Nearly 1,300 wine and food aficionados gathered at McCall Vineyard and Ranch on the North Fork of Long Island on Saturday, August 23, for the fifth-annual charity fundraiser that celebrates the wine region’s culinary bounty, Dan’s Harvest East End.
Organized by Dan’s Papers and the Long Island Wine Council and sponsored by Wine Enthusiast Companies, the affair featured current releases, barrel samples and rare library wines from 40 local producers. Food was also available from over 30 regional restaurants and culinary artisans. Proceeds from the event benefitted the Long Island Farm Bureau and Peconic Land Trust.
Amongst the attendees was New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a long-time advocate for the state’s wine regions. He presented Alexandra Macari, of Macari Vineyards in Mattituck, the New York Food & Wine Classic "Winery of the Year" award—a special, engraved Fusion Duck Wine Enthusiast decanter.
Also honored were Tom Schaudel, chef/owner of a slew of Long Island eateries, including Jedediah Hawkins in Jamesport, PassionFish in Westhampton and Spring Close House in East Hampton; and Florence Fabricant, food critic for The New York Times.
Following the ceremony, guests flocked for pours like Baiting Hollow Farm Vineyard’s Cheval Bleu, Wölffer Estate’s 2013 Grandiose Rosé, Martha Clara’s 2012 Chardonnay, Sparkling Pointe’s 2005 Brut Selection and Macari’s 2010 Cabernet Franc.
Delicious bites included pork tacos dished out by Taco Santo of Brooklyn, grilled cheese and tomato soup prepared by Love Lane Kitchen, Peconic Bay clam and corn fritters from Jamesport Manor Inn, and wine-infused jelly doughnuts made by SCGP Café from Stony Brook University.
In addition to the festival tasting, a silent wine auction was held. Nearly 36 of the participating wineries each created jeroboams exclusively for the event. Wine Enthusiast provided premium short-stemmed wine glasses, wooden wine racks, wine buckets and chillers, red wine aerators and carafe gift sets. Attendees also walked away with the magazine’s September issue.