Harvesting a good time

He’s not saying global warming is a good thing, but when asked what he thinks of this year’s hot, dry and sunny growing season, it’s clear North Fork winemaker, Charles Massoud, puts his grapes above all else. “You know, if that is the consequence of climate change, I’m happy.”

Winemakers, generally a superstitious lot, don’t like to speculate about the quality of the harvest for fear of jinxing it, but Massoud, the owner and operator of Paumanok Vineyards, is excited about this year’s wine wannabes, which are about three weeks ahead of schedule thanks to the weather.

“The grapes are very ripe and clean,” said Massoud. “They have the potential to draft some delicious wines.”

To celebrate, Paumanok will be offering samples of the fermenting 2010 juices during their harvesting festival on Oct. 16 and 17, along with music, oysters and onion tarts — a specialty dish of Massoud’s wife’s.

Massoud isn’t the only one excited about the potential of this year’s harvest. “We had beautiful sun and rain at just the right times, and Hurricane Earl passed us by,” said Judy Malone, executive marketing and communications director at the  Wölffer Estate Vineyard. “The wines of this harvest should be special ones.”

Wölffer Estate will be holding their annual harvesting festival this weekend, complete with hayrides, a petting zoo, a horse-jumping competition and a barrel-rolling race.  

Other winery events this weekend include a chocolate-and-wine pairing at Vineyard 48 in Cutchogue and Oktoberfest at Jamesport Vineyards. Castello di Borghese Vineyard and Winery is inviting revelers to their wine and comedy night on Saturday.


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