April 08, 2010

Pindar Tour & Tasting

I arranged another Finer Things Club event for ABF & myself a few weekends ago--we signed up for a behind the scenes tour and tasting of Pindar, one of our favorite Long Island vineyards.

The geek in me enjoyed it a lot. We got to see the chilling tanks where they keep their whites, the machine that presses the grapes, and the back part of the field where they take all the leftover fruit, stems, etc and mix them into compost for future use. Pindar makes a point to be very green, and works with the locals as well to keep that movement going.

We tasted several wines right from the barrel, which I thought was pretty cool! The first was the Merlot, and let me tell you, while I am no wine conneissuer (ABF is a much better 'taster' than I), even I could tell this needed more time in the barrel. The tour guide told us it would be about another year or so before it was ready for bottling.

The vineyard owner and founder, Dr. Herodotus “Dan” Damianos (photo below, blue sweater, next to our tour guide & winemaker, Les Howard), also came along for the tour. He shared lots of interesting facts about how the barrels are made (a single oak barrel, usually made in France, can run up to 1200 each). We learned that a new oak barrel will be made to hold the vineyard's popular Sunflower Chardonnay, and once that wine has been aged, the barrel will then house another type of white, and finally a third type of white, before being retired.

We also learned how America gave France some starter vines more than a century ago after a fungus destroyed all of their vineyards, and how most French wine is technically (wink) American--how do you like that??

I could have sat all day listening to the how's and why's of winemaking, but it was time for our tasting back at the tasting room. We walked out into the bright, warm sunshine (it is CHILLY in that building!) and made our way across the property. The tasting room was PACKED, but they made space for us in the back area. We were anxious to get a chance to sample their reserve red, voted New York's Best Wine! While we waited we tried the sunflower Chardonnay, which I actually loved. Chardonnay is probably one of the last things I'll order normally, but this one was light, bright, sunny, even!

We also decided to take them up on the awesome offer of 5 bucks for a wedge of delicious cheese and crackers. You can't do all that tasting and not eat something! Well, apparently some people in our group could, but we couldn't.

One of the last tastings we had was of the reserve merlot, which won Best Red in New York, among other awards. This was AWESOME. It was rich, smooth, and you could definitely taste the difference between this wine and the younger reds. ABF & I both gave each other a look of surprise and appreciation--and we both agreed this wine was worth the slightly-higher price (it's around 27 dollars, I think, whereas most Pindar wines are around 10-15).

After all of our tastings, we made our way to the outdoor picnic area and ate the lunch we'd packed. I brought some of my homemade hummus, some delicious yogurt from Trader Joe's, and crackers and veggie slices. It was cool but sunny outside, and it was a good way to let the wine wear off before we hit the road again. We definitely enjoyed this afternoon, and we'll be back there again before long, especially to pick up 2 bottles of their awesome Reserve Merlot!

1 comment:

Emig Family said...

Tell me more about that fella with his hand in his pocket. I'll raise a glass to him.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...