It doesn't happen very often, but a New York State winery is shutting down.
Bucking the trend that has seen huge growth in the industry in the past decade, the owners of Peconic Bay Winery announced Friday that the Long Island operation would be bottling its last wine for sale, called the Lowerre Family Estate.
"Early in 2009 we sat down to blend a ‘tete-de-cuvée’ or a grand reserve style," general manager Jim Silver told local media. "We named that blend after the family that owns the winery, and dressed it in a beautiful black label and heavy glass."
Silver emphasized that the winery is not for sale, although one of the company's parcels of land in Peconic is being offered at a price of $2.65 million.
Said Paul Lowerre, owner of Lav-Cor Agricultural, Inc. -- parent company of Empire State Cellar and Peconic Bay Winery:
“Our decision to stop production at Peconic Bay Winery was based on simple economics. We still farm over 52 acres of premium grapes in Cutchogue and in Mattituck, so I’m not going to say we’re finished producing wine, but we’re most likely finished making wine for ourselves.”
Peconic Bay moved its tasting room to Empire State Cellars in January.
The final release from Peconic Bay Winery is a 2010 vintage red blend of 60% Merlot and 30% Malbec from vineyards on Oregon Road in Mattituck , plus 10% Cabernet Franc sourced from the original old vines on Main Road in Cutchogue.
The wine was aged for more than 18 months in used French barrels, then blended under supervision of Greg Gove, who has been Peconic Bay's winemaker since 1999.
The North Fork business was founded and the vineyards planted in 1979 by the late Ray Blum and originally managed by the late Charles Flatt, viticulturalist and winemaker. Originally the farm meant to sell all of its grapes, but by 1989 the fruit was all going toward producing wines on the estate.
It is located at 1320 Main Road. Phone: (631) 734-7361.