Living near the Finger Lakes means that it is fairly easy to score a local wine. Even if I can't find my favorites at the wine shop, strategic planning means that in an afternoon I can usually hit one of the lakes and pick up the juice straight from the vineyard. Finding other New York wines, however, is as different story.
Until a few years ago I didn't know much about the other wine regions in our state and I was fairly happy to live in ignorant bliss. But one of the first food and wine blogs I began reading regularly was LennDevours--covering New York State wine and food. Lenn opened me up to the possibility that the Finger Lakes didn't have the monopoly on good wine in the Empire State and it was many of his tasting notes that got me to visit Channing Daughters in Bridgehamton. I loved them so much that I joined their wine club. So once a year (should be more, I know) when business brings me down to Long Island I make a stop at Channing Daughters but this time around, I added an overnight, brought a friend, got a killer itinerary from Lenn and set out for 24 hours of East End wine tasting.
The first day was pretty simple, check out Channing Daughters, explore Sag Harbor and have dinner, and rest up for a full day on the North Fork where most of the Long Island wineries are located.
So here are some photos with commenetary of the first day. Following posts will detail all the new places that Lenn introduced me to.
The Channing Daughters vineyards offer a whimsical mix of outdoor sculpture among the vines. An image of this upside down tree graces many a Channing Daughters wine label.
Okay, if I'm not going to show you any wines I should at least post a photo of the vineyard. Since I was the driver of the day I didn't really taste much at Channing Daughters--in fact, I had just received a shipment the day before I headed down to the winery.
Channing Daughters wine club has been a great way to learn about Long Island wines because they make the full gamut. Tonight we enjoyed their naked, or unoaked 2006 Scuttlehole Chardonnay but we also loved their 2005 Rosati di Cabernet Sauvignon--my purchase of only one bottle last year was an error in judgment. I think they really excell at their whites but I also love their Research Cab--a red blend that I just gave away as a gift. As I discovered on day two of our jaunt, Long Island has better conditions for producing reds than most of what I've had in the Finger Lakes (Silver Thread, Ravines, and Lamoreaux Landing are among the notable exceptions.)
Tomorrow: How I fell in love with Mattituck.