On the water’s edge of Southold on the North Fork, The Old Field (which is referenced in “Southhold” records as far back as 1660) is home to the Baiz family, who has owned the farm for more than 95 years. The first grapevines were planted more than 40 years ago, and today Christian Baiz and his wife, Rosamond “Ros” Phelps Baiz, the winemaker, continue to produce premium red, white and sparkling wines using sustainable practices. I asked Ros a few questions about their wine club and their best annual event.
Describe your winemaking philosophy.
We keep it simple with frequent topping [off of barrels as it ages and evaporates], and we leave the wines to flourish on their own in the dark of our old dairy barn.
Tell us about your wines.
We have a sparkling made from pinot noir, rosés (merlot and pinot noir), sauvignon blanc, chardonnay (steel and barrel fermented), cabernet franc and merlot. We try to age the red wines for as long as possible.
What’s your favorite pairing with local food?
Our merlot with stripped bass, sweet carrots and a cider glaze.
What brought you (the winery) to Long Island?
My husband wanted to save his family’s farm and continue his beginnings as one of the founders of the Long Island wine industry.
What’s your favorite event with your wine club?
Our August Lobster Night!
What’s special about visiting your tasting room?
It is an 1850s chicken coop and barn with a shaded parking area and wonderful old trees.
What’s next or new at the winery?
Field grafting of chardonnay, sauvignon blanc and cabernet franc along with the arrival of chicks and ducklings.
Where can people buy your wine?