A Wine Tour for a Reunion of Friends

The Facebook phenomenon really is amazing. Say what you will about it’s down side, for me the up side has been very rewarding. It all started with my 30th High School Reunion, which was being planned just as Facebook became a part of my life, about two years ago this past May. Suddenly I was happily in touch with several classmates I hadn’t seen or thought about in decades.

After the reunion we all started meeting up in different places for 50th birthdays. Trips to Boston included high tea, trips to Vermont included snowmobiling and outdoor fun, gatherings on Fire Island were all about barbequing and the beach and so on. These mini vacations gave us all a chance to unwind and experience new places while renewing old friendships. Two weeks ago this group of Ward Melville Class of 1979 gradates descended upon the North Fork of Long Island for, what else, a wine tour.

Since I’m the one East Ender, I took on the task of organizing the tour. We started out at 11 a.m. on a glorious Saturday with Peconic Bay Winery. I’m not sure what other people look for in a good wine tasting stop. I imagine many people consider the wine they will be drinking more carefully. I wasn’t worried, Peconic Bay and Pindar, our two main stops, have good reputations for turning out consistently top-rated wines. They did not disappoint. I wanted good service and a pretty setting. Our choices were perfect. [expand]

While very different (Pindar’s tasting, gathering and entertaining areas are much larger) both give a personal touch that is impressive. Our server, Allison, at Peconic Bay was a delight and the wine tour was enlightening. We were all particularly fascinated to find that the rose bushes planted at the end of each row of grapes act like a canary in a coal mine. Instead of signifying, as one in our group quipped, that the type of grape will produce Rosé wine! Since the roses are susceptible to the same bugs and disease as the grape vines if they start to fail it’s a good sign there’s trouble ahead. You learn something new every day.

We arrived at Pindar after 2 p.m. and just couldn’t go farther. The wine tour, interview with their winemaker Edward Lovaas and the large variety of wines to sample kept us busy till a lovely, golden glow fell over the vineyards and it was time for this very happy group to make our way back to Sag Harbor for the evening.

We had also included One Woman Wines on our list, as the back-story on this particular winery was very appealing to me. In fact the original plan included ending up at Vineyard 48. However, even the best-laid plans must succumb to an abundance of wine consumption and we never made it to One Woman Wines or Vineyard 48. I regret this as both vineyards were very accommodating over the phone and I am sure would have provided us with a fine time. Thankfully one thing I know for sure with this group, there’s always another time for more wine!

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