Depending on who you ask, one of the great things about our wine industry is the number of different varieties grown here. We take grapes synonymous with other wine regions — like the cabernet and merlot of Bordeaux and the pinot noir and chardonnay of Burgundy — and turn them into something else, something uniquely Long Island. Edible‘s columnist/winemaker Rich Olsen-Harbich wrote about staying home and learning how to make Long Island wine in our last issue.
But it’s good to know where we came from because all new wine regions — we are only just over 41 years old — have to stand on the shoulders of those who toiled in the oyster shell packed soils of Chablis or the Rutherford dust of Napa Valley.
A good way to do this is to attend the varietal perspective tastings to be held over the winter at Martha Clara in Riverhead. Taught by Martha Clara’s winemaker, Juan E. Micieli-Martinez, the tastings will focus varietals, their origins and how they grow on Long Island. Each person will taste several vintages of each varietal wine and learn about the winemaking style that creates it. Artisanal pairings will be served with each flight. Sessions are from 1 – 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $40 in advance, $35 for Wine Club Members and $45 at the door. Tickets are limited so don’t wait for the last minute!
Session dates and focus
January 18 and 31: Focus on Burgundian varietals
February 15 and 28: Focus on Bordeaux varietals
March 8 and 21: Focus on Alsatian varietals
The above video was made for the Long Island Wine Council by 91 East Productions, a new video production company on the East End that is focusing on very Edible material. Check out all the videos they’ve made of a few of the personalities behind the wine.