The Long Island Merlot Alliance, a trade organization that strives to educate on the quality of merlot and merlot based blends produced on Long Island, has announced the formation of the Merliance Wine Trail to celebrate the release of its 2011 Merliance cooperative red blend.
On the wine trail, revelers are encouraged to taste world-class Merlots and the Merliance wine at each of the seven participating wineries—Sherwood House Vineyards, Clovis Point, T’Jara Vineyards, McCall Wines, Lieb Cellars, Raphael and Wölffer Estate Vineyard.
“Long Island is one of the few places in the world that provides the best opportunity for growing and producing world-class wines substantially comprised of the merlot grape,” says Roman Roth, president of the Long Island Merlot Alliance. “We have wonderful growing conditions to make a special merlot and it shows that we are taking this grape variety seriously.”
Those who want to participate can pick up the Merliance Wine Trail Map at one of the seven member wineries. Upon visiting, each winery will stamp a card, and patrons will receive a free bottle of Merliance wine after enjoying all seven locations. Outside of this promotion, Merliance sells for $35. Sale of Merliance funds the activities of the alliance, from research initiatives to events.
Visitors of the Merliance Wine Trail will gain valuable knowledge about merlot and merlot based varietals while experiencing the full potential of the Long Island appellation in producing quality, age-worthy, balanced, classic wines.
Merliance is the only cooperative wine made on Long Island. It stands as the emblem of the organization, raising the bar for wine quality and creating a sense of place and community between the members. The wine is a blend of 100% merlot from each Long Island Merlot Alliance.
Each Long Island Merlot Alliance member-winery commits to the blend between one to four barrels of finished merlot produced using sustainable viticulture practices and winemaking techniques. These lots arecarefully chosen when the Member-winemakers gather annually to taste and marry barrel samples of their wines to create a blend that defines the characteristics of Long Island merlot, demonstrates the strength of the terroir and symbolizes the fruits of their cooperation. The final blend is barrel-aged for one year before it is bottled and released.