In 1999, Castello di Borghese took over Long Island’s oldest vineyard (Hargrave Vineyard) and began a new era for that vaunted legacy.
Now, more than 20 years later, Borghese owner and vintner Giovanni Borghese is joining the many other fantastic East End food and wine purveyors at this year’s Dan’s Rosé Soirée.
Dan’s Papers Rosé Soirée, a celebration of rosé — the East End’s unofficial summer drink — is kicking off the Twin Forks’ unofficial start of summer on Memorial Day weekend, Sunday, May 28 at the Southampton Arts Center.
We spoke to Borghese about his road to the wine business, new industry trends, favorite wine and more in the lead up to this year’s Rosé Soirée.
Borghese Owner, Vintner Giovanni Borghese
How did you get into this line of work?
I am a second generation family business. I am continuing the passion my parents followed in 1999 here on the East End.
What new trends are you seeing?
As wines are released by big-name celebrities I am seeing an interest in more authenticity. People want to enjoy wines from vineyards who are 100% estate grown, growing their own grapes, doing it all under one roof. The trend is towards the hard work and passion of the actual farmers.
What is your favorite wine?
Cabernet Franc because its the wine that has helped create an identity for Long Island wine. It often gets lost blended in Bordeaux but Long Island puts Cabernet Franc on the label. The wine drinks really well.
Who do you admire in the food/wine scene and why?
I admire those who were there when I faced difficulties like the Macari and Goerler families. I also admire the giants of the North Fork. John Ross, the pioneer of farm to table, was kind enough to grant me an interview when I was in high school. It was really cool. Louisa Hargrave I admire as the pioneer of the East End wines; 50 years for Long Island wines is the perfect time to recognize her and all she did for the industry.
What unique winemaking ritual do you practice?
We harvest by hand and it has an impact on our wine. We are able to hand select the grapes, which ensures we are able to produce stellar wines year after year.
What will you be serving at Rosé Soirée?
We will be serving the 2021 Rosé of Merlot and Rosé for the Bay. A portion of the proceeds of Rosé for the Bay is donated to the Cornell Cooperative Extension Marine Program, which works to restore the bays.
Visit DansTaste.com for more information and tickets.
Castello de Borghese is located at 17150 Middle Road, Cutchogue, 631-734-5111, castellodiborghese.com