The latest addition to the Suhru Wines portfolio, we are very excited to share the release of our 2019 Teroldego! First released to our Wine Club in early September, this delicious new wine is now available at the Tasting House!
A perfect wine for the cooler Fall months, this unique red wine has warm baking spices on the nose with hints of anise, cinnamon, and red currant. Notes of red raspberry and wild briary fruit compliment the fine tannins and bright acidity on the finish making is a perfect wine to enjoy with a meal!
A Brief History of the Grape
Teroldego is a lesser known Northern Italian varietal (best known as the nephew of an old French variety that was the parent of Syrah) and is a rarity on the North Fork and in the US. To our knowledge there is only one vineyard on the East End with this grape variety planted and we are very excited to have gotten our hands on it!
Fun Fact: 97% of the world's Terolego’s production comes from Italy
Teroldego is found across the globe in California, Australia, New York and Brazil however the majority of the Teroldego vines planted are in Italy. An Italian red grape variety primarily found in the northeast region of Trentino-Alto Adige, it is believed that the name “Teroldego” came from the traditional method of cultivation in which the vines are trained on a system of “tirelle” or wire harnesses.
A cool-climate varietal, Teroldego is a hardy grape varietal that is known for being vigorous. It is best suited to permeable, well drained soils, making it a perfect grape to grow on Long Island where our soil is comprised of sandy loam soil with great drainage.
A Note from Winemaker Russell Hearn
"Over the last 12 years Suhru has been committed to producing a small selection of wines, specifically selected to showcase the varieties that grow best in our region. Making a wine that you like is important, but it is more important to select a variety that grows well in the region otherwise as a winemaker I am setting myself up for failure, as you need great grapes to make a great wine.
As my wine preferences have evolved over the decades I’ve found myself leaning towards elegant, over powerful red wines as they compliment rather than overwhelm the meal. This led me to further exploration of Italian wines, specifically wines from the Northern Alto Adige Region, where I happened upon Teroldego.
This variety is known for fruit forward, expressive wines with elegant tannin structure. Teroldgeo does not benefit from extended barrel aging, so can be bottled and released earlier than most of our other red wines and is an early ripener which is a huge asset in our region where hurricanes have been known to decimate later harvesting varieties. For all these reasons and more, when we discovered Teroldego planted on the North Fork we jumped on it and are very excited to share our latest wine. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!”
A Closer Look at Suhru Teroldego
Grown in Southold, NY, Teroldego is known for being an early ripening (on the North Fork, Teroldego is usually picked around the second week of October, before Merlot) and early release wine. A light/medium bodied wine and a distant cousin if Syrah, Teroldego is designed to be enjoyed now and is not a wine that benefits from bottle aging.
After bring picked in early October of 2019, our 2019 Teroldego was fermented in open top tanks and then spent 9 months aging in French oak. This Teroldego is blended with 4% Petit Verdot to add body, color, and elongate the finish.
Recommended Food Pairings
An extremely food-friendly wine, Teroldego pairs beautifully with a wide range of dishes including duck, swordfish, salmon, and gamey poultry. For more adventurous pairings try a bottle with teriyaki salmon, apple pie, walnut goat cheese pear salad, or brisket!
Want to learn more abour Teroldego? Click here!
Harvest has started on the North Fork! While we are yet to begin harvesting our vineyards, a number of wineries across Long Island are busy bringing in fruit for their sparkling wines!
This is one of our favorite times of the year as this is when all the action happens at the winery! Over the next few months we will be keeping you up-to-date on the Blog and on our Instagram account on everything going on in the winery and the vineyard during the 2020 Harvest!
What's Happening in the Winery
With the beginning of our harvest season quickly approaching, this week has been spent preparing for fruit receival and readying the winery for the first grapes to arrive (aka lots of cleaning!) As our winemaker Russell loves to say "Winemaking is 70% Sanitation, 20% Perspiration, 9% Inspiration, and 1% Degustation, but only at the end of the day!"
When grapes arrive at the winery their first stop in their journey into wine is the crush-pad which is where all the action happens. The crush-pad is home to the de-stemmer, presses, weight scale, and a number of other machines that ensure that the first stages of the grapes post-picking journey to become wine goes smoothly. We have been readying our crush-pad for the last few weeks and just had new membranes installed to ensure everything is ready to go for the 2020 harvest season! Over the next few days the winery crew will be busy cleaning and sanitizing all the harvest equipment: hoses, piping, hoppers, destemmer/crusher and the presses in preparation to receive fruit, which could potentially be coming as early as next week.
