June at the Vineyards

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June at the Vineyards

The end of spring and beginning of summer is one of the most beautiful times of the year. After the long winter months the warming rays of the sun feel so good (make sure to apply 40+ sunscreen! - I’m just passing on the good advice of my wife!). As the weather warms up, the sap starts to flow and become visible at the pruning cuts, which is a clear indication that spring has come. Most everyone gets full of energy and anticipation. New ideas and plans now seem doable, and one certainly gets the shovel out of the barn to clean the blocked gutters, the windows, and of course the barn, garage, and car.

All the manual pruning and tying of our some-50,000 vines that happens during the cold, windy, snowy, and rainy dark days is a thing of the past, and the vines have made it safely through another winter. Because of the moderating influence that the ocean, bay, and the L.I. Sound provide we are very blessed and don’t have to worry too much about any winter damage to our vines and sleeping buds. As a result we can prune much more aggressively and already, early on, plan what crop and quality-level we are targeting. The cool sea breeze slows down bud-break and thus we are also very well-protected from spring frost damage to the tender buds or shoots. As a result, the springtime is much shorter and more intense here on the East End (hey - welcome to NY) then in a more continental climate.

Another wonderful feeling for me (and I am sure for winemakers in general) is that all of the “summer” wines that have to be ready for our busy season are all safely in the bottle. It frees one up to get outdoors (play golf), make early harvest plans, and once-again enjoy the deck and the BBQ. Perhaps one of the most rewarding times for me is when I sit with friends or walk across the winery terrace and see people enjoying a glass of a wine that I made.

June is a great chance to go and taste all the new creations and variations at all the wineries. The traffic is still manageable and the staff at the different tasting rooms is still fresh, enthusiastic, and happy. You will find many wines to choose from to select your summer favorite. There are many rosés in all hues and with different residual sugar levels. Don’t forget the minerally (yet lush) stainless steel chardonnays, crisp sauvignon blancs, fruit driven rieslings, albarino, trebbiano, pinot blanc, chenin blanc, pinot gris, tocai friulano, sparkling wines, dessert wines, light reds or – if you prefer – rich, concentrated reds. Long Island wines offer a beautiful and varied selection for everyone’s palates.

And don’t forget, with all the wonderful feelings of spring and summer abounding all around you and tasting all those great wines, maybe love will be just around the corner!

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