June 2016


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