In most wine regions across the world, there’s a plethora of rules that winemakers and vineyard owners must obey. This ranges from which grapes can be grown where, when a grower can start harvest, what methods have to be used in the winery and even the type of corks that can be used.

But in the States, that’s not the case. For the most part, winemakers can grow what they want and make what they want the way they want to. And so, in the spirit of freedom and the Fourth of July, check out these six wines from fiercely independent winemakers in the U.S. who are changing the conversation and doing it their own way. Continue Reading


While everyone else was trying to figure out how to get Bordeaux grape varieties, like cabernet and merlot, to ripen in the persnickety climate of Long Island’s North Fork, Channing Daughters winery was tinkering with different grapes, especially cooler-climate Italian varieties, to see if there might be more viable alternatives. Winemaker Chris Tracy found that even if the red grapes can’t get ripe enough to make red wines, they can make exceptional rosé so nice he makes six different ones every vintage. Here, he’s using northern Italy’s red refosco grape to produce this juicy, jolly, berried dry rosé ($20).

—Megan Krigbaum

Orange Wine Has Finally Arrived. Here Are Eight Bottles to Buy

When high-end, wine-centric restaurant Rouge Tomate reopens next month in New York’s Chelsea district, there will be plenty of “orange” wines on the list.

Traditionally from Georgia in Eastern Europe, these tannic white wines—made like reds, with grape skins left in during fermentation and aging—have been trending for four or five years as vinous exotica, touted as the fourth wine color. Have they finally become more than novelties?

“They’re here to stay,” says Rouge Tomate Chelsea wine director Pascaline Lepeltier, who sent me a long list of her favorite producers.

2013 Channing Daughters Ramato ($25) 
In the Hamptons, former chef Christopher Tracy makes this dry, exotic, spicy white with apricot and honey aromas from pinot grigio grapes. Ramato is an Italian term used in Friuli for skin-fermenting the varietal to create a copper-colored wine. This one spent only 14 days on the skins, so it’s a great orange wine introduction.

—Elin McCoy

The Best American-Made Rosé Wine for Summer

Ideal summer sipping requires something refreshing, and there’s nothing more thirst quenching than rosé. Because it’s a style of wine that is made with red grapes, there’s a lovely structure that provides a backbone to even the lightest rosés, and those light, salmon-pink wines often have an aromatic subtlety and citrusy minerality that we find just so, well, refreshing. This summer, our search for something different than the standard setter Provence has taken us home: Winemakers across the U.S. are producing creative, dry, light rosés with all kinds of grapes. From blends that recall those made in southern France to single-variety wines made from grapes both expected and surprising (a Northern Californian rosé using a traditional Portuguese varietal, anyone?), there is much to explore from coast to coast. What’s exciting is the variety available within this year’s current release, and all of these, and more, are worth exploring as the days continue to heat up. Here within, a few suggestions to get your summer started. Read More

Channing Daughters, Rosato di Cabernet Franc 2015

Grape: Cabernet Franc

Based on Long Island’s South Fork in Bridgehampton, it’s no wonder that this producer was inspired to produce a series of rosés to quench the Hamptons thirst for the stuff. Winemaker Christopher Tracy’s approach explores the nuances of a variety of red grapes, showing distinct differences in each of their Molti Rosati (Many Rosés) line of wines. Our favorite is the Rosato di Cabernet Franc, with its clean, peppery mouthfeel and hints of blackberry and raspberry.

—Sarah H. Bray

The Best Budget-Friendly Summer Wines

... Of course, there's cabernet franc outside the Loire, too. Not every winery makes a rosé, but Channing Daughters on Long Island's North Fork offers no fewer than six different ones, each from a different vineyard and featuring different grape varieties. The Channing Daughters 2015 Cabernet Franc Rosato (around $18) is pale salmon pink from spending just a few hours with its skins. It's silky-rich but bright, lightly floral, and almost saline, with a tangy citrus side and soft strawberry fruit beneath. I love it with poached salmon and crab cakes, but it really requires no accompaniment except a sunny day. View Full Article

—Maggie Hoffman

The 25 Best Rosés Under $25

Brace yourself. Rosé season starts this weekend. The drink pink boom means pale and pretty wines will be poured at patio parties everywhere to jumpstart a hopefully decadent summer lifestyle. An oversize tub filled with ice and bottles of pink wine is now de rigueur for entertaining.

So what to put in it? Rosés from Provence have been in vogue for what seems like forever—a new high of nearly 6.9 million bottles were imported into the U.S. last year—and alas, the number of luxury versions is exploding. But you don’t have to pay a lot to get something you'll be happy to drink. If you’re having a party or just want to knock back a glass by the pool, the virtues of those expensive rosés—ability to age, complexity—are beside the point. Continue Reading

2015 Channing Daughters Rosato of Cabernet Franc ($15)
Always pushing boundaries, pony-tailed winemaker Christopher Tracy makes several unusual rosés, including a pét-nat, in the Hamptons. This one is pale, delicate, and mouthwatering.

