2016 Was a Rocky Year for Everything—Except Long Island Wine

Long Island wine shines during an otherwise gloomy year.

Kontokosta Winery

The 2016 vintage will not only be good for Long Island wine, it was also good the Long Island wine business. Most notable, as far as “arriving,” is the region’s wines in regular rotation in the Wine Advocate. Previously a reviewer from the influential newsletter visited Long Island every five years (and was usually very impressed). Now it looks like we’ll be an annual inclusion; after the 2015 visit, the reviewer returned again this year.

Long Island wines also made some “Best of the Year” lists in major magazines: The Wine Advocate (firewall) named two by Wölffer Estate as best on East Coast: 2013 Wölffer Estate Fatalis Fatum; and one as best value on East Coast: 2013 Wölffer Estate Cabernet Franc “Caya”.

The Wine Enthusiast recognized Osprey’s Dominion 2015 Rosé as one of the year’s best value wines, and the Wölffer 2015 Descencia Botrytis Late Harvest Chardonnay-Riesling was one of the year’s best in that magazine.

Here are some highlights from 2016:

All year long: 11 winemakers answered our Wine Q&A. Find out what’s special about their tastings rooms.

March: 2013s released; vintage of the century? Regan Meador decides to shutter Southold Farm + Cellar and move to Texas.

April: It’s announced that Samuel Fuller, coming from a state job, will start as the new executive director for the New York Wine and Grape Foundation.

June: A foodie takes a wine tour with Wainscott Main and comes away with new appreciation.

July: Long Island Sustainable Winegrowers releases a video explaining their work with commentary from New York City sommeliers.

August: Ali Tuthill takes over as the executive director of the Long Island Wine Council.

September: New York State law is changed to allow the sale of wine in growlers.

October: Winery and vineyard owners  bringing in the 2016  harvest are very happy with the results.

November: Wine Tasting 101 by Richard Olsen-Harbich of Bedell Cellars. Read Rich’s 2016 columns, Spontaneous Fermentations.

December: The proposed moratorium on wineries in Southold was dropped.

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Eileen M. Duffy

Eileen M. Duffy DWS holds a diploma in wines and spirits from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust. Her book on Long Island wine Behind the Bottle came out in 2015. Visit her website, eileenmduffy.com, to find out what else she's working on.