Long Island vineyards have come a long way, from humble farm beginnings to a respected wine region. Lieb Cellars is celebrating a milestone at its vineyard with a 30th Anniversary edition of Pinot Blanc. There are only 50 cases of this beautiful and very exclusive wine.
The commemorative packaging is a reproduction of Lieb’s very first bottling of Pinot Blanc in 1992, the year the vineyard was founded by Mark and Kathy Lieb. The iconic Lieb “L” appears in gold script surrounded by a whimsical grapevine wreath, a contrast to the bold, red Times New Roman “L” that adorns the winery’s logo today.
“While brainstorming ways to celebrate the anniversary, we remembered the single bottle of 1992 Pinot Blanc in our library,” Lieb General Manager Ami Opisso says. “This bottle is treasured and rarely touched because it’s the only one left and such a special piece of our history,” Opisso adds.
In the absence of being able to open and share the bottle with the public, Lieb decided to recreate the bottle’s label and bottle 50 cases of their current release Pinot Blanc under it.
“What’s crazy is that digital files didn’t exist back then. The label was hand drawn, and the only ‘file’ to work from was a print on acetate. We started from scratch and rebuilt the artwork and worked with our printer to match the paper and foils. It’s almost an exact match.”
Russell Hearn has been Lieb’s winemaker from its inception and shares in the excitement. “I’m proud of the work we’ve done at Lieb for the past 30 years. We’ve remained true to our commitment to producing clean, fruit-driven wines using sustainable farming, and our achievements and milestones over the years have been pretty remarkable,” Hearn says.
In 2004, Lieb Cellars was awarded a grant by the USDA for “meeting high standards of conservation and protecting the environment.” In 2015, Lieb’s Pinot Blanc was named a “Top 12 Wine in America” by The Wall Street Journal. In 2017, Lieb’s estate Chardonnay was served at the White House state dinner. Currently, Lieb wines are distributed in 14 states in the US and exported to Canada.
“It’s quite a legacy, and it’s nice to take this opportunity to pause and reflect on it,” Hearn concludes.
Though this may be burying the lede, while the label is stunning, the wine inside the bottle is every bit as gorgeous. Made from some of the oldest vines on Long Island, this stainless steel-fermented wine really is absolutely delicious. It’s so crisp and clean, with vibrant and balanced acidity, and lovely minerality. It has notes of lemon, and lemon drops, and a slight hint of sea spray.
The limited-edition bottle will be for sale in Lieb’s tasting room and on its website until it’s sold out. It retails for $50. If you miss out on purchasing the anniversary edition of this wine, don’t despair, pick up the 2021 Estate Pinot Blanc.
For more on Lieb Cellars wines, visit liebcellars.com.