Bottling At Channing Daughters
What's headed into these bottles? Channing Daughters' Clones, a blend of 10 different clones of Chardonnay with some Gewürztraminer, Tocai Friulano, and Pinot Grigio, co-fermented all together in barrels. Concern about the dangers of extreme monoculture in many vineyards' planting—not just planting the same grape variety, but fields and fields of identical clones—inspired this delicious and aromatic wine, which will be released in the fall.
Which Do You Cut?
Most of the canes will be cut in order to focus the vine's growth on a limited number of grape clusters. This vine at Bedell will be left with about three canes after pruning.
The vineyard in winter. Of the Bedell wines we tasted, our favorite was the deep, silky, and earthy Cabernet Franc, which sells for around $35.
Long Island wineries serve the local market—which stretches to include NYC—with an increasing number of kegged wines. Here are a few at Paumanok. We enjoyed their Chenin Blanc and also got a chance to sip their late harvest Sauvignon Blanc—the same night that it was served at the White House!
Barrels and tanks of wine stay cool outside at Channing Daughters.
One highlight of our Channing Daughters visit was a taste of Pazzo—their fortified and maderized Merlot (think Madeira, but made in Bridgehampton.) It's aged in barrels—outside, where it's subject to the weather—for several years, and offers amazing nutty and delicately spicy caramel flavors.
The Winery at Channing Daughters
Where the magic happens. It's more or less a garage with a crushpad outside. They were recently able to add an expanded storage facility as well.
The covered patio at Wölffer Estate is a lovely place to enjoy wine. Don't miss the slightly tropical 2009 Chardonnay, which sells for about $19.
In the Dungeons...Err...Cellars of Raphael
One could mistake the grand halls of Raphael for a castle, but the most valuable part is what sleeps in the cellars and cellar library, including an elegant and complex 2001 First Label Merlot that proved to me that the best wines of Long Island are certainly ageworthy.