Saturday, March 15, 2014

Interview With Kareem Massoud (NY)

I am a big fan of Paumanok Vineyards. One of the things I like about Kareem is that he makes a lot of different kinds of wines. He believes in diversity. And you know what? There's not a clunker in the bunch. Is that a compliment? You betcha! California, France, Italy...good wineries, great wineries, make great wines across a broad spectrum. No matter where you are in the world, you can always find fault with one or two wines in a line up.

Kareem is a deft winemaker. He has an easy hand. His wines are fruit forward, but with balance. And all of them are excellent - clean, consistent, and made with quality in mind. That's an accomplishment, especially when you think he's young and has a long way to go. What he might achieve could be incredible.

What he has already done IS incredible. You've got to taste his wines!

But Kareem is thoughtful, when he speaks. And he's always interesting. Kareem Massoud was born in Bahrain in 1972. By the late 1970s his parents, Charles and Ursula Massoud, had moved to Connecticut where they began a search for a site to plant a vineyard. In 1983 they founded Paumanok Vineyards in Aquebogue, NY, on the North Fork of Long Island. After earning a BS in Economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, Kareem had a brief career in New York as a private equity analyst at a private investment firm. He decided to move on and ended up back at his family's estate winery. Although he has been working full time at Paumanok for the last 10 years, Kareem Massoud has been actively involved in his family's wine making business since its inception. Kareem is a second generation winemaker, having learned the trade under his father's tutelage. His international travels to South Africa, Germany, New Zealand and Chile have given him a wide range of experience in the art of wine making. Paumanok has been recognized with numerous accolades over the years including Wine Spectator's Critic's Choice Award, NY Wine & Food Classic's "Winery of the Year" Award and "outstanding" reviews in Robert Parker's Wine Advocate. Outside of Paumanok, Kareem serves on the Riverhead Farmland Preservation Committee, on the Executive Board of Long Island Farm Bureau as Treasurer, and is currently Chairman of the New York State Wine Grape Task Force.