By Nancy Trejos
Sunday, January 3, 2010
Shortly after I walked into Long Island's Castello di Borghese vineyard, I found myself in the company of a prince and princess.
Princess Ann Marie Borghese
It's actually quite common at this small vineyard on the North Fork of Long Island, N.Y., for Castello di Borghese is owned by Italian-born Prince Marco Borghese, whose titled family traces its heritage to 9th-century Tuscany, and his Delaware-born wife, Ann Marie. And they make sure that one of them is always around to greet customers.
That, the princess told me as we sat at a small blue table near the vineyard's tasting room one cold December morning, just before my tour with Marco, is what sets Long Island wine country apart from its more famous counterparts in California. (That would be Napa and Sonoma, but try not to utter those names on the Island.)
"Every single person who comes here is greeted with eye contact," Ann Marie said, her blond hair flowing over her shoulders, her mustard-colored scarf tied delicately around her neck, her gold bee-shaped earrings distracting me with their glow. "It's a region that's much more friendly."
I soon discovered that for myself. All of the other vineyard owners and winemakers I met during my two-day tour of the North Fork in the East End of Long Island, a region overshadowed by the much glitzier Hamptons, were as approachable and friendly as the Borgheses. It was nothing like what I'd experienced during a visit to Napa years ago.
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