Theresa Dilworth, a Long Island native with family roots in Alsace, France, has been producing wine under the…More Comtesse Therese label since 2001. She and her team began using her own grapes, grown on Union Avenue in Aquebogue, in 2005. Premium Wine Group in Mattituck now makes the majority of the vineyard's wine. The consulting winemaker is Alie Shaper of Brooklyn Oenology.
The 20 acres of vines, located on 42 acres, include merlot, cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, and sauvignon blanc, as well as younger malbec and syrah vines that have not yet begun to bear fruit. The vineyard, which is managed by Theresa's husband Sammy Shimura, is not open to the public. Her parents, SUNY Philosophy Professor David Dilworth and Mary Dilworth, also work at the vineyard.
Theresa ("Tree") Dilworth, an international tax lawyer who lives in Mattituck and NYC and works in Westchester, has become known for her innovative use of more unusual oak barrels, including Hungarian oak, Russian oak, and Canadian oak. Her 2002 Hungarian Oak Merlot won Best Merlot in New York at the 2004 New York Wine & Food Classic.
The wines are available at Comtesse Therese Bistro, the first winery-owned restaurant on the North Fork, which opened in October of 2010 in Aquebogue. The Bistro serves exclusively Comtesse Therese wines, paired with French classics such as escargots and local duck (house-smoked duck breast and confit de canard), local seafood (Montauk scallops, fresh cod), house-aged steaks, and local vegetables in season.
From July 2006 through Feb. 2011, Comtesse Therese had operated The Tasting Room, Long Island's only multi-vineyard wine tasting room.