Anthony Nappa, winemaker at in Mattituck, now has a place of his own to showcase the wines he produces through a solo side project. And so do three other East End winemakers.
Nappa, who released his first wines last year and in February received a farm winery license, soon will open the Winemakers Studio in a space in Peconic formerly occupied the tasting room and before that run by Broadfields Vineyards. He opened it for an industry and friends preview Wednesday evening. The new facility will open for customers after Nappa receives a license from the state liquor authority.
“Retail is the most important market,” Nappa said yesterday as he poured samples of his three wines. So far, Nappa has only sold his wines at wholesale. Wineries typically sell wines to wholesale customers at two-thirds of the retail price.
The storefront facility at 2885 Peconic Lane was leased earlier this year by Nappa and his fiance, Sara Evans, to sell his own Anthony Nappa Wines. Evans is chef de cuisine at the in Southold. Nappa produces wine in insufficient volume to support operating the tasting room. Thus, he said, he decided to reach out to other Long Island winemakers who have personal labels and do not sell their wines in the tasting rooms of their respective employers.
Nappa, 34, began producing his small portfolio of wines in 2007, shortly after joining Shinn. His wines are Nemesis, a pinot noir; Anomly, a white pinot noir; Luminous, a riesling, and Spezia, a Gewurztraminer.
“I think the concept is great,” said one of Nappa's cooperators, Russell Hearn, winemaker at in Cutchogue and director of the Premium Wine Group, a custom-crush winery in Mattituck. Hearn and his wife, Susan, sell wines under the label. Hearn noted that similar ventures exist in California's wine producing regions “where there are plenty of garagistas.” Garagistas are small-scale commercial winemakers, some of whom make wine in their garages.
The venture likely will be patronized by “wine savvy consumers,” said Hearn. “People who are serious about North Fork wines will come here.”
Besides Nappa and Hearn, other winemakers represented in the facility are Grapes of Roth from Roman Roth of in Sagaponack, and Leo Family from John Leo of in Jamesport.
The Winemaker Studio is managed by Christopher Fanjul, a photographer. The facility also is home to artist in residence Corey Solinger, whose art is displayed for viewing and purchase at the facility.