04/16/14 8:00am
04/16/2014 8:00 AM
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announces new reforms to ease restrictions on farm wineries. (Credit: Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office)

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announces new reforms to ease restrictions on farm wineries. (Credit: Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office)

Local wineries and farm breweries are celebrating recent statewide reforms they say will both reduce the financial burden on the local beverage industry and give them more freedom to sell and distribute their products. (more…)

10/22/13 5:00pm
10/22/2013 5:00 PM

CARRIE MILLER PHOTO | Taste North Fork shuttle bus stops are now scheduled for 25 locations during Veteran’s Day weekend.

With less than a month to go, details of the first-ever Taste North Fork festival are falling into place with more than 50 local wineries, restaurants, hotels and shops signing up to participate.

On Tuesday, Hampton Jitney released the official list of more than 20 stops (see below) the free shuttles will be making on Veteran’s Day weekend.

The three-day event will feature a full range of activities celebrating local wines and foods across the region. Wineries, as well as local breweries and distilleries, will be invited to offer special tasting menus paired with foods from local restaurants.

The buses will run in a loop between Riverhead and Greenport. There will also be feeder buses from the Cross Sound Ferry and Long Island Rail Road. Stops will be made at each location approximately every 45 minutes during business hours.

The pilot program is being made possible through a portion of a $335,000 “I Love NY” grant, aiming to help promote agritourism on the East End. Since the East End Tourism Alliance, Long Island Wine Council and North Fork Promotion Council unveiled the plan in August the event has received an overwhelming response from local businesses and town officials, organizers said.

Southold, Greenport and Mattituck have all signed on to host their own “mini-festivals” in honor of Taste North Fork through the holiday weekend.

North Fork Promotion Council president Joan Bischoff said he hopes the shuttle program can continue next year for the entire summer season.

“We have to make sure it’s not a bridge to nowhere,” he said. “We would like some sort of annual event in the slow season to bring in tourists.”

The list of stops are as follows:

Baiting Hollow Farm Vineyard

Bedell Cellars

Castello di Borghese

Clovis Point

Coffee Pot Cellars

Duck Walk Vineyards

Jamesport Vineyards

Jason’s Vineyard

Kontokosta Winery

Macari

Osprey’s Dominion

Palmer Vineyards

Pellegrini Vineyards

Pindar

Raphael

RoanokeVineyards

Sannino Bella Vita Vineyards

Sherwood House Vineyards

Sparkling Pointe

Waters Crest Winery

LI Spirits Craft Distillery

Greenport

Southold

Mattituck

Orient Point (Cross Island Ferry connection)

cmurray@timesreview.com 

08/19/13 8:00am
08/19/2013 8:00 AM

Jitney

The North Fork wine trail attracts thousands of visitors each weekend. With dozens of vineyards to choose from, getting to each one – especially after the bottles have been uncorked – takes planning.

To help take the guess work out and get people to their destination safely, the East End Tourism Alliance and North Fork Promotion Council are launching a pilot shuttle bus service to connect wineries this Veterans Day Weekend.

The pilot program is being made possible through a portion of a  “I Love NY” $300,000 grant, aiming to help promote agritourism in Suffolk County, according to Steven Bate, executive director of the Long Island Wine Council.

“The real transformative part of the project is to test out the feasibility of a free shuttle bus to facilitate tourist access for the huge New York metro population without their own cars,” he said.

The buses, which will be provided by Hampton Jitney, will run in a loop between Riverhead and Greenport. There will also be feeder buses from the Orient Point ferry and Long Island Rail Road. Stops will be made at each location approximately every 45 minutes during business hours, Mr. Bate said.

The groups behind the shuttle are currently planning a ‘Taste North Fork” festival to coincide with the pilot program on Veterans Day weekend. The three-day event will feature a full range of activities celebrating local wines and foods across the region, Mr. Bate said. Wineries, as well as local breweries and distilleries, will be invited to offer special tasting menus paired with foods from local restaurants.

Joan Bischoff of the North Fork Promotional Council said that he hopes the shuttle program can continue next year for the entire summer season.

The organizations are also now working with the towns on finalizing the exact shuttle route.

“We are very excited about this opportunity and very grateful to I Love NY for giving us the seed capital to launch what we hope will become an annual event that provides a significant seasonal boost to our local economy,” Mr. Bate said.

cmurray@timesreview.com

 

08/02/11 4:18am
08/02/2011 4:18 AM

SAMANTHA BRIX PHOTO | Martha Clara Vineyards winemaker and general manager Juan Micieli-Martinez holds up a bottle of the 2010 Estate Reserve Riesling

The soft white grapes used in the 2010 Estate Reserve Riesling at Martha Clara Vineyards are handled very gently.
Winemakers take special care to hide the grapes and their juices from oxygen to prevent oxidation. The grape juice is then fermented in stainless steel, and upon pouring a golden glass of the finished product, floral aromas with hints of white tea leaves waft through the air.

On the palette, a distinct sweetness is subtly balanced with acidity.

That’s why the winery’s riesling was rated the highest among 564 other wines at the 7th Annual Atlantic Seaboard Wine Association Competition last month in Haymarket, Va.

Entries were submitted by 118 wineries from 11 states.

“This is a big deal for Long Island and a big deal for the North Fork,” said Martha Clara Vineyards winemaker and general manager Juan Micieli-Martinez.

The wine’s victory — which won Best in Show and Best in Category, meaning it was the best riesling overall —  came somewhat as a surprise. The best riesling typically flows from the New York Fingerlakes region, which has a cooler growing climate conducive to producing that wine, Mr. Micieli-Martinez said.

“The Fingerlakes has always been given credit for their dynamite riesling,” he said. “For us to win down here on the island is even more of a special honor.”

He credits Martha Clara’s win to its location — its land and soil — as well as the management of the vines and careful attention to detail and the handling of the grapes and juices.

The competition’s 19 judges considered aroma, taste, structure and overall concept in each wine entered, according to Gordon Murchie, president emeritus of ASWA. Each judge had to be familiar with east coast wines, as grapes in the east differ from those in the west.

He said Martha Clara’s Riesling earned its honor by reaching a certain “level of sophistication.”

“It shows, in the factors of tasting the wine, that overall this is a top quality wine that is going to do extremely well in the consumer marketplace.”

Since the winery has won, it will only sell three bottles of its 2010 Estate Reserve Riesling to members of the public or six bottles each to Martha Clara Vineyards Wine Club members. One bottle costs $19.99.

Other North Fork wineries were bestowed with awards for their wines as well. Sherwood House Vineyards in Mattituck took two silver medals — one for a 2007 Cabernet Franc and one for a 2006 Sherwood Manor.

Vineyard 48 in Cutchogue won a silver for its White Table Wine and a bronze for its 2010 Riesling.

A bronze medal went to the Harbes Family Farm and Vineyard in Mattituck for the 2007 Blue Mack, and Martha Clara also won silver medals for the 2010 So Vin Yon Blonk — which also won Best in Category — and 2009 Cabernet Franc, as well as a bronze for the 2007 Clusters.

samantha@northshoresun.com