While all of this is going on outside on the crush-pad the cellar is being prepared for harvest as well, cleaning tanks, making sure everything is organized, and preparing several harvest devices such as the 'punch-down tool' for red wine fermentations 5-6 weeks away.
What's Happening in the Vineyard
In the vineyards, Russell is carefully watching the grapes and monitoring their sugar content (Brix) which is used to determine the grapes ripeness to determine when to pick our grapes. He is regularly walking the vineyards, inspecting the grapes, speaking to the vineyard managers, and testing the grapes. As we get closer to picking he will be carefully monitoring the weather. The goal is always to harvest grapes after several dry days. Whenever possible you want to avoid harvesting shortly after a rain as the grapes will be bloated with water they absorbed.
A Note from Winemaker Russell Hearn
I never make predictions on the quality of the Harvest until 'all the fruit is in the building' however, 2020 is setting up very nicely and we are anticipating a good harvest. The growing season started very slowly this Spring with May and early June being much cooler and wetter than normal, which seems to be becoming the norm on the East End the last few years. Since then we have enjoyed a beautiful run of warm weather with very little rain (what we hope for in an ideal grape growing season). We are below normal in rainfall since June and have needed to drip irrigate several times during the last three months, which is always a good sign for quality. When the potato and sod farmers are grumbling about the dryness, the vineyard managers and winemakers are smiling! Grapes vines like a little stress during the growing season, with long dry summers and minimal rain being their ideal growing season. This harvest is shaping up to be very similar to 2019, so with some continued dry conditions I am very hopeful.
We have a number of exciting new Releases this September that we are excited to share with you including the 2019 vintage releases of our Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc and brand new, soon-to-be-released Teroldego!
2019 Pinot Grigio
Our signature wine, we are very excited to release this new Pinot Grigio! In 2019 we saw a slow start to the growing season with a cold wet May but the summer months more than made up for it with a hot, dry summer and minimal rainfall which is exactly what we are looking for when it comes to grape growing!
With a strong growing season behind us Russell was able to do what he does best and showcase the bright, crisp, fruity flavors of the berries into the Suhru Pinot Grigio we all know and love. The stainless steel fermented white is 100% Pinot Grigio and recently received a 89pt score from Wine Advocate!
The 2019 vintage is bright and crisp, with nice lemon and lime zest notes jumping from the glass and a nice hint of granny smith apple and bosc pear on the palate. The crisp, bright flavors and refreshing acidity offers a diverse range of food compliments. Try a glass with lighter flavors such as fish, salads, chicken, cheese, or a meatier fish like swordfish. Happy sipping!
2019 Sauvignon Blanc
This may be our best Sauvignon Blanc yet! As I said above with the Pinot Grigio, 2019 was a great growing season for white wines and the Sauvignon Blanc fruit was no exception. Deliciously fruity, the 2019 Sauvignon Blanc has hints of gooseberry on the nose giving way to lush, rich flavors on the palate.
Past vintages of our Sauvignon Blanc have leaned into the tropical notes with passion fruit and pineapple being the distinctive characteristics. With the 2019 we are seeing more complexity, richness, and depth coming through while still maintaining those bright crisp flavors that we all love.
The 2019 Sauvignon Blanc has a bright acidity on the palate with notes of lime, a light grassiness and a subtle richness. Fuji pear notes and a round mouthfeel give way to a soft minerality and defined brightness on the finish, all showcasing the distinctive characteristics of the varietal which make it such a beautiful pairing with seafood and local produce.
We are also happy to announce that the 2019 Sauvignon Blanc received a 89pt score in the most recent publication of Wine Advocate!
Want to learn more about our Sauvignon Blanc? Check out the Tasting Notes!
We are beyond excited to be announcing the upcoming release of the newest addition to the Suhru Wines portfolio, our brand new 2019 Teroldego!
Teroldego is a lesser known Northern Italian varietal (best known as the nephew of an old French variety that was the parent of Syrah) and is a rarity on the North Fork. To our knowledge there is only one vineyard on the East End with this grape variety planted and we are very excited to have gotten our hands on it!
This unique red wine is the perfect Fall release as it is rich with warm baking spices on the nose with hints of anise, cinnamon, and red currant. Dark red, almost black in color and completely opaque in the glass this medium-light bodied wine is deliciously fruity with red raspberry notes mingled with wild briar fruit.
An extremely food friendly wine, this Teroldego pairs nicely with fish, duck, swordfish, salmon, and gamey poultry. For more adventurous pairings try the bottle with teriyaki salmon, apple pie, walnut goat cheese pear salad, or brisket!
