Saturday, I finally had a chance to head out to Mattituck for the vineyard tour and tasting at Shinn Estate Vineyards, a fairly new vineyard that is owned and operated by David Page and Barbara Shinn, who also own Home restaurant in Greenwich Village. I haven’t been to Home, but after the great time I had at the vineyard, I can’t wait to check it out.
I’ve visted just about every vineyard/winery on Long Island, and I can honestly say that I’ve never enjoyed a tour like I did at Shinn. First of all, very few vineyards let you out walking among their vines…but Barbara and David encourage it. They want you to walk as they tell you about their vines, their farming practices (sustainable largely organic) and their wines.
These two love their vineyard more than anyone I’ve ever known…they glow as they talk about how they nurture their land and vines. They focus on their terroir and preserving it by not using herbicides, using almost all organic fungicides and using liquified fish in lieu of traditional chemical fertilizers.
The two of them do all of the vine pruning, all 22 acres, themselves by hand. Even if it takes them "most of the winter" I get the impression they wouldn’t have it any other way.
As they work to build a winery on their grounds, Roman Roth of Wolffer Estates fame is making their current vintage, including their first Rose and a Sauvignon Blanc that was just harvested a couple weeks ago. Eventually, David and Barabara will take over the winemaking duties as well.
Their hands-on, artisanal style results in at least two delicious wines, which I got to try Saturday.
I wrote an Over the Barrel…with Lenn Thompson column for Dan’s Papers on my afternoon at Shinn and the wines that will appear in this week’s issue. I’ll be sure to post it once it’s finalized…and I’ll also devote a post to each of the wines as well.