As you drive around the North Fork, you likely will see many teams out in the vineyard working to ensure the grapes ripen to their full potential throughout the growing season. While often an overlooked component of the winemaking process, good vineyard management is essential to good winemaking.
A wine is only as good as the grapes it comes from and good vineyard practices throughout the year mean less intervention and a more hands off approach can be taken by the winemaker and the winemaking team once the fruit arrives at the winery.
There are two main ways to harvest grapes, by hand and by machine. At Suhru, we hand harvest the majority of our grapes. The decision to hand harvest vs mechanical harvest depends on a multitude of factors including the grape varietal, condition of the grapes, and style of wine you are trying to make. Let's explore the differences!
For many grape varieties and styles, particularly early ripening white wine grapes, mechanical harvesting is a more efficient and cost effective approach. In mechanical harvesting a harvester machine straddles the grape vine, gently shaking the vine which dislodges the berries dropping them into a conveyor belt that carries them to a holding bin. When the harvester reaches the end of the row the holding bin is emptied into a gondola which then transports the grapes to the winery to be loaded into the press.
Mechanical harvesters are a great option for larger vineyards that lay on flat level ground. They can very quickly harvest an entire block of fruit and get it to the winery and loaded into the press in a fraction of the time it would take to hand harvest the same block.
At Suhru we machine harvest our Pinot Grigio. The vineyard where it is grown is well suited to a mechanical harvester and it allows our early ripening Pinot Grigio berries to arrive at the winery very quickly after being harvested which is important for machine harvested fruit as the berries are often split open during the harvesting process.
Hand harvesting, while extremely labor intensive, allows our vineyard team to examine the fruit as they move through the vineyard, selecting only the best grape clusters and discarding the bruised, damaged or underripe fruit. A skilled hand harvester can pick between one and one and a half tons of grapes in a 10 hour day, which is the equivalent of 800-1,200 bottles of wine or 66-100 cases.
While more expensive, laborious, and time consuming there are a number of reasons to hand harvest your grapes:
- Allows for more precision. The grapes are better protected during harvesting greatly reducing the possibility of oxidation due to damaged skins.
- Winemaking Style. For a number of styles including méthode champenoise and some styles of white wine we whole cluster press, meaning that the entire cluster, stems, seeds, skins and all are loaded into the press and discarded as one once the juice has been pressed out.
- Fruit quality. When you machine harvest all the berries are mixed in however when you hand harvest as the vineyard crew is moving from cluster to cluster they can pick out any berries damaged by birds or any that have not fully developed ensuring that only the best berries make it to the winery.
We would like to take a moment to applaud the hard working men and women who cultivate and care for our grape vines throughout the year. THANK YOU for all that you do, we could not do it without you!
With harvest season now upon us it is a good opportunity to look back at the growing season to see how we got here. Since early June the 2022 growing season has been very favorable. We had hot, dry conditions throughout most of the summer, which while at times may have been a little oppressive for all of us, it's ideal for the grapes. Although humidity was high for 4-5 weeks during that time, we experienced almost zero rainfall. The warmer than normal temperatures and slightly below average yields have moved ripening along at a nice pace.
We began harvesting our Pinot Noir fruit for Brut on Thursday. The crews were out harvesting starting at 6am which officially kicked off the 2022 Suhru Vintage! Chardonnay, the second grape varietal that comprises our Brut, will be right behind it. The next grape on deck is Pinot Grigio. It looks beautiful in the vineyard with the sugar and flavors developing very nicely. I expect that it, along with the Chardonnay will be harvested mid to late next week.
If you have visited our Tasting House in the past few months you may have heard the team hinting at a new addition to the Suhru library. We are excited to share that we will be making a new wine during the harvest of 2022—La Crescent. Brad, our assistant winemaker, will be taking the lead on this bright, crisp white wine. La Crescent is a hybrid grape that we are sourcing from the Finger Lakes. This varietal is also very close to full ripeness and will be picked by the end of the week. We have been experimenting with this grape for the last two vintages and I am excited about its potential. Keep an eye out for a Spring release!
In general yields are a little below average for the 2022 vintage. The 'fruitfulness' (quantity of clusters) is established from the amount of sunlight during the growing season. The number of berries on each cluster happens during the 'fruit set' period each June. This slightly below average yield has reduced the need for green harvesting (to correct yield), which was a concern earlier in the season as we had a very cool Spring, The smaller yields will provide riper fruit overall. The weather over the coming 6-7 weeks as always is critical. Fingers crossed for a stellar 2022 Harvest.
Fall has arrived and with it comes Harvest! The North Fork is a buzz this time of year with trucks and tractors regularly spotted driving down the road with beds loaded to the brim with grapes, apples, and pumpkins. At Suhru, our harvest began this week with the Pinot Noir for our sparkling and will continue into next week with a number of our white grape varieties.
In addition to the buzz and excitement around the arrival of harvest season, we are staying busy at the Tasting House with a number of new and exciting events and wine releases planned for the coming weeks and months! Thursday, September 8th kicked off our weekend of Wine Club with members invited to visit us at the Tasting House for a specially curated wine tasting and complimentary food pairing. These weekends are always a lot of fun for me and the whole team at Suhru, as we love seeing so many familiar faces and having a chance to catch up with our Club members on their summers and what's new and exciting at Suhru.