This wine will be released on our website on Tuesday, September 15th and in our Tasting House on Thursday, September 17th. Want to learn more about this exciting new red? Check out the Tasting Notes and keep an eye on our Blog for an in-depth History of the Grape!
Each Month we will be taking a closer look at one of the grape varietals Suhru works with. Check back each month for more interesting facts, history, and tidbits about the wines we know and love! This August we are taking a look at Pinot Grigio and its twin Pinot Gris!
Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris are genetically identical, these two styles of wine are made from the same grayish purple-hued grape. Identical twins with different personalities, the two styles each harken back to a national style.
Fun Fact: Pinot Grigio is a white variant-clone of the red grape Pinot Noir. Its skin is not green like other white grapes but is grayish, purple hued in color in pinecone shaped clusters.
The varietal itself originated in the Alsace region of France, from there it found its way to Switzerland in the 1300's and eventually made its way to Northern Italy, where it found wide acceptance in the wine world. As with many varieties (think Shiraz vs Syrah) the same grape varieties are often made in different styles based on the geographic region in which the wine is made and it is these differences that are at the root of the difference in style. In France, it is referred to as Pinot Gris, while in Italy it is called Pinot Grigio. At Suhru we focus on the Italian style, striving to make bright, crisp, refreshing Pinot Grigios.
When made in the French style, Pinot Gris are generally speaking made from very ripe grapes which have had more sun exposure, resulting in lush, richer, fuller, flavors with soft acidity. These wines tend to be fuller-bodied, richer, barrel fermented with the intention to age, and often feature tropical fruits notes such as nectarine, melon, mango, and honeysuckle. Typically they are also finished with some residual sugar via stopping the fermentation prior to completion.
Pinot Grigio on the other hand are made with the intention of being consumed and enjoyed within 1-2 years. Light in body and often fermented completely dry, Pinot Grigios lean towards bright, crisp, dry flavors and are usually unoaked which accentuates the bright, crisp zesty flavors of the grape. Whereas with Pinot Gris you are looking for extended sun exposure to create a lush, rich wine when you are making a Pinot Grigio the key factor is acidity. As the grape ripens in the vineyard you are watching the acidity levels. As soon as the acidity starts to drop you know it is time to pick because with this style you are looking for bright, crisp flavors which are enhanced by higher acidity levels in the wine. Common tasting notes for Italian style Pinot Grigios include granny smith apple, meyer lemon, and lime zest. When describing Pinot Grigio our benchmark are the Northern regions of Italy Venezio and Alto Adige not the warmer regions where this variety becomes a little blander in description due to too much heat.
A Closer Look at Suhru Pinot Grigio
Pinot Grigio was one of the first white wines Sue fancied when she first became interested in wine. The wide variation in the Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigios found around the world struck her interest and has captivated her ever since!
This strong interest in the variety has led to trips to France where Sue and Russ toured the regions of Loire, Burgundy, Champagne, Alsace, Bordeaux, Languedoc, and Provence as well as trips to Italy where they spent time tasting their way through Tuscany, Piedmont, Alto Adige, Umbria,to name a few.
When first starting Suhru Wines and deciding on the varieties they would make, Sue knew that Pinot Grigio needed to be one of them. Being based on the North Fork of Long Island, our cool maritime climate offers ideal conditions for this variety as our long hot summers and cool fall nights create an ideal environment to grow the variety.
Our signature wine, the Suhru Pinot Grigio—made in both bottles and cans—is the first wine we chose to make when starting Suhru Wines. Pale straw yellow with an earthy aroma and hints of lemon zest on the nose, the Suhru Pinot Grigio has notes of granny smith apple and bosc pear.
Made entirely of Pinot Grigio fruit, this white wine was fermented and aged entirely in stainless steel tanks, resulting in a finished wine that accentuates the vibrant varietal fruit aromas and flavor while retaining a clean, crisp acidity that compliments the refreshing finish.
Recommended Food Pairings:
The crisp, bright flavors and refreshing acidity of our Pinot Grigio compliments a diverse range of foods. Try a glass of this Pinot Grigio with lighter flavors such as fish, salads, chicken, cheese, or a meatier fish like swordfish.
Some of our favorite pairings include: creamy cheeses like Brie or Camenbert, richers seafood dishes like lobster, scallops, or salmon, and Parmesan focused pasta dishes!Whatever you choose, the bright crisp finish makes this an excellent pairing wine, happy sipping!
This August we are celebrating a few of our favorite summer varieties with a Summer White's Pinot Trio featuring a pre-release of our 2019 Pinot Grigio paired with the 2015 Lenz Estate Pinot Gris, and the 2019 Lieb Estate Pinot Blanc!
