Five Long Island wineries will be showcased at a public tasting event in London on May 14, sponsored by England’s leading wine aficionado magazine and their wines will be poured at an international wine trade fair in the British capital.
The Long Island wineries will have an exclusive tasting -- tickets are priced at £15 each, about $25 -- at Decanter’s New World Discovery Theatre, a ballroom at the five-star Landmark Hotel in central London. Decanter runs its own tasting events to coincide with the annual London International Wine Fair, a three-day, trade-only exhibition that begins May 17.
The Long Island wines to be showcased at the Decanter event are: Channing Daughters Clones 2008; Lenz Old Vines Chardonnay 2007; McCall Wines Merlot 2008; Wölffer Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Fatalis Fatum 2006 and Paumanok Vineyards Assemblage 2007.
The New York Wine and Grape Foundation funded the Long Island program in London with a U.S. Department of Agriculture Market Access Program grant, Jim Trezise, president of the foundation, said. ”We’re paying to help stage it,” he said. “We’re excited to see it.”
Trezise said Susan Spence, head of the statewide trade group’s export program, will attend both the London fair and Decanter 's Long Island program. Forty New York state wines, all but eight from Long Island, will be poured at the trade fair, which is being held at ExCeL London, an exhibition and conference center in the city's Docklands area.
Sue Chambers, owner of Wine Equals Friends Ltd., an independent wine merchant in London, arranged the Decanter showcase and will introduce the Long Island wines.
Chambers said in an email she is presenting the wines because she is the sole distributor of Long Island wines in the United Kingdom. The first shipment is expected to reach England only days before the event.
“I selected the wines on a buying trip to Long Island last June,” said Chambers, noting she has a friend in Southold whom she has been visiting for 10 years. “I love Long Island and am very excited, at last, to be representing the wineries.”
Chambers impressed people at the Long Island wineries.
“She has great ambition,” said Thomas Morgan, wholesale director at Lenz, of Peconic.
“She’s pretty good at promotion,” said Charles Massoud, co-owner of Paumanok Vineyards, Aquebogue.
Chambers also bought other Long Island wines that are not part of the showcase to sell in her shop.
Massoud said Long Island wines might sell in London because of the curiosity factor. “We’re very happy [with the sale],” he said. “The more wine she sells, the happier I am.”
Morgan said Chambers purchased 17 cases of various Lenz wines. He noted that she would have to sell the wines at higher prices than U.S. retailers because of shipping costs and import tariffs. The Lenz Old Vines Chardonnay has a U.S. full-retail price of $25 a bottle. Britain imposes a duty of about $3 per 750 ml bottle, according to the UK Revenues and Customs website.
Long Island wines have been exported since the 1980s, when Lenz began shipping wines to Denmark, which it continues to do today.
In recent months various Long Island wineries have arranged export sales to importers in Denmark, Canada and China. These sales have been characterized by winery owners as evidence of Long Island’s growing stature as a world-class wine-producing region.
Meanwhile, Lenz’s Morgan said he plans to meet this week with an importer from Thailand. “We’ve been in Singapore,” he added.
The wines to be poured at the trade fair are:
Channing Daughters Winery, Mudd, 2006
Channing Daughters Winery, Rosato di Merlot, 2010
Channing Daughters Winery, Pazzo, 2004
Channing Daughters Winery, Pinot Grigio, 2009
Channing Daughters Winery, Mudd West Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc, 2010
Channing Daughters Winery, Vino Bianco, 2008
Channing Daughters Winery, Rosso Fresco, 2008,
Channing Daughters Winery, Clones, 2008
Channing Daughters Winery, Rosatto di Cabernet Franc, 2010
The Lenz Winery, Old Vines Cabernet, 2002
The Lenz Winery, White Label Chardonnay, 2007
The Lenz Winery, Old Vines Chardonnay, 2007
The Lenz Winery, Old Vines Merlot, 2002
The Lenz Winery, Estate Merlot, 2002
McCall Wines, Merlot, 2008
Paumanok Vineyards, Assemblage, 2007
Paumanok Vineyards, Cabernet Franc, 2008
Paumanok Vineyards, Petite Verdot - Apollo Drive, 2007
Paumanok Vineyards, Late Harvest Riesling, 2009
Paumanok Vineyards, Dry Riesling, 2009
Paumanok Vineyards, Festival Red, 2008
Paumanok Vineyards, Dry Rose, 2010
Paumanok Vineyards, Cabernet Sauvignon - Tuthills Lane Vineyard, 2005
Paumanok Vineyards, Festival Chardonnay, 2010
Paumanok Vineyards, Chenin Blanc, 2010
Paumanok Vineyards, Merlot - Tuthills Lane Vineyards, 2007
Paumanok Vineyards, Merlot, 2007
Wölffer Estate, Diosa (Late harvest Chardonnay), 2008
Wölffer Estate, Fatalis Fatum, 2006
Wölffer Estate, Perle Chardonnay, 2008