North Fork Celebrities: Who Makes My Wine

“Wineries bring so much beauty. There is no ugly wine region in the whole world. That’s what wine brings to an area. It brings passionate people.” • Photograph by Jason Nadler

Miguel Martin

Miguel Martin of Palmer Vineyards

North Fork Celebrities is an ongoing series of interviews introducing North-Forks readers to the people who make their wine, make their beer and make their food.

Often the winemakers at a winery may seem like the Wizard of Oz: the magician behind the curtain, orchestrating but not to be seen. Sometimes, you can find Miguel Martin lending a hand in the tasting room. If those fortunate enough at those moments ask questions about the wine they are tasting, they are treated to a description by the person responsible for making it, and his joy and passion for what goes into the bottle comes out.

We had the pleasure of sitting down with Mr. Martin and asking him a few questions about his passions. Following is an excerpt of that interview.

What was your first experience with wine that made you see it as something more than just a beverage?
I’m originally from Spain and my father always had a few barrels of wine in the basement. He always had wine: one glass for lunch and one for dinner, always white and always with food. I remember Saturdays and Sundays spending a couple of hours with him in the basement washing barrels and moving them around. One of the first things my mom would do when she set the table was to put out a glass and a bottle of wine for my father. On this day, my dad asked my mother for another glass for wine, and that glass was for me. I was maybe fifteen or sixteen. My dad poured me a tiny bit, he poured himself more, and that motivated me to enjoy it and see how much my dad was enjoying and appreciating the wine. It became almost a hobby to pay more attention to what my dad was doing. I was so interested in wine that I went to a university in Spain to be an agricultural engineer. I got my degree and moved to the US and went to UC Davis to get my masters in Oenology and Viticulture.

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Jason Nadler is one half of the husband and wife team that is North-Forks. Together, we're on an adventure to experience the place we live, writing about the North Fork vineyards, breweries and restaurants.