SignJamesport Vineyards is one of the older vineyards on Long Island. In fact, founder Ron Goerler Sr. was the forth person to plant vines here…back in 1981. For years, they provided grapes to other winemakers, but, in 1986, Goerler purhased a 100+ year old barn and converted it into a winery and tasting room.

Jamesport Vineyards released its first wines in 1989.

OutsideRon Goerler Jr. now runs the show, and in late January he hired Long Island native Leslie "Les" Howard as his new winemaker.

Howard started his career 11 years ago as a bottle boy for Pindar Vineyards, spending a lot of his time packing cases. Back then, it was a summer job and Les didn’t have aspirations of becoming a winemaker. But, while at Pindar, the winemaker at the time, Mark Friszolowski (who is now at Childress Vineyards in North Carolina) saw something in Les, and told him so.

Ronles1Eleven years later, after stops as assistant winemaker at Osprey’s Dominion, Wolffer Estate and Bedell Cellars, Jamesport Vineyards snactched him up at age 30. Les is pictured at right, on the right with Ron Goerler Jr.

I’ve written a piece on his hiring for Dan’s Papers that will be printed next weekend…and of course I’ll post it here with some tasting notes of their current releases.