An Adventure in Mattituck

After thorough research on vineyards within an American Viticultural Area (AVA), I decided that the first stop on my trek to the AVA of North Fork, Long Island would be Macari Vineyards. Planted in the heart of Mattituck, New York, Macari Vineyards operates on 500-acres of land and produces nearly 12 to 15 thousand cases per year. These cases are then distributed to hundreds of businesses across the New York region. This 21-year-old vineyard grows an array of grape varieties. Pinot Noir and Merlot grapes are ubiquitous, along with the Chardonnay grape variety, which manufactured their award winning, oak-fermented 2015 Chardonnay Reserve. Because Macari Vineyards cultivates multiple universal grape varieties, this wine production facility creates an ideal basis for an understanding of techniques used in creating still and sparkling wine.

The entrance to Macari Vineyards



Macari Vineyards can be described as having a maritime climate. In fact, this AVA is positioned right in-between two bodies of water: The Long Island Sound and Little Peconic Bay. Soil plays a tremendous role in viticulture, so it’s necessary that North Fork use soils with tremendous drainage. In order to complement the maritime climate, sand soil is native to Macari Vineyards and allows vines to dispose of excess water.



After inquiring about the toughest seasons the vines endure, I was told that because of the currents from the ocean, airflow helps evaporate excess moisture. This creates an ideal climate for grapes to flourish year-round. Winemakers do not have to worry about frost compared to AVAs located more inland. Instead, managers are more concerned with animals with a need to devour maturing grapes. Netting is used to prevent critters from reaching these delicate, delicious yet profitable fruits.

My visit to Macari Vineyards consisted of a wine tasting and a cellar tour conducted by Audrey, an employee who has been working at the vineyard shy of three years. Her level of knowledge made it apparent that she had been working there for a shorter amount of time in comparison the rest of the employees. However, because it was my first vineyard tour, my expectations were satisfied.

The indoor tasting room.

The outdoor tasting area.















Stainless steel, concrete, and oak fermentation are used in the vinification process. Stainless steel is used mainly for white wines, which create crisp, green apple and citrus notes. This was evident in the Sauvignon Blanc presented at the wine tasting. Concrete fermentation is practiced for white wines as well. This type of fermentation creates a creamy and smooth texture on the palette. The wine that embodied these characteristics was the Dos Aguas White Blend, a bottle that I couldn’t resist buying to enjoy with seared scallops covered in a light, garlic sauce.

This concrete tank is shaped like an egg and used for fermentation.



In the cellar, I was also exposed to the riddling process for sparkling wines. Hundreds of bottles were upside down in racks called “pupitres”. Bud break for these Cabernet Franc grapes happened in May and were picked early to produce a dry rosé. I was elated to be able to witness a step in making champagne using the traditional method.



The riddling process!

On Macari Vineyards, winemakers pride themselves in using a holistic approach to viticultural practices. There are absolutely no chemicals on the farm. Instead, everything is organic. A compost area has been established, which is used to help fertilize the soil. As a student who not only studies wine, but advocates for living a healthy lifestyle, I would recommend Macari Vineyards for an educational and enjoyable experience. Its wines are impeccable and truly exemplify quality wines within the New York State region.

My dad, his girlfriend, and I in the tasting room

Alech, A. (n.d.). American Viticultural Area. Retrieved November 20, 2018, from

Macari, W. (n.d.). Macari Vineyards. Retrieved November 20, 2018, from

Nickles, J. (2017). 2017 Certified Specialist of Wine Guide.

Retail Beverage Shop Analysis: Sarah Adams

As a wine connoisseur and current Hospitality Management student, it’s important to comprehend the strengths and weaknesses of a retail beverage shop. 54 Wines and Spirits, located at 408 West 55th Street, carries a plethora of alcoholic beverages to choose from. Roger, the store manager, was extremely helpful and his patience made the overall experience run seamlessly. In addition, he was able to answer all questions without hesitation since he has studied wine for over fourteen years. 54 Wines and Spirits made an everlasting impression because of its ability to organize hundreds of wines from over fifteen different countries in a way that is easy for a customer to understand.

Compared to other wine stores visited in the past, 54 Wines and Spirits arranged their inventory along the walls and in the center of the store, which is typical for a beverage shop. However, Roger disclosed that they wanted to create more of an open-concept when designing the layout, so they implemented rows. This makes it easier for several consumers to browse wines at once, without a certain area getting overcrowded. Each area of the store is designated to a particular country. From there, each country is broken down into appellations, grape varieties, and the style of wine. Along the back of the store are spirits and the most expensive wines. Roger explained that the priciest wine they were carrying is a red wine from Bordeaux, France for $525. This 1963 Mouton Rothschild is a Premier Grand Cru and is extremely rare. The most expensive item they ever carried was a $1,500 bottle of whiskey.

Along with the exceptional customer service and organization, 54 Wine and Spirits had great natural lighting, which is essential in a retail beverage shop. Reading fine print and finding the perfect bottle would be impractical in a dimly lit store. Additionally, the location of this establishment is a great benefit. Because it’s located further West, Roger and his employees are able to dedicate genuine time to each customer who walks in. Although they do not get a lot of foot traffic, each customer leaves with at least one bottle of wine and a smile on their face. “We have a lot of regulars. It’s what keeps ou business alive” he explained.

Unfortunately, a drawback of the store was the fact that they didn’t have any “Shelf Talkers”. Roger affirmed that they do not do this because he wants customers to engage and ask them questions about the products in the store. Having a “Shelf Talker” can sometimes lead a consumer to purchase a wine they do not necessarily end up enjoying. Roger appreciates being involved in the customer’s buying experience by helping them explore all options, instead of buying the first product they see. It is imperative for a store to maintain customer loyalty in order to survive.

This mini bottle is La Marca Prosecco from Veneto, Italy. D.O.C. This wine is crisp and light. It contains 11% alcohol.

Enate is a red Somotano Wine from Salas Bajas, Spain. The grape variety is Tempranillo.

The only “Shelf Talker” in the store was the grey goose bottles displayed on a stand that read “World’s Best Tasting Vodka”.

This Zacharias Cabernet Sauvignon is from Peloponnese, Greece. It has hints of red fruits, tobacco, and spices. It’s a full-bodied wine, balanced with tannins. I was surprised to see a Cabernet Sauvignon grown in Peloponnese, considering it’s an island off of Athens.