Long Island's only co-op tasting room will re-open soon, but it's going to look quite different from The Tasting Room, which was closed by then-owner Theresa Dilworth at the end of February.
Anthony Nappa, winemaker at Shinn Estate Vineyards and proprietor of Anthony Nappa Wines, and his fiancee Sarah Evans — who is chef de cuisine at North Fork Table — will re-open the space as The Winemaker Studio. They hope to open sometime next month once all of the licensing is sorted out.
Previously, the space served as a common tasting room for smaller and virtual wineries who didn't have North Fork tasting rooms of their own — producers like Medolla Vineyards, Schneider Vineyards and Brooklyn Oenology (which now has a tasting room in Brooklyn).
Nappa and Evans are taking the concept in a slightly different direction, featuring private label wines made by local winemakers, as well as a "a rotational list of wines encompassing all the local wineries and winemakers," said Nappa in an email.
Front and center will be Nappa's own line of wines, including Anomaly (a white pinot noir), Luminous (riesling), Nemisis (pinot noir) and Spezia (Gewurztraminer).
The Winemaker Studio will also re-open with wines from Wollfer Estate winemaker Roman Roth's private label, Grapes of Roth, Pellegrini Vineyards winemaker Russell Hearn's SuRu label and Leo Family Wines, from Clovis Point winemaker John Leo.
The wine industry can be extremely competitive, but Nappa and Evans think that collaborative projects like this are the way to succeed. "When you work in an industry with a community doing things cooperatively just makes good sense," he told me.
The co-op tasting room concept has opened and closed a couple times already, but Nappa doesn't worry about it being a bad location or idea. He said "I don