Recently the team at Taste of Purple traveled to Long Island to investigate the wines of this region. Sparkling Point is the final vineyard in our series. And what better way to end this adventure than an all sparkling vineyard run by two wacky attorneys who love Carnivale as much as they love depositions!
Sparkling Pointe is the only all sparkling winery in NY. They stick to the traditional French method for all 47 acres of their vineyard and the end result is nothing short of fabulous.
The owners, Tom and Cynthia (who as a side note met at a debutante ball at the Waldorf! How much do you want to be best friends with these people) are native Long Islanders and wanted something to call their own. They founded the winery in 2004 and opened the tasting room in 2009. They also happen to love Brazilian culture (they dance in Carnivale every year. Once again, Tom and and Cynthia, please adopt me) and much Braziian influence can be clearly seen through the vineyard. In fact they host their own tribute to Carnivale every year at the vineyard. One more fact about this awesome couple (because clearly I can't get enough of them): they are the sole producers of "Almost Paris", a movie released in the TriBeCa Film Festival that features several of the staff of Sparkling Pointe.
Ok enough about the cool owners, let's talk wines! There was not a wine our team didn't enjoy at this winery. Several of their wines had a high tropical influence, with lots of citrus and maybe a touch of lychee. One of our team favorites was their 2011 Blanc to Blanc. But their 2013 Brut Rose with lots of notes of cherry and strawberry was also fabulous.
Go visit Sparkling Pointe. Hang out at their Carnivale. Join the Tom and Cynthia fan club I will inevitably start up!! Seriously, this winery is worth the trip! Happy sipping, enjoy the bubbles!
Our Experience at Sparkling Pointe — Meet the Owners
The owners, Tom and Cynthia (who, as a side note, met at a debutante ball at the Waldorf! How much do you want to be best friends with these people) are native Long Islanders and wanted something to call their own. They founded the winery in 2004 and opened the tasting room in 2009.
They also happen to love Brazilian culture (they dance in Carnaval every year. Once again, Tom and Cynthia, please adopt me), and much Brazilian influence can be clearly seen through the vineyard. They host their own tribute to Carnaval every year at the vineyard. One more fact about this incredible couple (because clearly, I can't get enough of them): they are the sole producers of "Almost Paris," a movie released at the TriBeCa Film Festival that features several of the staff of Sparkling Pointe.
Our Experience at Sparkling Pointe — The Wines
Ok, enough about the cool owners; let's talk about wines! There was not a wine our team didn't enjoy at this winery. Several of their wines had a strong tropical influence, with lots of citruses and maybe a touch of lychee. One of our team favorites was their 2011 Blanc to Blanc. But their 2013 Brut Rose with lots of notes of cherry and strawberry was also fabulous.
Sparkling Pointe Review — The Place
The facilities at Sparkling Pointe are gorgeous! The area is spacious with massive windows and tall ceilings, providing plenty of natural light. It features many modern touches, and the decor is amazing, with the predominant colors being shades of gray and white with black chairs and furniture. What really stands out are the numerous splashes of color you can find in the art, representing the spirit of Brazil and the festive atmosphere of Carnaval. In the back room, you'll find comfortable seating and a fireplace to enjoy. Around the back, there's a large outdoor terrace that overlooks the vineyards and features ample seating with an astounding view of the sunset.
Depending on when you go, it might be too chilly to hang around outside on the terrace, but on the warmer days, it's the perfect space for a fabulous party, elegant wedding, or just about any other activity!
Sparkling Pointe Review — The People
We mentioned the owners, but the team at Sparkling Pointe was nothing short of excellent. Several knowledgeable staff members run the large tasting counter, and they work perfectly together to ensure everyone gets their tasters when they need them. Overall, everyone was efficient, friendly, and genuinely seemed to enjoy serving us our drinks!
Perhaps our favorite part of visiting Sparkling Pointe was learning about the owners and Brazilian art they displayed out of their love for Carnaval, the culture, and the area to proudly celebrate it in their winery. We love that the owners' personalities come through in the winery — it was definitely a nice touch.
