RayblumI was saddened last night to hear that Ray Blum, one of Long Island’s true wine forefathers, passed away yesterday after a long bout with illness.

Ray played an integral part in Long Island wine’s beginnings, founding Peconic Bay Vineyards (now Peconic Bay Winery), planting several vineyards all over the North Fork (including some that are now a part of Bedell Cellars and Paumanok Vineyards), and most recently running and owning Ackerly Pond Vineyards.

In such a small, localized wine industry, everybody knows everybody else and I know Ray will be missed. Charles Massoud of Paumanok Vineyards emailed me today saying "He was a tireless worker and it is difficult to think of the North Fork wine scene without thinking of his immense contribution to our industry."