FULL-STRENGTH

There’s a vermouth revolution in America. The re-appreciation of this wine category has spawned several new domestic producers, new products from the classic giants, new imports from small producers and a wealth of new info: books, websites and articles. People are drinking it again, by itself and in cocktails new and old. Not that this stopped in Europe or especially in South America, where they celebrate, every day, the “vermouth hour” or l’hora del vermut...

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CRAZY LONG TABLES

You dip down Deep Lane and park in a grassy area with row crops just beyond. Kick down a dirt trail to reveal multiple tables by the farm stand, one with oysters being shucked, another with Channing Daughters wine being poured. A truck with a portable pizza oven is parked, and Bryan Futterman of Foody’s and Joe Realmuto of Nick & Toni’s are making fresh pies with local veggies, mushrooms and cheese...

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LOCAL SPARKLING AND SWEET WINE ARE PERFECT FOR THE HOLIDAYS

There are now more than 50 wine producers on the East End of Long Island and more than half of them produce either a sparkling or sweet wine of some sort. These are two styles of wine I love, even though we do not produce them at Channing Daughters. They do very well in our climate. And they are eminently useful, from a wine drinker’s perspective, especially at this time of year...

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OUR PRECIOUS WATER

Water defines our existence on the East End. All the water that surrounds us moderates our climate. It makes our winters warmer and our summers cooler. It’s one of the reasons everyone wants to be here. The water-tempered climate also allows our region to produce high-quality wine, promoting moderate alcohol and brisk natural acidity in the glass...

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BEER AND WINE

There is a classic saying, “It takes a lot of good beer to make great wine.” That is certainly true here at Channing Daughters and many other local wineries. Usually our beer consumption goes up toward the end of the growing season, spiking by the end of harvest and then tailing off during the winter months. But these past couple of years, beer seems to flow all year round...

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CHANNING DAUGHTERS WINEMAKER CHRIS TRACY ON NPR TALKING ABOUT TONGUE TWISTER WINE

I’m drinking my coffee and eating my yogurt, and I hear a familiar voice on the radio spelling out the word blaufränkisch.

Why, it’s James Christopher Tracy, our own columnist, as a voice of authority for a story the Connecticut public radio station about wine...

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THE 2011 VINTAGE

This was a strange and hard vintage. Everything about it from beginning to end required an extraordinary amount of effort. More time, more labor, more money was expended growing the grapes and making the wines this year than anyone can remember. In the end, more people than not are very happy with what they have in the cellar, and I for one look forward to sharing many delicious, expressive wines that offer immense gratification to the consumer for their inherent quality and to the professionals who know firsthand how much work it took to get there...

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FACTORS

With newborn twin girls and a four-year-old boy, I often find myself up in the middle of the night. In a haze of sleep-deprived euphoria, I might be changing diapers or consoling a crying child when I attempt to connect the dots from my day’s work in the winery or the readings for my Master of Wine studies...

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SHOUT OUT TO BROOKLYN

It was a beautiful, sunny Tuesday in May as I sat at a sidewalk table outside Prime Meats on Court Street in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn. All around me—the crush of people up and down the avenue, the wine and food pairing event I was about to participate in at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the unbelievably delicious burger and Six Points Pilsner I was enjoying—were indications of just how hot and happening Brooklyn is these days...

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CONTAINERS, VESSELS AND KEGS

Throughout history, winemakers and wine drinkers have used animal skins, earthenware jars, pottery amphorae, stoneware, wood, concrete, glass, stainless steel and now plastic to hold wine. Even today much of the world's wine is never formally bottled and is consumed locally in whatever bottles (or other vessels) are available...

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TO BE RIPE

If ever there was a year to ripen cabernet sauvignon grapes on the East End of Long Island, it was this past 2010 vintage. Not only did we have the heat (one of the warmest years on record) and the lack of water (one of the driest) but we had the time...

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THE COPPER CONUNDRUM

Our lives are inextricably linked with the element copper. Electrical wiring, computers, most water pipes, coinage, biomedical technology and numerous chemical uses would be impossible without copper. It possesses germicidal properties and is used in hospitals. It is an essential trace nutrient in the diets of all animals and higher plant life...

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ALL THE WORLD'S A STAGE

Allison, the general manager of Channing Daughters, my wife and my partner in past theatrical pursuits, likes to say, "The curtain goes up when you turn into the winery driveway." Indeed the long dramatic path through the sea of vines is bucolic and magical-an everyday reminder of the dramatic life...

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PURSUING MASTERY

There are masters of everything these days: master gardeners, master electricians, master plumbers, master chefs and, yes, masters of wine. Since its inception in 1955, the Institute of Masters of Wine in the United Kingdom has bestowed the title of "Master of Wine" on very few people...

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MY DANCING PARTNER

There exists an unresolved debate in the wine world. Some propose that great wine is made in the vineyard, while others suggest that it is made in the cellar. The reality is that each statement is only half true. The old adage “it takes two to tango”—whether referring to the dance or, more often, an argument—is apt. Without each other we would have nothing...

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