The Hamptons and North Fork are now, without question, serious contenders in the wonderful, wide world of wine! Each year presents important new moments, whether it’s a business changing hands, a spectacular new bottle (or can), or a dozen other area accolades, achievements or milestones in the industry’s evolution. Of course this year, 2018, was no different.
In no particular order, we present our 10 favorite East End wine moments from the last 12 months, and we congratulate all our vineyards, wineries and winemakers for their continued success. Let’s toast to the end of 2018 and the beginning of 2019!
Winemaker Anthony Napa Creates the East End’s First Certified Organic Wines
Producing local, organic wines is a huge accomplishment in our wet region’s cool climate, but the winemaker from Raphael and his namesake Anthony Nappa Wines, along with grower Rex Farr, achieved this milestone with a February release this year. Napa explained, “For all of the wines we currently make, as well as all the wines I make for Raphael Vineyards, we don’t use any additives, so moving into organic certification wasn’t difficult for me as it was already the way that I make wine.”
Jon Bon Jovi Debuts Hampton Water Rosé and It Rocks
The rock star and his son Jesse Bongiovi partnered with talented French winemaker Gérard Bertrand, from Languedoc-Roussillon in Southern France, to make Hampton Water Rosé, which hit the market in February—and sold out quickly. A unique blend of Grenache, cinsault and Mourvédre grapes, the wine was eventually dubbed the world’s best rosé in 2018 by Wine Spectator magazine.
Southold Historical Society Explores Local Wine in Clink! A Toast to Long Island Wine Exhibition
From June 30–October 7, this special exhibition focused on Long Island’s past by way of winemaking through photographs, paintings, graphs, quotes, music and objects—some of it crowdsourced from the community—pertaining to the local wine industry. Visitors were enlightened about why North Fork soil is so good for growing, and how viticulture took shape here.
Dan’s Best of the Best 2018 East End Wine & Wineries Winners Announced
Each year, our annual Dan’s Best of the Best competition draws thousands of votes as the community decides their favorite businesses, personalities and more in the Hamptons and North Fork. And it should come as no surprise that the results of our Wine & Wineries categories, released in October, are among the most anticipated. Read on to find who won Best Winery, Best Cabernet, Best Rosé, Best Chardonnay, Best Merlot, Best Tasting Room, Best Wine Club, Best Vineyard Scenery, Best Winemaker, Best Winery Events, Best Winery Staff and Best Wine Tour Company.
Wölffer Adds Red Hard Cider to Their Ever-Expanding Lineup
It’s not wine, per se, but we have to commend Wölffer Estate Vineyard and their esteemed winemaker Roman Roth for continuing to push boundaries and try new things, whether it’s a restaurant, gin, unique advertising campaigns or just really good wine. The new No. 139 Red Cider hit stores over Labor Day weekend and sold out quickly. It was a hit!
Paumanok Vineyards Announces Acquisition of Palmer Vineyards and Winery
In July, Aquebogue’s Paumanok Vineyards announced Tuesday that they entered into a contract with the Palmer Family to acquire the neighboring Palmer Vineyards for an undisclosed sum, though the property was listed for just shy of $5 million. The acquisition included the entire 60-acre Palmer estate, including 49 acres of vineyards, the winery and all buildings, as well as the Palmer brand and wine inventory.
Dan’s Rosé Soirée Returns for Second Year and Cements Its Reputation as a Premier Hamptons Event
A celebration of local wine and the start of summer, the second annual Dan’s Rosé Soirée Presented by Porsche kicked off the 2018 Dan’s Taste of Summer season in elegant, delicious Hamptons style at Southampton Arts Center over Memorial Day weekend. It was a night of pink drink, pink clothes, good times and some unforgettable moments.
Coffee Pot Cellars Fights for Butterflies with Merlot for Monarchs Campaign
Who doesn’t love butterflies? Over the summer, Blossom Meadow Farm founder, and co-owner of Coffee Pot Cellars, Laura Klahre and her husband Adam Suprenant (winemaker/co-owner of Coffee Pot Cellars) pledged that for every bottle of Merlot sold in 2018, they would plant a new milkweed plant—the only food source for newly hatched caterpillars—on Blossom Meadow Farm, an organization dedicated to raising healthy pollinators.
Lieb Cellars Breaks Tradition with Canned Bridge Lane Wine
In January, Cutchogue winery Lieb Cellars rolled out a new line of five canned wines under their Bridge Lane label. The winery successfully completed a test batch of their rosé in can in summer 2017 and spent the next five months tweaking the packaging, lab testing the cans and developing four new varieties. Who needs glasses?
New Fall Wines Impress in the Hamptons and North Fork
Autumn is an incredibly busy time of year for our local vineyards, but it’s also a time for winemakers to get excited about the great fruit they’re seeing, and the great wines that will result. It’s also a great time to enjoy new juice from past vintages! We found some gems on both ends of the Island.