Enjoy a personal tasting from the comfort of your home as you taste through a variety of pinot styles from three award-winning North Fork wineries!
One of our favorite things about summer is the plethora of delicious food and drink options available to refresh you after a long day in the sun! Below we've included up a few of our favorite wine & goat cheese pairings for the summer months! Check back throughout the year for more wine & cheese pairings suggestions but today we're focusing on goat cheese, which pairs beautifully with a few of our summer favorites!
Miracle Springs Signal Rock with Brut
This deliciously soft pasteurized goat cheese has a bloomy rind and a layer of ash running through the center. With bright creamy flavors, a hint of minerality and a touch of lemon this spreadable goat cheese pairs perfectly with our sparkling Brut.
The light delicate flavors and touch of brioche in our sparkling Brut compliment the minerality of the goat cheese, beautifully accentuating the flavors of both!
Learn More About Miracle Springs Signal Rock
Catapano Farms Chevre with Pinot Grigio
This deliciously creamy goat cheese is one of our favorites on the North Fork! Made locally at their farm in Peconic, Catapano Farm Dairy has been making award-winning cheeses since 2005! Focused primarily on goats milk, their chevre is the flagship cheese at Catapanos. This deliciously fresh, creamy goat cheese comes in a variety of flavors but the plain chevre and the lemon pepper are two of our favorites!
Pair it with some local peaches, crackers, and a bottle of Pinot Grigio and you have a treat in store! Stop by the farm in Peconic to meet the goats and get a true sense of a local North Fork dairy!
Learn More About Catapano Farms Chevre
Miracle Springs Camembert-Style with Sauvignon Blanc
A beautiful bloomy rind camembert-style cheese, the Miracle Springs Camembert is best when left out of the fridge before serving, Let this cheese get to room temperature and then enjoy the spreadable cheesy goodness and it melts in your mouth!
The rind gives it a nice texture and when paired with the Sauvignon Blanc really brings our the tropical flavors of the wine. Bright and bursting with fruit our Sauvignon Blanc is a perfect pairing for any cheese plate but this duo is a step above the rest!
Learn More About Miracle Springs Camembert
For more fun wine & cheese pairings, keep an eye on our Tickets page,
for upcoming Wine & Cheese Tastings!
People have been making wine for millennium, with the first evidence of winemaking dating back to sometime between 8000 B.C. and 4100 B.C. However since the beginning the challenge has always been how to store the wine once it was made.
Glass bottles were not used in wine on a large scale until the 17th century, although they were different shapes—squat, with large bases and short necks—than the wine bottles today. It wasn’t until the 1820s that glass wine bottles began to resemble the ones we use today.
The main reason for the delay in the adoption of glass bottles for wine storage was that for centuries it was illegal to sell wine in a bottle. There were so many different bottle types (and volume variations) that it was far too easy to cheat, so merchants measured out wine from their barrels into containers that customers supplied themselves to ensure accurance.
In the 17th century that all changed. Up until the 17th century glass bottles were considered a luxury item due to the fact that they were made to order and handcrafted in a wood or charcoal furnace. Bottles were a time consuming product to make and therefore very expensive. However in 1615, King James I decided that English forests were better used to make warships. Wood was in short supply so manufacturers turned to coal, which burned hotter and produced stronger glass.
Sir Kenelm Digby is cited as “the father of the modern bottle” for discovering a process that resulted in stronger bottles that were able to be made and distributed on a wider scale. A controversial adventurer, privateer and alchemist Sir Digby was known for turning sand into gold by adding some secret ingredients (metals and oxides) and using a blower system to get the fire even hotter. His new formula produced glass bottles that were stronger, thicker, darker—and cheaper thus bringing a stronger better suited glass bottle to market.
This discovery made glass more widely available, but it wasn’t until the 1900s that mass production began. In 1887, an English company created a semi-automatic machine that could produce up to 200 bottles an hour. Over the years this process has been pefected and refined to allow modern machines to produce more than 600 containers per minute.
Want to learn more? Checkout
Did you know? Decanting red wine separates the wine from any sediment in the bottle. Decanted wines often taste softer, because the act of decanting adds oxygen to the wine softening the tannins in the wine.
What is decanting?
Decanting is simply the process of pouring (decanting) the wine from one container (usually a bottle) into another, the decanter. The wine is often then served directly into the glass from the decanter itself.
Why decant wine?
This process is not necessary with every wine, but is usually reserved with older, heavier wines (think our T'Jara Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot). Aged, heavier red wines often have sediment at the bottom of the bottle, which if disturbed can end up in your glass. The process of decanting separates the wine from the sediment, making for a more enjoyable drinking experience. The sediment itself, is harmless to drink but can make the wine taste more astringent and will often give the wine a gritty mouth feel.
