WHISPER Vineyards St. James Long Island

photo 1Whisper Vineyards is located in the heart of Smithtown at 485 Edgewood Avenue Saint James, New York 11780. The Whisper Vineyards are owned and operated by Steve, Laura and Barbara Perrota. I had the honor to meet with one of the owners of these vineyards, Mr. Steve Perrota. I introduced myself as a Hospitality student at NYC College of Technology to him and he was very nice.

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Mr. Perrota tells me that the grape varieties grown in his vineyards are: Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Blanc and Pinot Gris. Mr. Perrota said that the last summer 2013 faced a loss of 95% of their Chardonnay and Merlot grape crop. To combat the desecration of their vineyards by birds this year they recently installed about 51,000 feet of protective mesh. This is a new technology which allows the leaves and vines to be exposed while encasing the grapes underneath. With this new procedure, the netting will eliminate the need for the customary use of the agricultural canon to deter the birds from eating the grapes.

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I remember the first weeks of our wine class reading about “Clone”, well Mr. Perrota mentioned this too. He said that most of us think of a grape variety as one type of grape that is consistent from vine to vine. But in reality, each type of grape variety has many different “clones” that were derived from the same type of grape vine. He used an example of Merlot saying, existed dozens of merlot clones and each with its own unique personality and characteristics. One merlot vine may produce smaller grapes than another, which might produce a more tannic wine that a vine with larger grapes but they still both merlot grapes. Mr. Perrota said that many New York and Long Island growers plant a mixture of clones, which can help give wine more complex flavors and another example of how the winemaking process starts in the vineyard.

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On January of this year, Whisper Vineyards became part of the Long Island Wine Council. Another interesting point was that while I read the label on the back of the bottles, I notice little words “Contains Sulfites”. Patricia Olstad, one of the tasting room personnel explained me that the “Sulfites” is a term for “sulfur dioxide” which is a preservative and widely used in winemaking. The consumption of sulfites is generally harmless she said, unless if you suffer from severe asthma. She explain me that any wine containing more than 10 parts per million of sulfur dioxide must affix to the label “contains sulfites”. Really interesting!

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This family create a boutique vineyard store which opened in the late fall ’13. This nice store has a display of all the wines produced on the Whisper Vineyards. They have set up tables where you can enjoy wine with family or friends in a really nice environment. Also, the day that I visited they had live music with guitarist and singer Fred Maloney “The Human iPod”. All the tasting room personal was really nice and attentive.

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Patricia show me the wines displayed on the store staring with the 2010 Reserve Red Cape which has 38% of Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Cabernet Franc, 25% of Merlot and 6% of Malbec. This wine smells peppery and blackberries.

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The 2008 Red Cape Blend is a medium bodied with a fine tannins wine; it has aromas of blackberries, violet and plums. It’s a blended of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc.

The 2010 Reserve merlot is a medium bodied with smooth tannins; it has aromas of cherries, black fruits, leather and smoky notes.

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The 2008 Merlot is a medium bodied wine with soft tannins; it has aromas of cherries, vanilla and smoky notes.

The 2013 Sauvignon Blanc has a beautiful balance and structure with a crisp finish and aromas of grapefruit, lemons, kiwi, and herbs.

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The 2011 Starting Rose has a soft and great balance between acidity and red berry notes; it has aromas of roses and strawberry preserve.

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The 2013 Riesling has a great balance between acidity and sweetness with aromas of golden apple, citrus and tropical fruits.

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The 2012 Pinot Gris has aromas of citrus and white flowers and its flavor of grapefruit and tart flavor.

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The 2008 Chardonnay with an elegant finish and citrus and floral aromas make you pallet feel red apples and nuts.

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The 2007 Reserve Chardonnay with a rich finish, this wine unoaked and medium bodied has aromas of honeysuckle and orange blossom.

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I am really enjoyed this vineyard experience and I am sure that I will remember this unique class the rest of my life. This project makes this class really interesting and different from the other classes I have taken before. I hope anyone who read my project will enjoy as much as I did and if you have the opportunity to visit a winery, do it! Here the links on where you can check it out. http://www.newyorkwines.org and http://www.liwines.com  Thank you to Professor Karen Goodlad for this amazing project!!

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Grand Wine and Liquor

The wine shop I visited was “Grand Wine and Liquor”. This shop is located in 30-05 31TH street Astoria, NY 11102. This wine shop is in a good location because it is closer to the N/R train station and it is distinguish by their big blue canopy. The front of the store advertises different varieties and popular brands of spirits on their windows to attract the attention of clients.

Upon entering to the store, I saw a cashier whom I introduce myself letting her know that I am a wine student from City Tech in Brooklyn. I ask her for permission to take pictures inside of the store and she kindly said “Yes, no problem”. This store has monthly calendar days of wine tasting which I think is fantastic as it attracts new clients that will purchase some wine, and also an opportunity for students like us to explore and learn more about the wine industry. The store also uses plenty of advertisement offering lower prices on their products, displaying them inside and outside of the store.

The store had a very interesting layout; on the entrance they have two fridges containing white wines and champagne bottles. These fridges are located there for one reason. The clerk explains to me that some clients want their bottle ready to consume as soon as they get home, saving them time cooling off their purchased product.

It was a surprise for me to see that this store is offering more variety of wines than spirits. The layout of the wines started on the right side with the France section, advertising Loire in a post. The france section started with different AOC such as St. Emilion, Margaux/St.Estephe, Merdoc and Cahors. In this section, I recognize the wines from Bordeaux with different appellations. It was really interesting and helpful having some tags posted on the aisles for example a France bottle from Rhone Valley where the tag has the description of the color, the aroma expected, and the balance on the wine.



On the same aisle, after the France section it continues with the California wines which are the biggest section in this store. They divided the California section from the variety of grapes, the first section started with Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Sirah and Zinfandel.




Other wines are located in the back area, displaying wines from different countries such as Australia, their most popular brand Yellow Tail. One interesting fact is that this wine is produced by Casella Wines Pty Ltd based in Yenda, Australia, which has a population of approximately 1400 people. Also wines from Croatia, Romania, Hungary Bulgaria and many other countries.



On the left side they have located the Italian wine section which is identified with an Italy map in a poster. I was excited because this was our passed lecture in class, in which I could identify wines from different regions and learned a variety of wines such as Tuscano and bottles labeled with DOC’s.



Another section in the left side is the Latin-American section and it was identifiable with an Argentine map in a poster. I know we will be studying this area soon during class. Based on The Sommelier book, “Argentina ranks fifth in world in terms of total wine production”. That is amazing.


The last section on the left side was located the Spirit section. This section was identifiable with different post promoting Gin, Tequila and Rum. One interesting and expensive spirit was a “Remi Martin Louis XIII” with a price tag of only $999,999.99!! Unfortunately I left my credit card at home.



I notice that this shop has a wide price selection ranging from $9.99 and up. Besides the advertisement outside of the store, they have flyers inside offering special discounts and also business cards for their clients. Also, their website which is really convenient because you can choose a wine from the variety of grapes or the types of beverage you wants. www.grandliquors.com

I think one area to improve is perhaps having a shelf full of wines located in the middle of the store displaying a variety from different countries. One of the sale assistant told me that the reason for not having that shelf is because they don’t have more space, for that reason they have to mix it, even though the shelf is label by the variety of grape.

It was an amazing experience to visit this shop and do this assignment. I really enjoy seeing how wine shops organize different sections. Also, understand and differentiate the appellations, AVA’s, DOC’s. Thanks professor Goodland for this assignment!