—Elin McCoy

Pét-Nat Is the New Rosé

... On the raw end lies Bridgehampton, New York, producer Channing Daughters. For winemaker Christopher Tracy, "some of the fundamental things that set [pét-nats] apart is that they’re fermented wildly, no yeast added. And the bubbles are created by the primary alcoholic fermentation. These are the two most important things. From there, there’s all sorts of seeming deviations, most glaringly I think between disgorgement or not," he outlines.

Disgorgement refers to one way of dealing with the sediment composed of dead yeast cells that remains in the bottle once fermentation is finished. To remove the sediment, winemakers use a process known as riddling, which involves positioning a bottle at an angle upside down so that the pressure created by the carbon dioxide inside will force that sediment out when the bottle is opened—one of the final steps of the traditional winemaking method. The result is a clear wine, like Champagne. Other ways to handle the sediment is to simply leave it in the bottle, as Tracy does: "I personally didn’t want to disgorge because if I’m going to go through the time, labor, cost of traditional production, I’d make a traditional-style bubbly. I think pét-nats are a little more friendly, fun, wild."

In order to preserve his wine’s depth, Tracy turns to coarse filtration, using filtration screens that measure 10-microns compared with the 0.2-micron ones adopted by many commercial-style wines. "You’re basically taking out stuff you could scoop out," he says. Since 2014, Channing Daughters has made pét-nats in all hues, from grapes as varied as syrah, merlot, refosco, pinot grigio, and sylvaner, all complex mixes of sweet and savory that flaunt each varietal's flavors, and all in tiny, buy-them-now production: there are barely more than 100 cases made of each style, which also varies by year. Continue Reading

Producer: Channing Daughters
Wine: Petillant Naturel Rosso, 2015
From: Bridgehampton, New York
Retail: $27

Winemaker Christopher Tracy nurtures his pét-nat’s wild side, making his Rosso from a blend of seven grapes—refosco, syrah, and merlot fulfill the first 89 percent, with Austrian, German, and Northern Italian specialty grapes dornfelder, zweigelt, teroldego, and blaufränkisch comprising the rest. The result is a deeply hazy wine the color of dark red raspberries, with flavors of cranberries, tart cherries, pomegranate, and lavender, along with damp earth and plenty of acidity and sweetness. Complex and wildly joyful, the Rosso works as well as a meditative wine as it does with fresh tomato sauce and herb pesto–topped pastas.

—Susan H. Gordon

Meet Christopher Tracy of Channing Daughters Winery: Winemaker profile

At Channing Daughters Winery, winemaker and partner Christopher Tracy is far from limited to using only the well-known Long Island varietals or constrained by a particular methodology.

In fact, his cellar style is mainly defined by just one common denominator: making the best-tasting wines.

“We want wines to be first and foremost delicious,” Tracy said in a late winter interview at the Bridgehampton facility. “We try to push the envelope and try to expand our horizons and varieties.

“We tend not to be too ideological,” he added.

The result is a portfolio featuring a wide range of wines, from vintages that have been completely managed in the cellar to those that have been allowed to ferment on their own without intervention. It encompasses stainless steel-fermented chardonnay as well as blends made using blaufränkisch and dornfelder grapes grown at Cornell Cooperative Extension’s research facility in Riverhead.

“He’s an artist with a palette with a lot of different colors — in this case it’s grape varieties and techniques,” said Channing Daughters co-founder and partner Larry Perrine. “These things are out of the mainstream, and the mainstream is clogged. We’re more interested in things that are not being done by everybody.” Continue Reading

—Vera Chinese

Pét-Nat: When Sparkling Wine Goes Au Naturel

PÉT-NAT MUST BE one of the cutest monikers in the wine world today. The whimsical nickname for pétillant-naturel, a slightly sparkling natural wine, also happens to capture its character best. Softly effervescent, sometimes quite frothy and ranging in style from dry to sweet, pét-nat can be as much fun to drink as it is to pronounce.

The word “fun” came up over and over again when I asked fans and producers why they liked pét-nat so much. I haven’t heard that adjective very often in wine conversations, but it’s cropped up with greater frequency over the past several years—usually during discussions about pét-nat, which has been showing up on more wine lists and store shelves. Continue Reading

2015 Channing Daughters Bianco Pétillant Naturel $25

Winemaker Christopher Tracy is famously restless, forever experimenting with one type of wine or another. His second batch of pét-nats includes this slightly cloudy, slightly sweet, frothy, floral delight.

—Lettie Teague

For delicious diversity, check out the spirited Channing Daughters of Long Island

The winery makes the most of its varied conditions and isn't trying to be anything but its innovative self.