Another reason to decant is to aerate the wine. This is generally most beneficial to younger wines that may taste a little "tight" when first opening, as well as highly tannic and full-bodied wines. This is often why people talk about opening a wine to let it "breathe;" decanting or aerating the wine speeds up this process, ensure the wine is ready to drink when you are. Swirling your wine in the glass is another way to aerate your wine.
How do I decant?
To decant a wine, you will need a bottle of wine, a small flashlight (or the flashlight on your smart phone), and a decanter (this can be any 750ml or larger vessel). Prior to decanting your wine, let the wine rest upright in the bottle for an hour or so to let the sediment settle to the bottom of the bottle. Then, with your flashlight in hand, slowly pour the contents of the bottle into your decanter. Once about half of the bottle's contents have been poured into the decanter, place the flashlight under the neck of the bottle to illuminate the stream of wine so you can better see the sediment. Once you start to see a cloudy haze in the wine, stop pouring the wine into the decanter.
You will usually have about a glass of wine remaining, so to ensure that you can enjoy every last drop of this very nice wine you have just decanted, pour the remaining wine from the bottle into a glass or Champagne flute. This will allow any remaining sediment to once again settle to the bottom of the glass. Once the wine has settled, you can repeat the process and pour the clear wine off the remaining sediment.
Mother's Day weekend is one of our favorite Spring weekends, it is the indicator we have all been waiting for to announce that Spring has officially arrived! Everyone is outside gardening, spending time in the backyard, and enjoying a day with mother nature after the long winter and rainy Spring!
With the current world health crisis going on, this Mother's Day is going to look a little different for everyone so we wanted to share a few helpful hints for making the most of the weekend, while maintaining social distancing.
What to Give Mom the Mother's Day
Whether you are going to be together for Mother's Day or celebrating from a far, Mom still deserves a great day!
Keep it Classic: Wine & Flowers
Looking for a classic gift this Mother's Day? We have partnered with our local florist—Blooms by Design—to offer beautiful floral bouquets paired with a bottle of wine for a classic Mother's Day Flower & Wine Gift!
Flower & Wine Gifts include your choice of one (1) bouquet option paired with your choice of one (1) bottle of wine OR one (1) gift card. These Mother's Day Flower & Wine Gifts are available for pickup and local delivery (shipping not available) Wednesday, May 6th - Sunday, May 10th. All Mother's Day gift orders including flowers must be placed by Wednesday, May 6, 2020 to ensure availability.
The Gift that Keeps in Giving: Wine Club Membership
Looking to show Mom just how much you love her today and everyday? Give the gift that keeps on giving, a membership to our Wine Club! We offer 3 club levels with something for everyone! Our Wine Clubs include quarterly wine shipments/pickups, access to a number of great member benefits such as discounts on wine, one (1) complimentary wine tasting for you and a guest at the Tasting House per month, early access to all Suhru Wines events, access to pre-releases, library wines, Wine Club exclusives, and more! Join today and become a part of the Suhru Family!
A Little Something Sweet: Wine & Chocolate
The only thing we love more than wine is chocolate, and what could be better than the two together? Our Merlot Dark Chocolate Bars, hand crafted by local chocolatier North Fork Chocolate Company in Aquebogue, are a delicious treat to enjoy on its own or with a bottle of red! For a match made in heaven, pair the chocoate bars with a bottle of our 2017 T'Jara Merlot and watch the flavors sing, a taste of red wine and dark chocolate in every bite!
Indulge at Home: Relaxation Care Package
While going to the spa is not an option at the moment, you can bring all of the pampering of spa life home! Enter our Relaxation Care Package—everything Mom needs to relax and unwind at home! Care Packages come in both Red and White and include a bottle of wine, a Suhru stemless wine glass, North Fork Chocolate Company Merlot-Infused Dark Chocolate bar, and two (2) Ney Tiv Spa Organic Bath Bombs.
