Jamesport Vineyards values what the customer has to say, and it goes a long way toward helping the Long Island winery finalize its red blends.
“We find that most of our customers are looking for a smooth, easy drinking red that has soft tannins and end up making a larger lot of wine in this style,” Jan Goerler, who owns the winery with her husband, Ron Goerler. “We acknowledge there is a small handful of customers who appreciate something richer, heavier and one that can be aged for awhile.”
Winery staff contribute opinions that influence the red blending process.
“When deciding on the blend we should bottle, we usually have three samples — A, B and C, and taste and evaluate them based on aroma, body and tannins,” Goerler said. “My husband, Ron, and the winemaker usually sit down together [with]staff who happen to be onsite are invited to participate in the tasting.”
Jamesport built its reputation in the early 1990s on being the region’s only producer of Sauvignon Blanc and wisely veered away from focusing too much effort on estate Cabernet Sauvignon, which Goerler said doesn’t ripen to its full potential on Long Island.
“We stopped producing a straight Cab Sauv and now use it to ‘beef up’ some of our other reds,” she said.
Jamesport Vineyards produces three levels of wine: its East End series, which usually consists of lighter blends meant for immediate consumption; its Estate line (Albariño, Chardonnay, Merlot, SVB and Cabernet Franc), which sees a little more oak and gets a little more attention; and its Reserve line, which is made from fruit grown in its best vineyard blocks and includes unique varieties such as Legrein and Teroldogo.
“My husband enjoys tasting wines from other regions and when he discovers one he loves, he researches it to see if it would be able to be successful on Long Island,” Goerler said. “Of course, we listen to our customers who still seek out wines that are pink and/or sweet, but these wines are made in small batches and sell out quickly.”