The Long Island Merlot Alliance has appointed a new executive director, Amy Zavatto, a wine and spirits journalist.
Zavatto, a Shelter Island native who resides in New York City, will lead the Merlot Alliance’s year of celebrations and educational opportunities to mark the organization’s 10th anniversary.
“I have known and worked with Amy for a long time, and with her I believe we have found a true advocate for the region; someone who understands not only our AVA [American Viticultural Area], but a person who can help us to take the alliance to the next level,” Long Island Merlot Alliance President Roman Roth says. “Amy has the unique perspective of not only logging more than a decade as a dedicated wine journalist, but one who literally grew up alongside the vines of eastern Long Island. Her perspective, knowledge, and relationships will be invaluable to us.”
She is a candidate for a diploma from the London-based Wine and Spirits Education Trust and a judge in the state’s largest wine competition created by the New York Wine and Grape Foundation, the annual New York Wine & Food Classic in Watkins Glen. She is an author as well, having penned The Renaissance Guide to Wine and Food Pairing, The Architecture of the Cocktail, and the soon-to-be-released Wild Cocktails.
“I am thrilled to be working with such a talented, passionate group of winemakers and proud to promote their wines and the wines of my home region,” Zavatto says.
Zavatto will help the alliance establish November as “Long Island Merlot Month.” She is also charged with partnering with other wine groups in the region, working with the administration in Albany to promote New York wine, and overseeing the promotion or Merliance, a cooperative wine made with contributions from eight East End wine producers.