Where to Pickup Brunch on the North Fork
Mother's Day and Brunch are synonomus in our brains, but if you can't go out for brunch, why not bring the brunch to you! With so many amazing restaurants offering takeout at the moment; how do you choose? We've compiled a few of our favorite brunch spots that are currently offering takeout:
Much as their name would suggest, this cute little spot is all about the biscuits and their honey butter is to die for! Do yourself a favor, pickup one of their Biscuit Samplers for a real treat! Checkout their Takeout Menu
Love Lane Kitchen
A classic North Fork institution, Love Lane Kitchen offers a great takeout selection including too many favorites to list here but, do yourself a favor and add a Bloodly Mary to your order, you won't regret it! Checkout their Takeout Menu
North Fork Roasting Company
One of our favorite casual coffee shops—North Fork Roasting Company is offering coffee, baked goods and breakfast items to go from both their Southold and brand new Westhampton Beach location! Don't forget to pickup a bag of freshly roasted coffee beans with your order! Checkout their Takeout Menu
North Fork Dougnut Company
Place an order in advance or try your luck day of to pickup a few of NoFoDoCos delicious doughnuts! With their ever changing menu, you are sure to find something that everyone will love! Plus, they are currently doing a collaboration with Sail Away Coffee for coffee and doughnut delivery. Checkout their Takeout Menu
How to Celebrate while Social Distancing
Take a walk, hike, or bike ride outside
One of the best things about living on the East End is how many amazing places there are to explore! With all of the time we are currently spending at home, this is a great opportunity to get out of the house and stretch your legs for a bit. (Pro Tip: go early in the morning or at dusk to avoid the crowds)
A few great North Fork hikes to explore are the Hallock State Park Preserve, Laurel Lake Preserve, Downs Farm Preserve, Inlet Pond County Park, and one of the most popular destination hiking spots, Mashomack Preserve on Shelter Island.
Go on a family picnic
Looking to make this Mother's Day a little extra memorable? With the beautiful Spring weather here to stay why not pack up a few of your favorite brunch foods or pickup takeout , grab a bottle of wine, and take Mom on a family picnic! Head over to the beach, the backyard, or your favorite quiet spot for a memorable Mother's Day picnic!
Don't forget the adult beverages! A picnic is nothing without a beverage, so pickup a bottle or one of our new canned wine 4-packs for easy packing and cleanup.
Plant Mom a Garden
With the temperatures rising and the beautiful weather here to stay, one of our annual Mother's Day traditions is planting the garden! This is a great way to enjoy the sunshine and get something productive done that you will all be able to enjoy in the months ahead! Pickup a few herbs and vegetable plants from a local nursery and get your hands dirty! Whether you're planting an outdoor garden in the backyard or potting a few herbs into a windowsill herb garden, this is a gift Mom is sure to appreciate!
Spend the day on the water
With the temperatures rising and the summer just around the corner why not spend your day on or by the water?
Lucky enough to have a boat? Spend the day sailing, paddling or cruising about the sound!
Looking to stay a little closer to home and entertain the kiddos? Grab a shovel, a blanket, and some snacks and head down to the beach to soak up a little Vitamin D and relax the day away!
No matter how you celebrate, we're wishing a very happy Mother's Day to all of the wonderful women, mothers, and mother figures out there—cheers to you!
On Sundays in April and May we are hosting interactive Instagram experiences from the @SuhruWines Instagram account. Tune in each Sunday at 3pm to see what we have happening! Below is a transcript of the Live Instagram Q&A we hosted Sunday, April 26th with Russell Hearn, winemaker at Suhru Wines! Checkout what he had to say in response to your wine questions!
Russell Hearn, Winemaker
Russell has made extensive contributions to the New York wine industry over the past three decades with his wines garnering extensive critical acclaim and industry wide respect. His innovative winemaking style has influenced the quality of many wineries in our region, none more so than Pellegrini Vineyards and more recently Lieb Cellars and Bridge Lane.
Australian born, he grew up around wine as his mother was in the business. Russell started his career in Western Australia and has taken his training with him throughout his journey with experience gained working in New Zealand, France, and regions across the USA. Russell founded Premium Wine Group a custom crush facility in 2000, encouraging small, fine quality wine producers like Suhru Wines to flourish.
As the winemaker of Suhru Wines, Russell brings his knowledge, experience, and relationships with quality New York State growers. He greatly enjoys the time spent working with Susan & their daughters developing Suhru Wines.
Q: How long have you been a winemaker on Long Island?
A: My first vintage on the North Fork was 1990, after starting in the wine industry in Western Australia (where I grew up) in 1979.
Q: What makes the North Fork of Long Island such a good wine region?
A: The maritime influence of our region moderates our climate year round, ensuring our winters aren't too cold, our summers aren't too hot AND the well drained soils on the North Fork provide good drainage, shedding the summer rainfall.
Q: What makes a Long Island Cabernet Franc special?
A: This varietal only grows well in a few regions of the world—it requires a cool but long growing season and very good vineyard management. Long Island Cabernet Franc is known for bright, aromatic fruit with delicate tannins.
Q: What is your favorite food & wine pairing?
