The team at Taste of Purple recently decided to go exploring the North Fork region of Long Island and were pleasantly surprised with what we found. Amidst sprawling farm land and roaming alpacas were some amazing wineries and even more amazing people. One such winery is Raphael.
If you visit Long Island, one thing will strike you: these people love their cedar. Everywhere you look, you see a sea of cedar. It’s on the houses, the buildings and even the wineries. So amongst all this uniformity, it was a refreshing surprise to pull up to Raphael Winery. You immediately feel as if you’ve stepped onto an Italian Villa. Lined by sprawling vineyards, lies a Tuscan style staccato building equipped with Spanish tile roof and ornate fountain. Once inside we found the it even more breathtaking than the outside. With wrought iron chandeliers and twinkle lights dangling from the ceiling it’s easy to see why this is a much sought after wedding locale.
La Famiglia. We were greeted by Diandra, granddaughter of the wine maker. As she poured us our wine and walked us through the vines, she told us the story of her family. Her grandfather first broke ground in 1997 and named the vineyard after his father, Raphael. Their logo is in fact Raphael’s signature (seriously how cute is this family?) As we went from vines to barrel room she charmed us with tales of their beginnings (such as her grandfather leaving wine bottles in her dad’s car, causing him to fail his driver’s test!).
The Winery. The family is much more than a cute story however. They are passionate about their wines and creating an educational experience for their consumers. Their 55 acres range from Merlot to Sauvignon Blanc to Pinot Noir. Most of their wines are aged in stainless steel to retain the flavor of the grape without the taste of the barrel. They produce 10,000 cases a year and hand harvest and hand cork themselves!
The team at Taste of Purple unanimously loved their 2015 Chardonnay. It’s aged in stainless so it’s very light and crisp, with definite notes of peach and pear. Excellent wine for a summer day.
The Parties! Raphael winery loves their events They close down on Fridays and Saturdays for wedding season (seriously guys it’s beautiful. Get married here. Just do it.) Weddings are not their only events however. This summer they are starting up their Thursday “Winetails” events, with extended hours and wine based cocktails (sign me up!) Their wine club is treated well with Barrel Room events, specific vintage releases, and even an opportunity to participate in the harvest. In the winter, they host their Wine Circuit, with stations of wine and food pairing throughout the winery.
Taste of Purple’s takeaway. Departing this winery, we were left feeling a part of their family. The atmosphere is focused on education, and they certainly know their wines. But the core values are evident. The love for wine and family is clear. Taste of Purple could not be more in love with this team! If you happen to be on the North Fork, make sure and stop in!