Channing Daughters is a maximalist, catholic-minded winery on the South Fork of Long Island, New York, making exuberant, omnibus wines that defy categorization. The wines are in a so-far small class that permits inhabitants of the northeastern United States to drink regionally produced wine without compromise. If you drink the wines now, you will tell old-fogey stories about how you knew them when. Read More

—Joe Appel

Drinks strange and surprising stand out from the past year

A fresh Italian white, a Beaujolais Nouveau, a Long Island orange and a South African sauvignon blanc are among the most pleasing surprises of 2015. Read More

—Joe Appel

Channing Daughters 2013 Sylvanus White — 90 Points, Wine Enthusiast

Smoky tea leaves and vanilla permeate throughout this blossomy, perfumed blend of white grape varieties (Muscat, Pinot Grigio and Pinot Blanc). It’s lusciously full bodied, yet spry, boasting concentrated stone fruit flavors framed squarely by savory tones of earth, wood and bitter tannins. Read More

—Anna Lee C. Iijima

Channing Daughters 2013 Mosaico White — 91 Points, Wine Enthusiast

This field blend of aromatic white varieties intoxicates with its exotic haze of cinnamon, orange peel and turmeric spices. It’s lusciously phenolic in mouthfeel, with a deep, penetrating core of dried peach and pear flavors that lingers on and on and on. Read More

—Anna Lee C. Iijima

The Wine Stories That Will Shape 2016

From California doubling down on Tuesday night wines to Oregon's embrace of a new muse to the Savoie finally climbing out of the Jura's hip-cocked shadow, Jon Bonné lays out the wine stories that will make a difference in 2016. Read More

—Jon Bonné

Best Long Island Wineries to Visit

The best Long Island wineries to visit feature gorgeous tasting rooms, special events like live music and plenty of perfect picnic spots. Vineyards have dotted the north and south forks since 1973, when Louisa and Alex Hargrave founded their eponymous winery, which would become Castello di Borghese. Today, the region is home to large producers with multiple locations as well as promising upstarts that make excellent wines in small quantities. Read More

Channing Daughters

A benchmark winery for Long Island, and a relatively rare vinous outpost amid the high-priced South Fork acres of Bridgehampton, Channing’s home vineyards date to 1982. Visitors to the spruce, terra cotta–floored tasting room have the chance to sip six wines (for $12), a surprisingly tough choice given that the winery produces bottlings from over two dozen varieties, including notable outliers like Tocai Friulano and Blaufränkisch.

—Richard Nalley

Top 10 Wines of 2015: From $20 Furmint to $8,540 Champagne

In 2015, I sampled about 3,500 wines from every continent but Antarctica in my never-ending search for the recommendable. My 10 most memorable bottles range from a great vintage of a rare riesling, to a pet-nat bargain from the Hamptons, to California’s über-classic cabernet. Taken as a whole, they communicate what’s important in the world of wine today (the rise of traditional winemaking styles and unfamiliar grapes, the new appeal of old champagne) and what might happen next (more hot young things out of Australia, among others). Read More

—Elin McCoy

All About Orange Wine

Orange wine is a bit of a misnomer because it isn’t referring to a wine made with oranges nor is it a Mimosa cocktail (a blend of 1 part orange juice to 2 parts sparkling wine.) Orange wine is something entirely different.

TIP: Orange wines have zero additives: they’re vegan, sulfite-free and unlike any white wine you’ve ever tasted. Read More

—Madeline Puckette 

Long Island Wine’s Hunt for a New Identity

Long Island wine has long been stymied by a number of factors—most notably its initial Bordeaux aspirations. But despite the odds stacked against it, that's changing. Jon Bonné meets with the winemakers, both new and established, who are charting a new path ahead. Read More

—Jon Bonné

What to Toast for Fall’s Best Moments

Five autumn milestones, five pitch-perfect wines.

The Moment: The First Snow Flurry

The Bottle: Channing Daughters 2013 Mosaico (The Hamptons, Long Island)

As temperatures drop and those familiar autumnal aromas of fallen leaves and wood smoke fill the air, you’ll be craving slow, simmered braises again. Whether you choose a root vegetable stew, chicken tagine or beef chili, this aromatic white blend’s exotic haze of cinnamon, orange peel and turmeric spices will pair brilliantly. It’s lusciously phenolic in mouthfeel, with a core of dried peach and pear flavors that lingers on and on. —Anna Lee C. Iijima

Read More

Channing Daughters 2014 Sculpture Garden Rosato — 90 POINTS

Hints of fresh sage lend complexity to cheery watermelon, berry and cherry notes in this refreshing dry rosé. It's buoyantly floral with a concentrated, peachy palate. A blend of predominantly Merlot with proportions of exotic Teroldego and Blaufranksich lending structure and naunce. Read More

—Anna Lee C. Iijima

Channing Daughters 2012 Ramato Pinot Grigio — 91 POINTS, Editor's Choice

Like rose gold in a glass, this skin-fermented Pinot Gris glimmers with complexity. Aged in a combination of French and Slovenian oak, it's lavishly aromatic, penetrating the palate with tones of potpourri and spice, citrus rind and smoked tea leaves. Tart tangerine acidity lends vibe and refreshment through a long, long finish. Read More

—Anna Lee C. Iijima