WINE Q&A: Juan Eduardo Micieli-Martinez of Martha Clara Vineyards

Martha Clara Vineyards, owned by the Entenmann Family (yes, THOSE Entenmanns), is in Riverhead on the North Fork of Long Island. They take special care to produce delicious, special wines. I asked their general manager and winemaker Juan Eduardo Micieli-Martinez some questions about what makes Martha Clara Vineyards so incredible and why it’s a must-stop on your next wine tasting tour.

What’s your favorite pairing with local food?
This is real tough for me because seasonally there is so much to be had on the East End.  I will have to say Peconic Bay scallops with fresh pasta agro (which means sour) because the heavy use of lemon juice and zest in the dish along with wine. I adapted this dish from a Lidia Bastianich recipe. The wine of choice for me in, and with, this dish is a well balanced Long Island stainless steel fermented chardonnay.

What brought you (the winery) to Long Island?
Although I was born in Juarez, Mexico, I was raised on the East End of Long Island.  I may not be exactly a native, but unless you live on a reservation most of us are not native.  As for the winery, it is owned by the Entenmann family. They were brought to the East End to find greener pastures, originally with the intent of raising thoroughbred race horses. Soon they saw how the area was changing toward vineyards.  They too had a love of wine and in 1995 began planting their first vines.

What wine would you drink for your final meal?
Wow, that is kind of cryptic. I have not thought about that ever before. I guess should I be so lucky to have my son take interest in winemaking one day, it would be a wine that he made.  If it were to be sooner (and that would be tragic), I guess it would be a Bodega Enrique Foster Lujan de Cuyo Limited Edition Malbec.

Where can people buy your wine?
Our wines may be purchased primarily on Long Island.  We hope to have better presence in New York City in 2016. Of course our wines are always available 24/7 on our mobile friendly website.

What’s your favorite event with your wine club?
That is the stomp party. There is nothing like getting into bins filled with grapes and stomping grapes with members.  It really is a memorable experience for all involved, including myself. It is amazing to watch people of all ages turn into children as they stomp grapes with their feet.

What’s special about visiting your tasting room?
Our tasting room, tasting room experience, and wine stewards are dynamic. Martha Clara Vineyards is a dynamic experience. We are always willing to try new things as well as the tried and true. This year we are moving towards a more customer hospitality driven experience as well as table service.  I would strongly advise calling ahead for a reservation as the season progresses.