This summer Montauk Wine Company launched two new vintages: the Montauk Summer Rosé and Montauk Great White. Both were harvested, blended, and bottled by Premium Wine Group in Mattituck and aim to evoke a taste reminiscent of summer in Montauk. Indy caught up with Montauk Wine Company owner, Anneris Blair.
Tell us a little about yourself and how you got started in the world of winemaking.
I was born in the Dominican Republic and came to United States in my late 20s. I lived in New York City and when I met my husband, who spent his summers in Montauk since 1979, I fell in love with the area. We got married in Montauk and now live here full-time year-round as I have for last four years after a decade in Manhattan.
How did the idea for the Montauk Wine Company come about?
The team behind Montauk Wine Company includes consultants Mike Carolan and my husband Mark Blair, in addition to myself. We have all been wine lovers with varied work experiences and collected travels. We believed that producing wines that were inspired by great wines from Europe could also represent the East End and Montauk if made and bottled on the North Fork of Long Island.
Last year, we launched our rosé and it was very popular, so we ramped up production this year and introduced a limited production of a new white table wine. We modeled our rosé after the great rosés from the south of France and our white wine from the delicious table wines of Europe.
Tell us about your blends, the Summer Rosé and Montauk Great White.
Our Montauk Summer Rosé wine is a blend of mostly Syrah mixed with Malbec and Merlot and our new Montauk Great White wine is made of four grapes — Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and Reisling — all grown on the North Fork of Long Island. We are proud of our wine country here and wanted to make our wine and source grapes locally.
The blends are both adorned with exclusive labels created by Hamptons artist and illustrator Peter Spacek. Spacek, an elusive Montauk surfer, is known for his surf-centric illustrations found on greeting cards, in surf periodicals, and most recently, in local art galleries.
The Montauk Summer Rosé label depicts a fun and whimsical image of a surfer cruising through the ocean, a cultural highlight of Montauk in the summertime. The Montauk Great White label illustrates the iconic great white shark, a species with history in Montauk waters, with spirited lettering and a jagged edge signifying the daunting jaws of the stunning creature.
What about Montauk inspires you?
Montauk always provided me with a sense of natural beauty, open space, and sparked my creative juices. We felt we could make wines that represented the spirit of Montauk in summer and the carefree laidback lifestyle we all seek in the Hamptons this time of year. And as a result, our stylish bottles and label design are an ode to Montauk and its artistic roots and history.
What are some of your favorite places to go in Montauk?
Duryea’s Lobster Deck is one of my favorite spots. I suggest starting with the lobster Cobb salad followed by local caught dayboat fluke with jasmine rice, paired with our Montauk Summer Rosé or the Duryea’s clambake paired with their great warm bread for dipping. Either way, you can’t go wrong! Another favorite is the Harvest, where I would suggest the Asian calamari salad followed by one of their whole fish or scallop specials. All are amazing!
For more info, visit www.montaukwinecompany.com.