Pinot Blanc is a white grape that is a genetic cousin to Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir and has similar characteristics to Chardonnay. It’s a major grape in places like Alsace, France and Friuli, Italy but not widely grown on the North Fork of Long Island. Only a handful of wineries bottle a Pinot Blanc. On a sunny Saturday afternoon I took a drive out to sample a few.
Lieb Cellars 13050 Oregon Road, Cutchogue
Winery established in 1992 with small production, all estate wines.
2016 Pinot Blanc “Reserve”. Their signature wine from some of the oldest vines on the North Fork (circa 1983). 100% fermented in stainless steel with zero percent residual sugar. Medium yellow with white flowers and lemon custard on the nose, crisp and steely with lime notes on the finish
Shinn Estate Vineyards 2000 Oregon Road, Mattituck
A certified sustainable winery with a Bed & Breakfast, new owners took over in 2017 and recently renovated the tasting room including an impressive barrel room tasting area.
2016 Pinot Blanc. Hand harvested and fermented in oak for six months in puncheon barrels, this wine is stylistically 180° from the Lieb Pinot Blanc. Medium to dark gold in color with very ripe peaches and oak on the nose, ripe fruit with cooked notes on the finish, not nearly as fresh as the Lieb. 96 cases.
Palmer Vineyards 108 Sound Avenue, Aquabogue
One of the original wineries on the North Fork established in 1983 with 90 acres planted and one of the few if only winery on Long Island to bottle an Albariño.
2017 Pinot Blanc. Medium to light yellow in color with a greenish tint, pineapple and ripe flowers on the nose, crisp with green herb notes on the finish. 124 cases.