Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Long Island Wine Country Tour
I was so pleased to host a tour of 37 wine lovers on Saturday. We departed from The Soho Grand Hotel at 8:30AM and picked up guests at Grand Central Station and Long Island. The morning was misty, but as we approached the North Fork things dried out.
Our first stop was Macari Vineyards in Mattituck. This is one of my favorite wineries on Long Island. The Macari's are a great family that produce wonderful wines. Their wines have a great quality to price value. So unlike other LI wineries, I feel these wines compete competently amongst similar priced wines from domestic and international wineries.
According to Joseph Macari SR, the proprietor, the 2008 Harvest was OK and not as fruitful as last year.
We tasted Macari's new Early Chardonnay($16.99), which was made from grapes just picked this September 14th! The wine was crisp and had a powerful scent of ripe apples.
Our second taste was a Cabernet Franc, which is in my opinion one of Long Island's best growing varietals. It has an earthiness that makes it versatile enough to pair with spicy Thai or Mexican dishes.
We were treated to two of Macari's premium wines, the powerhouse Meritage style red, Bergen Road and Block E, a delicious dessert wine that is made under the supervision of Austrian Winemaker Helmut Gangl.
After guests purchased wine for home, we trekked east to Greenport Harbor for lunch at Claudio's restaurant. Bill Claudio met our motor coach in the parking lot. We were lucky to be seated and have placed our lunch orders before a second coach arrived. Claudio's Stuffed Shrimp was delicious. I ordered a glass of Marlborough NZ Sauv Blanc, which tasted like an orgy of citrus.
Our second vineyard was a private estate owned by Theresa Boyle. I am leaving the wine brand out of this blog so that my competitors do not attempt to bring tours to this vineyard. This way I can continue to provide a really exclusive experience for my tour attendees.
Everyone enjoyed Terri's down home and humorous personality. Her wines were also well received.
Number three was Laurel Lake Vineyards. They are Chilean owned and put their soul into making wines with personality. Proprietor Juan Sepulveda has a lot of knowledge. He offered guests a personal tour and tasting.