Sunday, 22 August 2010

A short trip to Long Island

Deciding to get out of the heat of Manhattan-in-August we drove to Montauk, Long Island. Most of the vineyards are in the North Fork but having so little time it was not a bad thing to find ourselves in the South Fork where there are only a very few wineries including Wolffler, Duck Walk and the enticingly named Channing Daughters. This last turns out to be just a marketing ruse but nevertheless, there is a Mr. Channing in the background who doesn't play an active role in the vineyard operation and who knows, may have a few daughters.
This was the only winery we visited and there the 'acceuil' was most kind and professional despite rolling up later then the recommended last arrival time, 20 minutes before closing. We were also fortunate for the purposes of this blog in that Channing Daughters despite only covering a relatively small acreage grows over 20 varieties of vine. we had already bought a bottle of their 'Vino Bianco' at White's Liquor Store in Montauk which is 'made in the spirit of "Super Friulano" with Tocai Friulano (27%), Sauvignon Blanc (26%), Chardonnay (Dijon 96 Clone, 19%) and Pinot Grigio (22%).On tasting were a number of Merlot blends etc. but with such limited time we went straight for a really unexpected rarity called Ramato.

This we learned is an old Friulian name for what we call Orange Wine. Made from Pinot Grigio, the grapes are fermented on the lees as in red wine and left in wood for 9 months.

The well informed girls conducting this tasting also gave us interesting information about the South Fork as opposed to the North Fork. apparently Merlot does better here because the soil is too saline for the Cabernet Franc which is the speciality of the North Fork. James Christopher Tracy is the winemaker and Partner at Channing Daughters. The operation there is very 'tickety-boo' with immaculately groomed vineyard,

beautiful buildings and sculpture dotted around. So the winery is worth a visit and Channing Daughters wines seem to be quite successfully distributed in comparison with others from NY State as we saw them on some restaurant wine lists and here and there where NY wines were to be found at all.

At the Surf Lodge restaurant in Montauk, the Someiller admitted to have been leaned on to include a NY State wine on his winelist and had selected guess what - our favourite Lieb Pinot Blanc!

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