Fitness, the organization that holds the trademark on the program.

Ms. Schroeder said she first became interested in Zumba five years ago after taking a class in Nassau County, which she said was the closest studio that offered the Latin dance exercise at the time. She opened JABS last year.

Ms. Schroeder was one of three Eastern Suffolk County Zumba instructors that were in the top 10 of the first round of Shape’s competition. Fellow JAB instructor Carol Leonard of Southold and Christine Locrotondo, a Manorville resident who teaches Zumba at Leg Works Dance in Mastic also did well in the first round.

jennifer@timesreview.com

09/01/12 12:03pm
09/01/2012 12:03 PM
Lieb, Craft restaurants

GIANNA VOLPE PHOTO | Lieb Cellars director of sales John Morales (from left), advertising consultant Peter Pace and owner Mark Lieb in front of the the new ‘Vineyard’ tasting room.

Something new is coming to the North Fork — and fall Wine Country visitors won’t have to wait long before it’s open to the public.

Lieb Cellars is days away from opening a second tasting room. This one is in a big red barn on Oregon Road in Cutchogue, abutting the winery’s vines and overlooking a sunflower field. The other tasting room is away from the vineyard, in Mattituck.

“Hopefully we’ll be open within the next week at the most,” owner Mark Lieb said Friday. “I’m very happy. This is something we’ve wanted for a long time. We built this building years ago. It’s a beautiful spot.”

The building, which features a patio, tasting room, conference room, offices and cold storage for wine, is a place Mr. Lieb said is not only nice to have, but has become necessary, as the business needed to add office space and provide more elbow room for Wine Country visitors.

“The offices needed to be expanded because we’re growing the business significantly,” he said.

Expansions include a partnership with restaurateur, celebrity chef and five-time James Beard award-winner Tom Colicchio, who chose Lieb Cellar’s pinot blanc for a private label sparkling wine called Craft by Lieb Cellars, Brut Blanc de Blancs. Mr. Colicchio is the founder of Craft and Colicchio & Sons restaurants, including Craftsteak at nearby Foxwoods Resort & Casino.

“The wine will be sold exclusively in Craft restaurants and the Lieb tasting rooms,” said director of sales John Morales.

Mr. Morales is responsible for some of Lieb’s largest clients, which now include Citifield, where two of Lieb Cellars wines are sold by the glass, and Terminal Five at John F. Kennedy airport, where Lieb is the only North Fork winery represented.

“It was hard selling Long Island wine in the beginning,” said Mr. Morales, who has been with Lieb Cellars for 12 years. “Tom [Colicchio] and one of his restaurants, Craft, were one of the first places to really open their doors to the local wine scene. There’s still some hurdles, such as Nassau County, but we’re extremely strong in the Hamptons and pride ourselves on New York City.”

Between the new partnership with Mr. Colicchio, the new tasting room and a mention this month in The New York Times (along with Lenz Winery) for having one of the 12 greatest American wines under $20, the team at Lieb Cellars is looking forward to a great year.

“You’ve got the sunflowers across the street, you’ve got Long Island Sound right over there,” Mr. Lieb said from the new tasting room’s patio. “I think it’s going to be a hot spot this fall.”

gvolpe@timesreview.com

08/19/12 10:00am
08/19/2012 10:00 AM

Local music lovers will gather at Peconic Bay Winery in Cutchogue between 2 and 7 p.m. today to kick-off the 2012 NOFO Rock & Folk Fest concert series and pay tribute to Levon Helm, a musician whose influence has left an indelible fingerprint in the fabric of American music as the voice of The Band.

The Dirt Farmer band, comprised of core members of the Levon Helm Band, will headline the music festival, which will also include performances by Long Island band Miles to Dayton and the North Fork folk duo The Second Hands.

“Levon, for all of us [in the Dirt Farmer Band] was about good music for all the right reasons,” musician Larry Campbell said of his former bandmate. “I think there’s so much going on in music right now that has the wrong motivation; that’s just out there for money and riches. Money and fame goes away, but the joy of making great music never does and that’s success right there.”

Mr. Helm’s daughter, Amy, also played and sang with the Levon Helm Band before her father’s death in April and performs with The Dirt Farmer Band this afternoon in order to “keep it going” in his memory.

“We’re certainly paying tribute to him and carrying on what we were all about as a unit with his influence,” Mr. Campbell said. “That’s what we want to keep going, because it’s been a profound one for all of us, including him. He told me more than once that this was the best band he’d ever played with.”

Mr. Helm was diagnosed with throat cancer in the late 1990s, resulting in damaged vocal cords that initially left one of American music’s most distinctive voices speechless. He would slowly reinvent himself as a vocalist, singing more and more at the musical gatherings he often held at his Woodstock home.

“The first time I heard Levon sing again was at B.B. King’s in New York and it was like finding out the Beatles had gotten back together,” Mr. Campbell said of Mr. Helm’s vocal comeback.

Tickets to today’s event are $25 for anyone 17 and over and is free for all those under 16. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the continuation of the iconic musical gatherings Mr. Helms founded, The Midnight Rambles.

Read an interview with Amy Helm in Thursday’s edition of The Suffolk Times.