Howard Goldberg Raves About Kontokosta Winery on Long Island in the NY Times (NY)
By HOWARD G. GOLDBERG
Published: June 21, 2013
New York Times
The 62-acre Kontokosta Winery in Greenport, the easternmost winery on the North Fork, opened this month with a sizable portfolio of eight wines, featuring impressive reds.
The proprietors, Michael E. Kontokosta, the vineyard manager, and his brother, Constantine E. Kontokosta, own the Harborfront Inn in Greenport and the Cove Place Inn in Aquebogue.
Their 2007 Blum merlot ($19), from Ackerly Pond Vineyards grapes of Peconic, is gorgeous; the 2007 cabernet franc ($29) is explosively flavorful; the regular 2007 merlot ($29), from Kontokosta fruit, is rich; the 2010 cabernet sauvignon ($22) is savory.
I found the tangy 2012 sauvignon blanc ($25) and the sumptuous 2009 chardonnay ($17), which was made from grapes bought from Sargon Vineyard in Orient, enticing. The 2010 viognier ($25) is piquant; the 2012 rosé ($15), mainly syrah, offers a floral aroma.
Eric Fry made the 2007, 2009 and 2010 vintages at the Lenz Winery in Peconic. Gilles Martin, the consulting winemaker, produced the 2012 vintage at the Kontokosta Winery, in a 9,000-square-foot wind-powered gray barnlike building atop a high bluff. The cellar can make 5,000 cases yearly. The tall windows face Long Island Sound and nearly 24 acres growing seven grape varieties.
“Other than managing the vineyard, I have no formal training in viticulture or enology,” Michael E. Kontokosta said in an e-mail. “I prefer to learn by engaging, not studying.” He had left corporate finance law in 2001 to go into business.
The first vines were planted in 2002, the last in 2004, by Ray Blum, who oversaw the vineyard until his death in 2007. He had founded Peconic Bay Vineyards in Cutchogue and owned Ackerly Pond Vineyards.
Kontokosta began selling other producers its grapes in 2006. With Long Island’s outstanding 2007 vintage, it started retaining some for itself. Its bottles are sold only in the tasting room.
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