Creating and building a successful brand is difficult in any industry. Building and nurturing a successful wine brand in a region without an established regional identity or reputation is even harder.

When Ami Opisso, general manager at Lieb Cellars in Mattituck, and the new ownership team took over what was then known as Lieb Family Cellars in 2013, they had an even more challenging situation. They had to revitalize a somewhat established brand and decide where they would take it, and the company, in the future. 

They’ve pulled it off — perhaps better than any rebrand I can remember on the North Fork. I wanted to better understand the thought process behind all the work they’ve done, so I talked with Opisso about it.

“We had to decide what stays and what goes,” she said. “We talked about what Lieb stood for in the past and what we wanted it to stand for moving forward.”

The evaluation process resulted in four “keepers.” First was the Lieb name, though “Family” was dropped from the winery’s moniker to reflect the new ownership. The Bridge Lane name — the name of the winery’s second label — was also kept. As was the focus on dry, clean, fruit-forward wines. And the Lieb team wanted to maintain the producer’s reputation for offering “tremendous value in the New York wine category.”

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