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Vineyard in My Backyard

October 4th, 2010 · 1 Brilliant Opinion · Hamptons, Wine

After seven years in Bridgehampton, we finally made it to the vineyard that is 1/4 mile from our cottage.  We must have passed this vineyard on Scuttlehole Road hundreds of times.  As we drove down the long gravel driveway, we watched as workers harvested grapes.  The hot summer had caused the season to end several weeks early.  I was with Big P and our good friend Jon.   His wife Olive is not a wine drinker (but otherwise a really lovely lady) and babysat for us.  Our tasting session actually began in the car, as our friend Jon asked for a bunch of grapes.  First he tried begging in English…then he broke out the Spanglish.  Hola….grapes….gracias.  We were beside ourselves when one of workers handed Jon a palm full  of  sweet dark grapes – our tasting had begun and we hadn’t even gotten to the front door.  I was loving this place already!

As we parked we were greeted by the sweetest 3 year old boy who implored us to try the Pinot Grigio.  Once inside we paid $8 per person to try six wines. We were led through our tasting session by Ron – super nice, super cute and very knowledgeable.  Big P talked to Ron about wanting to grow his own grapes. He was really patient and told him to stick with an American variety that needed less maintenance. Ron managed to be engaging and endearing with Big P – sort of the same way your Kindergarten teacher was when you told her you wanted to fly the Space Shuttle when you turned six.

The tasting room is not large but as an art buff I was immediately drawn to the wood sculptures on the walls.  Ron told us that Walter Channing, age 70, was a partner in Channing Daughters and the artist. Ah, a renaissance man. And just like that he bumped Anderson Cooper from #2 on my  list of men I love to #3. Steve Jobs still holds slot number #1.  Don’t worry Big P – you still are holding it down at slot #4.

Jon usually does not drink red wine and was interested in the connection between sulfites and headaches.  According to Ron, if you eat dried fruit and don’t get a headache, it’s not the wine, because dried fruit also has sulfites. In fact, according to Ron, white wine has more sulfites than red wine.  He went on to explain that histamines are released during the fermentation of red wine and can cause sinus/nasal congestion.   I wouldn’t let Ron operate on me or set a broken bone but I gladly took his advice on wine and headaches. Dr. Ron works weekends at Channing Daughters Winery and I highly recommend him.

One of our favorites was the 2008 Sylvanus. This is a field blend consisting of 43% Muscat, 44% Pinot Grigio, 13% Pinot Bianco, all fermented and harvested together. We plan to pair it with seafood, salads and cheeses.  We also purchased a few bottles of 2008 Rosso Fresco, a light, refreshing red consisting of 58% Merlot, 28% Syrah, 10% Petit Verdot and 4% Dornfelder.  Ron recommended pairing it with pizza and pasta dishes.  We also gave a thumbs up to the  2008 Clones – a barrel fermented chardonnay that is 90% chardonnay  (from ten distinct clones) and 10% mixed white varieties.

We were treated to a special tasting of Blaufränkisch – not officially on the tasting list -and made from an Austrian black grape. Ron suggested we pair it with barbeque and grilled meats. Say no more, we went home (with a few bottles), barbequed some chicken breasts, accompanied it with rice and a mixed green salad (with cucumber from one of the local farm stands) and enjoyed some great wine. Cheers!


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