A: I have to go with a classic Australian pairing here: Lamb & Shiraz!
Q: Which wines that you make are your favorite, and why?
A: All of them (otherwise I wouldn't make them). At Suhru we choose to only make the wines we love! That being said, Pinot Grigio and Shiraz are two of my favorites, you don't see either variety very often in New York wine.
Q: What led you to become a winemaker?
A: My mother worked in marketing for a winery in Western Australia, so I grew up around the industry. It appealed to me from the start as a great blend of science and art!
Q: How does making wine in Australia compare to doing it on the North Fork?
A: It's almost the opposite approach with red wines but similar with whites. White wines express the fruit and acidity in both cool (Long Island) and warm (Australia) climates, where as the goal for red wines on Long Island (in a cool climate) is to minimize astringency where in warmer climates like Australia, you want to emphasize it. The higher the astringency, the higher the tannins.
Q: How did you wind up making wine on the North Fork?
A: My wife was from Boston, so we wanted to explore working on the East Coast of the US. We spent 2 years in Virginia (where I worked for Dominion Wine Cellars) but it didn't feel right. Long Island has been a great move to be part of helping establish a new wine region.
Q: What's the difference between Suhru's Brut and Proseco?
A: Our Brut is made using the traditional approach—méthode champenoise—where we referment the wine in the bottle, keeping it on the yeast sediment (sur lees) for 18-30 months. Proseco uses the Charmat method—refermentation occurs in the tank then you bottle straight from tank which captures the carbonation but not the nuances of flavor, which come from spending time on the lees.
Q: What is your favorite thing about working with your family?
A: The constant aggravation! No seriously, the constant enjoyment of our family interaction and our joint love of the wine industry!
Q: How do you know when grapes are ready to be picked and made into wine?
A: During harvest I am walking through the vineyards daily—looking at the health of the canopy, testing the fruit, and keeping an eye on the upcoming weather. Leading up to harvesting the fruit we test for: Brix (sugar content) acidity, and pH. When the fruit flavors develop into what I am looking for in the wine, it is time to pick.
Q: What is the best part of the winemaking process?
A: Tasting of course! No, I really enjoy the seasonality of the process. Growing, harvesting, finishing, bottling. Each season of the year is different. You feel very connected to the cycles of the seasons and what needs to be done in each.
Q: What is the most important step in the winemaking process?
A: As a professional winemaker, my goal is to produce technically correct wines, showing off fruit/vineyard expression. Technical flaws are unacceptable. As both my family and my staff can attest, I always say winemaking is 70% sanitation, 20% perspiration, 9% inspiration, and 1% degustation (drinking) but only at the end of the day!
Join us next week, Sunday, May 3rd for a
Tour of our Winery, hosted in our Instagram Stories!
Follow us on Instagram @SuhruWines
On Sunday in April and May we are hosting interactive Instagram experiences from the @SuhruWines Instagram account. Tune in each Sunday at 3pm to see what we have happening! Below is a transcript of the Live Instagram Q&A we hosted Sunday, April 19th with Shelby Hearn, Director of Sales & Marketing at Suhru Wines! Checkout what she had to say in response to your burning questions!
Shelby Hearn, Director of Sales & Marketing
Growing up a winemaker's daughter, Shelby took an interest in the wine industry at a young age. Shelby got her start in the industry in 2005 and has since worked in tasting rooms, planted vineyards, hand-harvested grapes, bottled, worked in the cellar, and has sampled her fair share along the way! Shelby has continued her personal wine education by touring the wine regions of Australia and Hungary, as well as many in the US. Before moving to the North Fork and joining Suhru Wines full-time Shelby, lived in Brooklyn where she was a marketing professional at Penguin Random House and later running marketing efforts at Brooklyn Winery.
Q: Is there any downside to drinking wine from a can?
A: In my opinion no, the taste is the same and the wine stays super fresh, particularly for white wines.
Q: How did you come up with the name Suhru?
A: Suhru is a combination of my parents names “SUsan” and “RUssell” as well as our last name “Hearn”
Q: Do you allow dogs in the tasting room?
A: We do! Well behaved dogs on a leash are always welcome and dogs love our backyard in the warmer months!
A: Bordeaux blends are red blends made from a combination of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec & rarely Carmenere. Our Ember is a Bordeaux blend!
Q: Favorite comfort food or dessert with wine?
A: I have a bit of a sweet tooth so red wine & dark chocolate is always my go to pairing! Our Merlot-infused Dark chocolate is a personal favorite!
Q: Can you distribute to Michigan?
A: Not yet, but we’re hoping soon! Currently we ship to NY, MA & FL but coming in the next week or so we will be adding many more states so stay tuned!