Sparkling Pointe Review — The Wines & Champagnes
Hence the name Sparkling Pointe makes sparkling wines and brandy. We tasted a variety of their selection and were pleased with each one!
The Carnaval Rouge, made from Pinot Noir, Merlot, and Chardonnay grapes, looks quite pretty in the glass and is one of the best sparkling reds you'll find.
While the team didn't agree on our favorites, each wine was fabulous. One favorite was the Brut Seduction, one of Sparkling Pointe's premier offerings. It's slightly lighter and more tart than some of the other Bruts we sampled.
Another favorite was the Brut, which, in our opinion, tasted just how a good bottle of champagne should! It was crisp and refreshing but also had a body of substance and great mouthfeel — it wasn't too tart or too sweet. Dare we say that it was perfect?
Sparkling Pointe Champagne Tasting
Sparkling Pointe, located on the North Fork Wine Trail, is a fun and unique experience for champagne tasting. From champagne noobies to experts, their tasting flight doesn't disappoint.
The champagne tasting was an exceptional experience for us; the staff is extremely knowledgeable about their selection and is happy to educate anyone on the various champagnes and flavors. They took the time to explain the differences, and while quite a few vineyards are self-serve these days, Sparkling Pointe provides their guests with a table and excellent service, which was a treat. (They also have Tate's Cookies, which are quite enjoyable with the champagne!).
The Grand Tasting Flight is a perfect place to start, even if the price is slightly steeper than some other vineyards. Plus, for a little extra, you can add a chocolate pairing (Our advice: do it!).
Our Grand Tasting Flight consisted of a 2010 Brut Seduction, 2016 Brut, NV Cuvee Carnaval Blanc, and NV Cuvee Carnaval Rose — each one was exceptional!
Each of these champagne consists of chardonnay as the main ingredient, and even if chardonnay isn't one of your favorites, we bet you'll still enjoy the champagne!
Sparkling Pointe's Méthode Champenoise
As you've realized by now, a visit to Sparkling Pointe is nothing short of spectacular. When we entered, we were greeted by the soaring vaulted ceilings and a flood of natural lights, a contrast to the rustic aesthetics of most other wineries in the area.
However, the true reason why Sparkling Pointe is so special is the winemaking process used in the facility — méthode champenoise.
Also called the traditional champagne method or méthode classique, méthode champenoise is an extremely labor-intensive process that yields spectacular sparkling wines. With this double-fermentation method, the fermentation occurs directly in the wine bottle without adding additional carbonation.
Not to mention that the grapes at Sparkling Pointe get harvested earlier in the season than in other North Fork vineyards, which captures the height of the fruit's acidity before they become overly sweet from ripening. Like similar wines, they press the grapes in whole clusters, allowing their juice to ferment in barrels.
After the first fermentation process at Sparkling Pointe, they bottle the wine and wait for the méthode champenoise magic to begin. Most wineries seal the wines and either allow them to age or sell them right away. Sparkling Pointe does things a little differently — they add an extra round of yeast (and some additional ingredients) to the wine bottles to activate the second round of fermentation, producing the characteristic champagne bubbles we're oh so familiar with.
There's something that makes the méthode champenoise so difficult: removing the byproducts produced by the process. Each bottle of sparkling wine goes through a series of small and delicate steps to remove the spent yeast and sediment without disturbing the pressure inside the bottle. The result is an effervescent, lively wine with a complex aroma and bright flavors.
Our Thoughts — Go Visit Sparkling Pointe!
Some varieties at Sparkling Pointe are also aged to produce the range of flavors we commonly find in the best mature wines. At any rate, the result is natural and delicious. The winery's exclusive process for making sparkling wines is unique in the area — there's a reason why Sparkling Pointe's wines consistently earn high Wine Enthusiast scores. Their signature sparkling wines are some of the best in the North Fork Wine Trail.
Don’t forget to get the best wine glasses — shop our selection here and enjoy your Sparkling Pointe wines how they were meant to be!