Story and Photo by
Christopher J. Davies
The Long Island Wine Industry is proud that one of its own has shined as New York State's "2002 Winery of the Year". At present, Long Island has 26 wineries out of New York State's 163 total wineries. The majority of New York wineries are located in the Finger Lakes Region.
Joyce and Bob Pellegrini have been involved in the Long Island Wine Industry for almost 15 years. Together they have built Pellegrini Vineyards into a highly respected producer of quality varietal wines. Their uniquely stylish two-story, cathedral-like winery with expansive peaks and exposed wooden ceiling beams has made it a favorite wine tasting destination in the Long Island Wine Country.
Bob Pellegrini is a highly talented graphic artist who owns a design firm based in SOHO. He is a man with frank, yet sensible opinions about business and the Long Island Wine Industry. His artistic abilities are clearly visible at the winery, displayed on his wine labels and literature. Winemaker Russell Hearn is Australian born and one of the regions most highly acclaimed winemakers.
Pellegrini entered three wines in the competition and achieved the highest overall score by three separate panels of independent judges. "What surprised me was that we won the award by only submitting three wines, while others submitted twice as many into the competition." remarked Bob Pellegrini.
The Winning Wines:
* 1998 Pellegrini Cabernet Franc (Silver Medal) $16.99
* 1998 Vintner's Pride Merlot (Silver Medal) $28.99
* 1997 Vintner's Pride Encore (Gold Medal). Voted "best blended red wine" winning a Gold Medal. The wine is made from 100% estate grown fruit, aged in French oak for 20 months. This wine is deliciously ripe with fruity blackberry flavors. A meritage -style red consisting of 42% Merlot, 38% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Cabernet Franc, and 2% Petit Verdot. $28.99
* Production: 10,000 to 12,000 cases per year
* Total Acreage planted: 75 acres (3-vineyard sites)
* Events & Tours: Yes, call for information
* Cost for tasting: $2 to$6 Wines by the Glass: Yes, $5 to $7
* Weddings: Yes, covered courtyard available for wedding receptions
* Tasting Room Hours: Open 7 days, from 11AM to 5 PM
* Building Architects: Samuels and Steilman
* Initial wine production: 1991(500-cases each; Cabernet Sauvignon & Chardonnay) Winery & tasting room: opened 1993
Pellegrini wines are readily available at restaurants and wine merchants across Long Island and in New York City. Current Distribution: New York, Pennsylvania, Washington D.C., Massachusetts, and Denmark. The winery offers direct shipments to residents of New York State. Bob Pellegrini joins other winery owners who wish that current state laws will change to permit interstate shipment. But he also feels that transportation (safely transporting wine/cost of shipping) is a major obstacle for distributors.
Pellegrini Vineyards is a must stop in the Long Island Wine Country. They are located on the Main Road (RT 25) in Cutchogue, on what I call "winery row". The Pellegrini winery staff are very knowledgeable and friendly. The proprietors are actively visible overseeing quality control and insuring customer satisfaction. Visit their stylish two-story, relaxed and roomy tasting room. Try the full range of wines, they are delicious and value priced.
Long Island has been blessed with two excellent harvests in row (2000& 2001). During my recent interview, I asked Bob Pellegrini how this year's harvest was looking. "This harvest is poised to be the best harvest that the North Fork has ever had!" Pellegrini explained with a smile.
All of the information for this story was obtained at the Pellegrini Vineyards Tasting Bar, where Bob & Joyce Pellegrini were pouring wine samples to a standing room only crowd. These vintners have a lot to be proud about!
For additional information contact:
23005 Main Road
Cutchogue, NY 11935
Tel. (631) 734-4111
Fax. (631) 734-4159 firstname.lastname@example.org