Winery and Vineyard Experience Analysis
HMGT 2402-Wine and Beverage Management
Prof. Karen Goodlad, CSW
May 16, 2013
There are many Vineyards and Wineries in New York area. The most famous one and an AVA region is the North Folk area in Long Island. I was searching around and I choose the Vineyard 48 as my focus of my analysis. I choose this particular Vineyard because they not only were very knowledgeable in the wine viniculture but I was able to get a private tour and interview the Winemaker of Vineyard 48, Mr. Matthew Berenz.
A little bit about his experience and his profession, Mr.Berenz started as a Sale Person, and his passion for the wine grew working with the owners. In 1998, he decided to make wine together with the owners. After a couple of years they offered him the position as a wine maker and he is holding that position proudly from 2004 till the present day.
In my personal tour I learned that they not only use the best varieties in America but they also use the classic methods of the wine-making: the old-world style from hand- picking, to chilling down the wine naturally.
According to Mr. Berenz, the soil is sand, which make it perfect for drainage and they don’t need an irrigation system. Also, the grape varieties combine with the unique climate and maritime conditions; with water in both sides make the vine growth naturally and gives the wine, particular fruity characteristics.
Another aspect of the wine growing is the Viniculture process they use. As I mention above, with no irrigation they use the naturally growing grape varieties. They used root stocks from California planted there 1982. They also, use pruning, old fashion leaf-removal, allowing the sun for maximum ripening the grapes, they do the regularly pesticide spraying to protect the grapes from infections and diseases.
There are six grape varieties that they grow at Vineyard 48 : Cabernet Sauvignon-two acres , Merlot and Chardonnay-five acres each ,Riesling-nine acres ,Sauvignon Blanc-5 acres and Cabernet Franc only one acre (Matthew Berenz , Wine Maker 2013).
About harvesting is in October which allows the grapes full ripening and tanning. The grapes are hand-picked and machine crashed at the site. They have crushing machines and for the wine they use both: the oak and stain-still barrels. After fermentation, they use the cold stabilization and heat stabilization methods for making the wine. Often they use to add betonies for wine clarification, a method use often in Australian winemaking.
When it comes to production, they produce 500 cases a day, and 4.000 cases a year. The most of production goes after to a bottling machine. It is an Italian Machine called GAI and after bottling they are labeled by hand, one by one .The label contents: Vintage, Appellation region and alcoholic content. There are no restrictions in production wine-making but as Mr. Berenz adds in his interview, they prefer quality over quantity, so they choose to make two and half tons of juice for one hectare. This way the quantity is limited but the quality never suffers.
The price rage from: 16 to 45 dollars a bottle .They also won a lot of National and International Competitions. Some of those prices are: New York-Wine and Food Classic, Atlantic Seaboard Wine Competition, International Finger Lakes Wine Competition, Best Sauvignon Blanc 2007 Award Competition etc.
When I asked about the best vintage years in North Folk, Mr. Berenz answered-“The best vintage years in my opinion were 2012, 2010 and 2007”. But the most, that he is proud of is the Peach Wine, he considered himself a pioneer of peach wine in the area. They also produce a really good and fine Riesling. The best Riesling they had was in 2007 vintage .They also produce blends with fruity, vanilla and full-mouth tasting wines.
My favorite of all of them was Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blank. The best time to go is in the weekend since they offer wine tasting and also wine parties. On Saturdays they offer free barbeque and the best of house wine, a blend of varieties of their vineyard.
As for improvement of the vineyard and the winery, Mr. Berenz is hoping that is room for implementation adding new vines to existing one, to rejuvenate the wine and expend the production.
Overall, my visit at the winery and my interview with the winemaker was very interesting and a wine experience that I will not forget easy. His knowledge of the wine and the grapes varieties in his vineyard is excellent and I hope that the North Folk one day gets the same attention as Californian Wines. Is a present place to visit and they are offering the best wines is New York. I will recommend the place to all my friends.
Matthey Berenz , Winemaker at Vineyard 48, North Folk , New York.