This past Saturday, May 28, Dan Abrams celebrated the official grand opening of his Ev&Em Vineyards in Laurel on the North Fork. A well-known broadcast journalist, Abrams purchased the former Laurel Lake Vineyards property in 2020. He then renamed the vineyard in honor of his two children Everett and Emilia.
Abrams has an expansive career in journalism. He is the chief legal affairs correspondent for ABC News, host of Dan Abrams Live on NewsNation, and host of “The Dan Abrams Show: Where Politics Meets the Law” on SiriusXM POTUS channel. He also hosts and produces numerous shows for A&E Network.
He is a graduate of Columbia University Law School, and CEO and founder of Abrams Media. Abrams has also co-authored (with David Fisher) numerous bestselling books including: Kennedy’s Avenger, John Adams Under Fire, Theodore Roosevelt for the Defense and Lincoln’s Last Trial, which received the 2018 Barondess/Lincoln Award.
Why would someone who obviously has more than enough on his plate want to add owning a vineyard to it? Abrams, who has a home nearby on the Peconic Bay, said it was his passion for wine that drove his decision. In fact, he said his proudest moment was when Wine Spectator profiled his wine collection in 2006.
Abrams’s friend, Paumanok owner, and now also Palmer owner, Charles Massoud, let Abrams know that the property was going to be for sale and the timing was right. Abrams renovated the tasting room and winemaking facilities in 2021. The result is stunning. More on that later. Equally stunning are the results in the bottle.
Abrams explains, “The wine at Ev&Em is fundamentally different than Laurel Lake.” He says, “There is much more careful selection of grapes, much more acidity and more complexity.” He notes that the result is a more modern, refreshing taste, and he expects his Pinot Noir to be very special in the future.
A standout wine available at Ev&Em now is a non-vintage, red, inspired by the lighthearted style of Beaujolais wine and made from Long Island’s signature grape Cabernet Franc. This wine is so incredibly fresh and bursting with crisp fruit flavors of dark berries, raspberry, red cherry, red currant, and cranberries. Served slightly chilled, the light-bodied wine can easily become your go-to summer red. The NV Lightly Chilled Red retails for $32.
This refreshing, modern take on the wine carries through to the tasting room. A painting, created by artist Hannah Finkbohner, called “Terroir” and inspired by all the natural environmental factors that come together to produce wines, is a centerpiece in the new contemporary tasting room. Finkbohner used soil, twigs, leaves, and vines from this very vineyard to build the three-dimensional forms on canvas. More information about this one-of-a-kind painting can be found at evandemvineyards.com/terroir.
The people behind the wine are essential to its success. Abrams retained Laurel Lake Vineyards’ Juan Sepulveda as winemaker and director of operations. Sepulveda holds a university degree in business engineering and studies of winemaking, with more than 25 years of experience in the wine industry, both internationally and domestically. Sepulveda’s international ventures include his role as general manager of Vinos del Sur (Carpe Diem) in Chile, as well as the initiator of joint ventures with local producers in Chile to export, achieving more than 1.3 million gallons (5 million liters) per year. He is also a founding member of the Concepcion Brands joint venture with AV Imports and Vinos del Sur Chile.
Abrams also brought in Vanessa Price as managing partner. Price was born and raised in Kentucky, she first caught the wine bug working in a small winery down South. She followed her passion for wine and moved to New York City in 2007, starting as a sommelier on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. From there, she moved on to wine education, PR, and events for wine-focused client services, consulting for private wine collectors, crafting wine lists for NYC restaurants, and as a distributor and importer. Price is the creative director and founder of The Vinum Collective. She is a graduate of, and instructor for, The Wine & Spirit Education Trust. Her book Big Macs & Burgundy, was released with Abrams Publishing in October 2020 and is now a national bestseller.
But the overall wine tasting experience at Ev&Em Vineyards also relies heavily on those behind the bar pouring tasting flights. And those very people behind the bar, the faces of the vineyard, can often make one’s experience special. Ev&Em Vineyards server, Alexis, is friendly and informative. She is cheery and fast, without making one feel rushed, despite the bustling open. She maintained the vineyards’ upscale vibe without making the tasting experience feel intimidating.
Abrams has made regular appearances in just about every form of media, including as a guest on all three network late night talk shows, and he’ll no doubt achieve many accomplishments in this new wine venture.
Learn more at evandemvineyards.com.