Every wine not only has a story behind it, but a surprisingly large group of people as well. And, by bringing back “5 Questions with…” our once-popular feature, we will introduce you to the people that make up the New York wine community.
Sometimes we’ll talk to winemakers, sure, but there are people in a variety of roles that you may not even be aware of.
For this week’s installment, we talk to Gabriella Macari of Macari Vineyards. Her parents, Joe and Alex Macari, own the winery, but Gabriella and her brother Joey represent the next generation — and are heavily involved in the family business. While Joey works as a vineyard manager, Gabriella represents the winery in New York City.
What was the first bottle of wine you remember drinking — and where did you have it and who were you with?
My grandfather from Spain and grandmother from Argentina would give my brother Joey and I a small splash of red wine with cold club soda to drink with our dinner. There was usually a bottle of Concha y Toro or Trapiche on their kitchen table in Queens, NY next to plates of yellow rice with saffron, black beans and platanos maduros.
When did you know that you wanted to be in the wine industry?
I never realized how much information I absorbed from working with my family until I left the North Fork to attend college. While at school, so many people — friends, professors and sailing — teammates were interested in visiting Macari Vineyards and learning more about the wine industry. That is when I knew that I wanted to continue learning more about wine.
To this day, our university President and hundreds of Fordham University alumni visit Macari Vineyards every
What do you wish were different about the New York wine community and industry?
I wish that it were easier for people across the country to taste wines from New York. State shipping legislations make sharing wines past our borderline a difficult task. My dream is to introduce our wines to a global marketplace and reveal the world-class potential of our regions — especially of the North Fork AVA.
When you’re not drinking your own wines, what are you drinking?
Sparkling! Champagne, natural Loire sparklers or Cavas — I’ll take any excuse to sabre a bottle or two! Some of my favorite Champagne producers are Gonet-Médeville where I interned this past June, Bollinger, Deutz, Selosse, Salon and Pierre Piallard.
I always have bottles of Cava in my refrigerator from our friends at Raventos in Penedès, Spain.
Different Tequlias and Mezcals also fascinate me — I would love to visit Jalisco one day to learn more about Tequlia production.
If you could only pick one grape/wine/producer to live out your days with on a deserted
island, what would it be?
If the island was tropical, surrounded by seafood and if I could find a cool cave to store it in, it would be chardonnay — Domaine Raveneau Grand Cru Les Clos Chablis.