The Long Island Merlot Alliance has hired a new executive director, created a wine trail and started an annual tasting/mingle night for members of the industry and media. Deborah Brenner, the author of Women of the Vine, Inside the World of Women Who Make, Taste and Enjoy Wine, has also run a wine consulting business focusing on marketing and public relations; she is a member of Senator Kirstin Gillibrand’s New York Agriculture Working Group, and helped found the first cooperative wine brand with six women winemakers of Napa, Sonoma and Paso Robles. Edible has plans to sit down with Brenner and learn more about her way forward, which includes hiring a research associate. Stay tuned.
But the wine trail, which kicked off last weekend, is her first major effort. Visitors to any of alliance member wineries — Sherwood House Vineyards, Clovis Point, T’Jara Vineyards, McCall Wines, Lieb Cellars, Raphael and Wölffer Estate Vineyard — can pick up a map of the wine trail. Visit the wineries and get a stamp; collect all the stamps, and a bottle of the alliance’s collective bottling, the 100-percent merlot Merliance, is yours.