It’s got to be a coincidence, but since my piece on Jason’s Vineyard was published on Friday, two major New York newspapers have published stories on them as well. Could it be that their editors are LENNDEVOURS readers? New York Times: The New Kid in Jamesport Newsday: 2nd Generation Comes of Age Okay, so maybe the Newsday piece isn’t really about the wines or even Jason’s Vineyard. It’s about Jason Damianos (and his brothers) taking over at Pindar for their father. That bit of news is great for the region I think. I expect it to increase the number of quality wines Pindar produces, even if Jason is quoted as saying that one part of Pindar’s mission is to educate Long Islanders on wine. "They start with the sweeter, less expensive wines like Pindar’s Summer Blush or Winter White and then move up and into more sophisticated wines." I think…

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You’ve probably seen Jason’s Vineyard on the right hand side of the Main Road (Route 25) heading east in Jamesport. But have you ever tasted the wines made from those grapes? I first encountered Jason’s Vineyard wines about a year ago when I was going from tasting room to tasting room looking for the North Fork’s best sparkling wines. My journey took me to Pindar, where I was able to taste a few Jason’s Vineyard wines. I was so impressed that his wines were the only bottles I purchased that day. So who is Jason and why are his wines available at Pindar? The Jason in Jason’s Vineyard is Jason Damianos, son of Herodotus “Dan” Damianos, owner of both Pindar on the North Fork and Duck Walk Vineyards on the South Fork. Jason is Pindar’s winemaker and has also worked as winemaker at Duck Walk. In 1996, the younger Damianos…

atwater04dryriesling

There’s no doubt about it — my favorite white varietal is riesling. Of course, I don’t like every one I try. They need to have that that zing of acidity that ‘forces’ me into another sip (and another and anoter and another). New York’s Finger Lakes region is pretty well known for it’s riesling, with Dr. Konstantin Frank probably the most well known outside of the state. This relatively winter-hardy varietal has done very well in the region becuase it ripens even in the cool Finger Lakes climate and because good wines can be made from riesling that isn’t at full ripeness. In many ways, the Finger Lakes region is the perfect place to grow U.S. riesling. In California riesling is often grown in cooler central coast areas…they often lack the backbone acidity because night time temperatures aren’t cool enough. In Oregon and Washington State, they have the cool temperatures…

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About a week ago, there was a story in the San Francisco Chronicle about New York Wines. If you’ve been reading LENNDEVOURS for a while, you know that I typically find lots of problems with stories written about New York wines. They either unfairly compare them to California or Bordeaux (and basically say they suck because they aren’t the same) or focus only on the "big name" wineries that the same people write about again and again and again. Dave McIntyre’s piece, however, will not draw the ire of this NY wine writer. In fact, I really liked it. While he did talk to the "usual suspsects" on Long Island…I think it’s a well written, balanced story that acknowledges the quality despite differences in growing conditions and winemaking style from other regions. I was particularly impressed with the list of recommended wines at the end of the piece…because I’ve had…

Even if Fatemah considers me the "most likely to blow me off" (without reason I might add) I’ve decided to take part in this meme. Basically, I’ve been asked to dig back into the LENNDEVOURS archives to find my 23rd post and the fifth line of that post. So…looking back, my 23rd post happens to have been done on April 26, 2004…my 29th birthday. It wasn’t a ground-breaking post by any means, but the fifth line is interesting: "Hopefully I’ve ‘cellared’ it well and it’s still good…" What exactly am I talking about here? It was a bottle of 1996 Barolo that I decided to open with dinner. It’s interesting to look back…because that was just at the beginning of my full-blown wine-geekdom…and I’ve learned SO much since then. Notice the phrase "still good"…like wine is either good or bad…no in between. I don’t even remember the wine, sadly. And…

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In this week’s  "Long Island Vines," New York Times writer Howard Goldberg announced the formation of the Long Island Merlot Alliance. He does a nice job introducing the endeavor…which has come of often when I’ve spoken to winemakers and winery owners. People tend to feel very strongly about the LIMA…on both sides. I’ve written before that I’m not sold on pushing merlot as "the region’s flagship wine" mostly because I’m not sure that all of the best wines here are merlot or that the one-varietal push is what Long Island needs to stand out. Proponents point to Oregon starting as a "pinot noir region"…opponents say that those in favor of this approach are self-serving because their vineyards are filled with merlot vines already — it’s what they’ve invested in. I know that the LIMA alliance has its roots in quality standards…then it started to become more of a "marketing push"…

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Nena sent me an email this morning that just said: "You’re really slacking with LENNDEVOURS lately." You know, she’s right. Between my day job demanding more full-time attention, various print writing projects I’m working on and (oh yeah) us dealing with mortgage brokers, home inspectors and the like as we try to buy our first Castello di Thompson…I’ve just not has nearly as much time as I’d like. But, as you can see in the above picture, we’ve still made time to enjoy some vineyard trips. My parents were in town last Friday through Monday morning and we spent Sunday (pre-Steelers game) touring a few wineries that my parents like so they could stock up (since NY wineries still can’t ship to Pennsylvania). It was also Ben’s first multi-vineyard trip out east…and he did just fine. In fact, I think he’d make an excellent vineyard dog. He was at his…

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Last weekend, as I walked through the barrel room at Pellegrini Vineyards with the lovely Mrs. LENNDEVOURS and four friends, one of the biggest reasons I love wine hit me yet again — there’s always something more to learn……always. In fact, I’m not sure you can ever know everything there is to know about my favorite farm product (and beverage). We were at Pellegrini taking part in the first class in their wine education series, “Sensory Training, Tour and Tasting,”  ran this summer. We started with a tour of Pellegrini’s vineyard, winery and various barrel rooms as Juan “John” Eduardo Micieli-Martinez, production winemaker at both Pellegrini Vineyards and Premium Wine Group, answered questions and shared his insight into both grape growing and winemaking. We couldn’t have asked for a better day in terms of weather, setting and tour guide.

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On Sunday, October 2nd, Martha Clara Vineyards is hosting "Feast for the Gulf Coast" a fundraiser for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. From noon to 6:00 p.m. there will be live music, wine, seafood, BBQ and a gumbo cookoff…all for $25. It’s my understanding that all of the food/wine/entertainment has been donated, so $25 is a steal of a deal…and even if it were $125 it would be an event worth checking out both for the event it self and for the important cause. All proceeds are being donated to Habitat for Humanity Katrina Relief, the Farm Bureau Hurricane Ag Fund and the Bush-Clinton Hurricane Katrina Fund. For tickets, call 631-765-4168 or 631-298-0075 ext. 13. I’m planning to attend and hope to see several of you there.