Lucky 13

From what I’m tasting in the tanks and barrels, 2013 will go down as one of the finest vintages the North Fork has ever seen – ranking right up there with 2007 and 2010. It was truly a magical run and we will be enjoying these wines for many years to come. From whites to reds, all the wines are singing out and showing their full colors. In fact, it reminds me of a song…

The Soil of Long Island Part 2 – There’s No Place Like Loam

As a student of agriculture and viticulture, I’ve been studying the topic of soils for a very long time. They’re usually not described with the same romantic language as say, the wines that are produced from them, but they carry a profound importance. To me, soil is the most influential factor in defining a wine region’s terroir;  however their influence greatly transcends wine. 

The Rating Game

When it comes to things such as music, cars, sports, food or even clothes, Americans are adamant about their likes and dislikes. Why is it when it comes to the subject of wine, so many Americans act like a deer in the headlights? How often have you heard someone say, as you pour them a glass of wine – “I’m not connoisseur” as if the need to have a specially accrued knowledge was necessary.

Revenge of the Clones

Back when the first vineyards were planted on Long Island, many people “in the know” didn’t believe our region could successfully grow European wine grape varieties like Chardonnay and Merlot. After all, before Long Island, all of the wine produced in New York was in the upstate districts of the Finger Lakes and the Hudson Valley – places that had trouble growing European varieties in the past. Forty years later, we have proved the critics wrong many times over.

Spring Forward

It's hard to believe tomorrow is the first day of March and we have already enjoyed so much excitement this year. Earlier in January, we were honored and humbled when our 2009 Merlot was poured at the Presidential Inaugural Luncheon in the U.S. Capitol, making it the first New York wine in history to be featured at an Inauguration of the President of the United States. The overwhelming response resulted in intense media coverage in print, web, television, and radio, including major publications like The New York TimesHuffington PostWine SpectatorThe Washington PostFox News, and more. Owner Michael Lynne, CEO Trent Preszler and Winemaker Rich Olsen-Harbich were all interviewed on national news.

A Bold and Beautiful Aria

Harvest 2012 is over and what a year it was! A year that started early and ended early with ripeness levels not seen since the great vintage of 2010. All varieties came in extremely ripe and flavorful – from the Chardonnay to the Petit Verdot - we have bold and beautiful melodies coming from every tank. With the exception of a few blocks of late ripening Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot, most all of the fruit on the North Fork has been harvested.

Treasure Island

Long Islanders have been leading the way for the rest of the country for a very long time. Whether in politics, science, entertainment or most recently, fine wine - mainland America’s largest island is filled with a consummate record of achievement.  As a native Long Islander, I’m extremely proud of where I come from. But I also know that many of our most extraordinary stories get lost in the strident sounds of today’s media. This space is usually reserved to talk about wine but I think it’s important to remember the place where we make it and understand the framework in which we live – 

Water water everywhere...

Living on the North Fork, we are always reminded about water. It surrounds us, protects us and affects our lives every day. It cools us in the summer, warms us in the winter and provides endless beauty and enjoyment in so many ways. But many of us don’t realize that we’re surrounded by water underneath the ground as well - a dark, cold river that flows unseen, year-round and holds the key to our future.

Livin' La Vida Local

Years ago, eating and drinking locally usually meant taking a walk to the neighborhood pub. Today, being a locavore means eating and drinking food that was grown and produced within the town, county or state where you live. Consumers are embracing the farm-to-table movement. More and more restaurants are serving food from local farm stands and filling their cellars with wines produced down the road.

The Urban Legend of Sulfites

You know all those urban legend stories - like the one about alligators in the NYC sewers and the blind date that ends with you waking up in a bathtub of ice? The wine industry has its own share of urban legend stories with one in particular that I still hear every year. It goes something like this… It involves a couple returning home from a recent trip to Europe. The couple talks about how they drank wine like crazy and never got tired or had a hangover. They reminisce about how they met local winemakers who told them “American wines all have sulfites and ours don’t.”

We Gather Together

Thanksgiving is America’s banquet. It’s one of the few completely American holidays, created from a history that only we share. It’s probably my favorite holiday of the year - I love all of the flavors and smells and the grand tradition of a large family meal. Everything feels more peaceful at Thanksgiving. It marks the end of a busy harvest season for me - a calm nostalgic pause before the inevitable commercial stress of the Christmas holidays.

A Vintage Concerto in C for Flute, Harp and Orchestra K. 2011

So how was the 2011 vintage? We had a lot to overcome this past year – including the proud distinction of having an earthquake and a hurricane both in the same week! No year is ever easy, but the 2011 harvest for Bedell was a complete triumph. We have an outstanding vineyard team and I'm so proud to be working with them. The dedication that I see every day is unparalleled. The end result is that we have a cellar full of beautiful wines.

Great Expectations

“How is the vintage?” “Are the grapes looking good this year?”  “How’s the wine going to be?” As a winemaker, I appreciate getting asked questions like these over the course of the year. The wine culture on the North Fork is still relatively young and years ago, fewer people were as tuned into the local wine scene as they are today. But as many of us know, it’s a difficult question to answer, especially before the harvest is completed.