I spent the day yesterday driving down to Long Island with a local winemaker to pick up some Merlot grapes. Sometimes wineries in various parts of New York do purchase grapes from other areas of the state. The labels of course will read “New York Wine” rather than “Hudson Valley Wine” or “Finger Lakes Wine.” That is topic for another blog.

One thing I couldn’t get over was the price of a tasting. I know in the Hudson Valley the tasting fees range from $5 – $10 for a tasting flight of around 5 or 6 wines. However, I got sticker shock at the cost of a tasting in Long Island. I like red and whites. The two wineries we stopped in the tasting fees were $7 for a flight of 3 whites and $9 for a flight of 3 reds.

Our first stop was at Palmer Vineyards. I never visited this winery as I usually tend to stop at smaller, off the beaten path tasting rooms. I tasted the 07 Sauvignon Blanc. There was passion fruit on the nose. This is due to an open canopy on the vines. This brings out the passion fruit flavor of the grape. It was light and refreshing with grapefruit on the aftertaste. The 07 Gewurztraminer was nice with a Lychee aroma and the 07 Riesling had nice peach on the nose. I wasn’t impressed with the reds.

We then stopped and picked up the grapes and went to Greenport for lunch. I had a great Chardonnay at lunch from Martha Clara, so I asked that we stop there on the way home.

After lunch we stopped at Raphael Winery. Three years ago they had a fantastic Sauvignon Blanc and I had high expectations. I wasn’t totally disappointed, it was good, but I was looking for the past.

We did stop at Marth Clara Vineyards . We walked in and there was one other person in the tasting room being assisted by the staff. We waited, but we weren’t even acknowledged. We stood there and then decided to just leave. It was at that point someone else showed up and asked us if we wanted to taste. We just purchased the bottle wine we enjoyed at lunch and called it a day.