Anthony Nappa has left his position as production winemaker at Shinn Estate Vineyards in Mattituck. He has been replaced by a chef-turned-winemaker with experience making wine around the world, according to a Shinn e-newsletter today.
Nappa said he is looking for a new winemaking job while he also works on opening his storefront Winemaker’s Studio tasting room in Peconic. The facility is awaiting its liquor license.
Nappa has been replaced at Shinn by Patrick Caserta, who has worked at wineries in California, New Zealand and France, Shinn co-owner David Page said in his weekly email letter.
“We wish Anthony much success in his future endeavors,” Page wrote. “He gave us four outstanding years.”
Nappa, whose new tasting venture has yet to open, has his own wine label, Anthony Nappa Wines, which are to be sold at the new Peconic location.
Nappa, who studied winemaking in New Zealand and worked as a winemaker there and in Southern Italy, as well as in California, Massachusetts and New York, joined Shinn in 2007, the same year he began producing his own wines, which include Nemesis, a pinot noir; Anomaly, a white pinot noir; Luminous, a riesling; and Spezia, a gewürztraminer.
“I am going to be looking for a winemaking job out here and moving forward on getting the Winemaker’s Studio open,” Nappa said in a telephone interview, declining comment on what led to his departure.
Page, meanwhile told Patch.com, “Anthony has been building his business for a while.”
Page said Shinn Estate has employed numerous winemakers since its establishment in the 1990s. Shinn’s first wines were made by Eric Fry at the Lenz Cellars and later at Wölffer Estate Vineyard in Sagaponack with Roman Roth as a consulting winemaker. Juan Micieli-Martinez, now winemaker at Martha Clara Vineyards in Riverhead, preceded Nappa at Shinn Estate.
Caserta, a Connecticut native who has culinary and winemaking degrees, has been working at Shinn for the past five weeks, Page said. He previously worked as an oenologist at Plumpjack/CADE Winery in Napa Valley, which is best known for its super-premium cabernet sauvignons and chardonnays.
Page and his wife, co-owner Barbara Shinn, are former chefs and restaurateurs. They operated Home Restaurant in New York’s Greenwich Village until they established the winery and bed and breakfast on Oregon Road.
In addition to his work at Plumpjack, Shinn’s new winemaker has more than 10 years of experience working at Vieux Château Certan/Château Le Pin in Bordeaux, Rudd Wines and Vérité Wines, in California, and Te Mata in New Zealand.
“Patrick will work directly with Barbara and myself to craft wines that best express the beauty of this place where they are grown." Shinn said.