Named after the distinctively shaped lighthouse that guides ships passing Orient Point, Coffee Pot Cellars is the realization of veteran winemaker Adam Suprenant’s vision to handcraft a small portfolio of ultra-premium wines. Suprenant sources select, best-in-class grapes from local vineyards and applies minimalist techniques. Coffee Pot rolled out its first vintage in 2008, but Suprenant’s been making End End wine since the late ’90s at Osprey’s Dominion. I asked him a few questions about the wine he produces and the special buzz about his tasting room.
Describe your winemaking philosophy.
Minimalist as well as very traditional. I was highly influenced by my experience working a harvest in Bordeaux at Chateau Lafite where they have been making great wine for centuries using basic winemaking techniques and letting the terroir of the vineyard shine through in the bottle.
Tell us about your wines.
For Coffee Pot Cellars, I make three whites and three reds from grapes that I purchase from various local North Fork vineyards. My sauvignon blanc is stainless steel fermented in a very straight forward style with a juicy acidity on the finish. The chardonnay is fermented in neutral older oak barrels to make a fruit forward style free of the butter and heavy toasted aromas you find in many barrel fermented chardonnays. The gewürztraminer is one of my favorite white varieties for Long Island because of its exotic tropical fruit flavors and hop like aromas, which I make in a dry style. On the reds, my focus is on complexity of flavor and richness of texture. The Meritage is our flagship red blend that I make in only the best vintages. Our merlot is a single vineyard wine from Sam McCullough’s vineyard in Jamesport. Finally, Beasley’s Blend is a collaborative effort between myself and our wine loving pug, Beasley.
What’s your favorite pairing with local food?
Sauvignon blanc with Peconic Bay scallops. Chardonnay with Deep Roots Farm grilled chicken. Gewürztraminer with Sang Lee Farms baby bok choy garlic ginger stir fry. Meritage with locally hunted venison medallions with Oysterponds Farm blackberry gastrique.
What brought you (the winery) to Long Island?
To be closer to my family and do what I love to do. I was on a career track in Napa to be a winemaker. An opportunity came up to be a winemaker on the North Fork in 1998, and I’ve been here ever since.
What’s special about visiting your tasting room?
Our intimate, small winery ambiance that focuses on the wine. My amazing wife Laura Klahre, owner of Blossom Meadow Farm, who is usually there with her observation hive of honeybees. You can learn about bees while you taste and learn about our wines. We also sell her small production local honey and beeswax products at the tasting room.
What’s next or new at the winery?
I am making a cyser [a mead made with apples], which is made from locally sourced North Fork apple cider fermented with Laura’s honey. We plan to release the cyser this summer.
Where can people buy your wine?
At our tasting room or online at coffeepotcellars.com. We very limited distribution in wine shops.