A: Dry Riesling —Rieslings are often thought of as being sweet however a DRY Riesling like ours is one of the most fun wines to pair with foods! Pair it with something with a little spice to really make the flavors shine! Pairing Suggestions: Thai & Indian cuisine, curries, sushi & dry rub BBQ are some of my favorites!
Q: How do you decide between the Ember and the Shiraz or the T’Jara Merlot for a big beef roast?
A: Good question! They are all great choices, but my general rule of thumb with our reds is the bigger the flavors in the meal, the bigger the red you want! For a beef roast, I would go with Ember, it’s big, it’s bold, it has a more robust flavor and nice tannins so it will pair nicely with heavier, richer meat flavors.
A: My favorite wine always changes by season, but I always LOVE our Shiraz! It’s a little fruity, a little spicy, and a whole lot delicious! I also love our Brut! You really can’t go wrong with bubbly and this one is crisp, light, dry, and oh so refreshing!
Q: If you were on a desert island and could only pack one kind of Suhru wine, what would it be?
A: I’d bring our new cans! They’re super convenient, lightweight, and 1 can hold the equivalent of 2 glasses (or half a bottle of wine) so it would make packing super easy!
Q: Where do you grow your grapes?
A: We source our fruit, which means we work with a number of excellent growers on the North Fork (and one in the Finger Lakes where we grow our Riesling). By sourcing our fruit we are not limited to the grapes grown in a single vineyard but instead have the freedom to pick and choose the varietals we love and work with the vineyards that grow those best!
Q: Are there plans to make the sparkling wine in a can?
A: No plans to make Sparkling in anything other than bottles at the moment--but I’ll pass the request on to our winemaker. Bridge Lane makes a great new sparkling in cans though that I’d recommend!
A: Sauvignon Blanc & Scallops are a personal favorite!
Q: How long can you drink wine for once it’s open?
A: To drink it at its peak I would recommend 2-3 days for a full opened bottle. However my pro tip is, if you know you’re not going to finish the bottle, pour the wine into a smaller bottle or jar and make sure there is no air space. You can keep the wine this way for weeks!
Q: What other North Fork wines do you recommend?
A: I’ve got so many great LI wines in my personal collection, but a few of my favorites are: Leo Family Cellars, Lieb Cellars, Paumanok Vineyards, Saltbird Cellars, Bridge Lane Wine, Sparkling Pointe, One Woman Winery & Macari Wines just to name a few.
Q: What’s your favorite board/card game to play while drinking some wine?
A: Wine Wars—it's such a fun wine trivia game and a great way to learn some new wine facts to impress your friends and family!
Q: What are your favorite spots on the North Fork?
A: I love walking out at Orient Point--it’s a nice, quiet walk by the water and in the winter months you can often spot a seal or two!
Q: How do you recommend building a wine collection?
A: Start with what you like and build from there! Whenever I find a wine I really like I buy at least two bottles, one to drink now and one to save. The first bottle goes into the “drink now” rack and the second into my collection. Before you know it and after a few trips to wine country you’ll need another wine rack!
Q: Who in the LI wine industry have you been influenced by?
A: My dad--our winemaker Russell Hearn--has been a huge influence for me, He introduced me to wine, this industry, and the incredible process of winemaking! I have always been fascinated with wine, ever since I was a kid, My love of wine and this industry is all thanks to him! I am also very lucky to have made so many wonderful friends in this industry like the incredible Alie Shaper and Robin Epperson McCarthy of Chronicle wines!
Q: How do I tell which wines I should age and which ones I should drink right away?
A: That’s a harder one to answer without knowing the specifics, it’s always a good idea to check with the winery to see what they recommend. But as a general rule, rosés and stainless steel white wines should be enjoyed within a year whereas barrel aged white and red wines can be aged for 10+ years from their vintage date (in most cases).
Q: What is your favorite snack when you drink wine?
A: Freshly shucked local oysters!
Q: What is it like working for a family business?
A: It's challenging, like any job, but it’s also the most fun I’ve ever had at work! We work hard, we play hard, and I know no matter what my family always has my back! It’s also very rewarding! I love going to work with my mom and the rest of my family everyday, it has given me so many new and exciting opportunities to learn and grow!
Q: What is your favorite season on the North Fork?
A: Late summer/early fall when the days are warm but the nights are cool and you can cozy up by the fire with a glass of red!
Join us next week, Sunday, April 26th at 3pm for a Q&A with our winemaker Russell Hearn, hosted in our Instagram Stories!
Follow us on Instagram @SuhruWines