Step into most any Long Island winery — where the wine is actually made, not the tasting room — and you’re mostly going to see two types of vessels: stainless steel tanks and oak barrels. These containers are used for fermenting and aging wine. You’ll find some open-top bins that are used for fermentation too, but barrels and tanks are the cornerstone of any winery’s production facility.
Macari Vineyards has a lot of these tanks and oak barrels of different sizes and ages, but they also have something unique to Long Island wine — concrete eggs. Yes. Really.
The use of concrete in winemaking isn’t new — it dates back to the 19th century in Europe, where it’s still widely used today. The egg-shaped concrete vessel, however, dates back in Europe only to 2001.
It’s some of those European wines, and some from California, that inspired the Macari family to purchase their first two eggs a few years ago.
“My father had been looking for these eggs for years,” said Gabriella Macari, who oversees distribution and marketing for the winery. “We were tasting a lot of wines from California, France and Austria that were made in concrete eggs. Some 100 percent, some partially. We were very inspired be these examples.”