Winery and Vineyard Experience Analysis

Klodian Vrioni

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.
Thank you

Matthey Berenz , Winemaker at Vineyard 48, North Folk , New York.

Gustave Niebaum and Brother Thimothy

Gustave Niebaum 




Niebaum quickly rose through the ranks, and was captain of his own ship at age 21. He spent the next few years acquiring as many expensive furs as he could. This was an extremely lucrative trade at the time.

In 1868, he arrived in San Francisco with over $600,000 in sea otter pelts from Alaska. He founded the Alaskan Commercial Company and expanded his business ventures with his substantial profits.

In 1880, Captain Gustave Niebaum purchased an 1,110 acre property from William Campbell Watson named Inglenook. Inglenook was one of the few wineries to survive Prohibition without receiving a contract to make wine for the Catholic Church. Niebaum was able to persevere by selling table grapes.

Inglenook’s winery and cellar were completed in 1887. Niebaum was an early advocate of meticulous cleanliness in his winery and insisted on using only the best fruit. His great nephew John Daniel Jr continued his reputation for quality.

Birth : 1842

Died : 1908

Pioneer California Vintner, founded Inglenook Winery in Napa Valley, 1876. Niebaum, a Finnish immigrant, is perhaps the most famous and revered of the early vinters of California’s Napa Valley. His extensive holdings were broken up and sold over the years, but producer and good-liver Francis Ford Coppola recently reunited the original vineyard, forming Niebaum-Coppola Winery





D.O.B 1910

Lived –Napa Valley

Graduated-St Mary’s College in 1929

Occupation –Science Professor





A pioneering winemaker for the Christian Brothers Winery and a longtime fixture on the Napa Valley wine Known for its brandy and table wines, Christian Brothers was one of America’s top-selling brands for decades; the revenues went to support the order’s educational facilities.


Oregon Red Wine

Williamette Valley
Grape:Pinot Noir
Soil: Volcanic, silt, sediment ed rocks, bolders, hills
Climate: cool climate – warm climate
taste: Fresher than California’s with higher acidity and more intensity fruity than Burgundies.
Viticulture:Sustainable farming includes the use of cover crops between the vineyard rows.
More than just scenery, these plants return nutrients to the soil, encourage beneficial
insects and control erosion on hillside vineyards during the rainy season
Viniculture: Hand harvesting
History:John Wood and Ron Heyman
References :