There's nothing we love more at Taste of Purple than a day of "industry research." This of course is just a fancy term for the days we all forget our responsibilities and go run away to taste wines. Recently, in one of our teams many (many) travels to Long Island wine country, we happened across an old staple of the region- Bedell Cellars.
Bedell Cellars is built on the base of an old potato barn. While its literal framework maintains its homage to the past, the framework of the company is a lot more forward thinking. The steel bar and black accents create a nice juxtaposition with the old barn and the rows of modern art dotting the walls definitely make you feel transported to a more metropolitan frame of mind.
Our tasting was run by Jack, a quick witted New Yorker with a lot of knowledge (and even more jokes) to drop on us. When I asked about the wine club he simply stated "the first rule of our wine club is we don't talk about wine club." Fight club references aside, he was a wealth of information on the history of the winery, the wines they produce, and the sustainable farming the winery puts into practice. And he expounded on all of it as he led us on our tour.
The barrel room is impressive, meticulously organized by clone with a red stain to delineate red from white. The wine maker chose French oak and even specifies the amount of "toast" on the barrel - the amount of coals to char the inside can have a large effect on the finished product.
Bedell are big believers in "beyond organic." Organic can include anything normally found in nature - even heavy metals. For a vineyard to be beyond organic, they must comply with a 200 item checklist. They are also a member of the LI wine growers association, all dedicated to sustainable practices.
In addition to sustainability, The folks at Bedell are also passionate about being hands on. There's no outside crush, everything is done in house. At the start of every year, the staff brings in anything locally grown and they all contribute to the starter yeast used for the wine.
Let's get to the really important part - the wines! Our team, usually in agreement on our favorite wines, was completely split at this winery. Some of the crowd favorites included their Gallery Chardonnay (a buttery Chardonnay just the way our Taste of Purple matriarch likes them), the 2014 Voigner (a fruit forward blend most of our team loved) and their 2014 Sauvignon Blanc (this bloggers wine of choice).
Overall our takeaway from this winery was a group of people that really know their wines and the industry they work in. Their tasting room was a class act, the tour was knowledgeable and if that's not enough they even host wine cruises!! They're worth the trip for sure!