This Thursday also marked the release of our new Fall Menu featuring a new Fall Favorites Tasting Flight which includes a taste each of our 2021 Dry Riesling, 2021 Rosé, 2020 Teroldego and 2019 Shiraz as well as a number of new small bite options including new cheese and charcuterie plates along with a few sweeter options.
With Summer coming to an end our extended hour Summer Thursday Happy Hour has also ended, however we will continue offering Happy Hour glass and cheese plate specials every Thursday afternoon from 4-6pm plus we will be staying open until 7pm on Fridays this Fall starting September 16th and running through the end of October (weather permitting). We invite you to join us for Fall Fireside Fridays, from 4-7pm to enjoy a glass of wine by our backyard bonfire! In addition to the Full Suhru Menu, on Fridays only we will have a special s'mores plate option featuring our custom made Merlot infused Dark chocolate!
And last but certainly not least, be sure to mark your calendars and book a reservation—Saturday, October 8th and Sunday, October 9th of Columbus Day weekend we will be offering a special Harvest Tasting celebrating the bounty of the 2022 harvest with an exclusive tasting of freshly pressed grape juice and fresh picked berries along side their corresponding finished wines.
Late August brings warm days, soon to be cooler nights, and an abundance of fresh produce! One of our favorite summer traditions is harvesting basil from the garden to make homemade pesto. With my garden currently overflowing, this recipe has been on regular rotation.
The key to a good pesto (or a good wine for that matter) is good ingredients. The better the ingredients, the better the end result. You can easily make pesto year round but garden or farm stand fresh basil makes the best pesto if you ask me! Throughout the month of August I try to make as much pesto as possible, filling my freezer with jars of pesto to last the entirety of the year.
I like to think of pesto as a building block. It is such a delicious staple to start a meal and works wonderfully in hot or cold pasta dishes, with sausage, as a veggie dip, spread on a sandwich, over roasted veggies and more! It's a very simple summer option but is a great starting point to build a wide variety of meals. With an abundance of fresh, home grown tomatoes and basil overflowing from our gardens, we at Suhru are sharing our go to summer pesto recipe served atop gnocchi and paired with a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc.
Easy Garden Pesto Gnocchi
- ⅓ cup walnuts (or pine nuts)
- 4-6 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped (depending on how spicy you want it)
- 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ⅔ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1lb cherry tomatoes
- 1lb gnocchi
- 1 bottle of Sauvignon Blanc
- After harvesting your garden basil and cherry tomatoes, rinse and dry vegetables.
- While basil and cherry tomatoes are drying, fill a medium saucepan with salted water and heat to a boil.
- Combine walnuts, garlic, basil, salt, pepper and olive oil in a food processor and mix on high speed until will mixed and reaches a creamy consistency.
- Slice cherry tomatoes in half.
- Once water has boiled, cook gnocchi following package instructions, removing from water once the gnocchis float to the surface.
- Toss gnocchi, cherry tomatoes and pesto in a small mixing bowl until well coated.
- Portion into bowl topping with Parmesan cheese and garnished with a basil sprig.
- Serve with a chilled bottle of Sauvignon Blanc and enjoy!
Explore more Cooking with Suhru Recipes
I can't believe August is already here! In case you missed it, be sure to checkout the lastest on our Blog including an Update from Owner Susan Hearn detailing what she's been up to these past few weeks.
As you may have heard, we have had an exciting few weeks with a number of wonderful announcements including that our 2020 Teroldego won Best in Class at the 2022 New York Wine Classic while our 2021 Rosé recieved Best in Class at the 2022 Finger Lakes International Wine Competition
And in case you missed it, we have a new Cooking with Suhru post! Fish tacos are a summer staple and we have a quick and easy mid week recipe to share! Our Assistant Winemaker, Brad, loves to fish, particularly for fluke. One of his favorite summer recipes is Blackened Fish Tacos, pair with a bottle of Dry Riesling and you can't go wrong!
It's been a busy July at Suhru but Summer isn't over yet and we have lots of great events planned at the Tasting House, so be sure to make a reservation and mark your calendars!
August Special Events:
- 8/4: Thursday Happy Hour & Live Music by Julia King, 4-7pm
- 8/4: Art Show with Melissa Hyatt, 4-7pm
- 8/6: Lobster Roll Sliders at the Tasting House
- 8/7: Sundays at Suhru: Lobster Roll Sliders & Live Music from 1-4pm
- 8/11: Thursday Happy Hour & Live Music by Rob Europe, 4-7pm
- 8/13: Lobster Roll Sliders at the Tasting House
- 8/14: Sundays at Suhru: Lobster Roll Sliders & Live Music from 1-4pm
- 8/18: Thursday Happy Hour & Live Music by Robin Sidor, 4-7pm
- 8/20: Lobster Roll Sliders at the Tasting House
- 8/21: Sundays at Suhru: Lobster Roll Sliders & Live Music from 1-4pm
- 8/25: Thursday Happy Hour & Live Music by Dorian Consort (Classical Trio), 4-7pm
- 8/27: Lobster Roll Sliders at the Tasting House
- 8/28: Sundays at Suhru: Lobster Roll Sliders at the Tasting House
- 8/29: Wine Dinner at the Marshall in Manhattan, 7:30pm
We are currently hard at work planning a number of great wine events this Fall and Winter. If you have a suggestion on future events or a wine topic you'd like to see at Suhru Wines, let us know! Thank you again for your continued support and happy Summer!
It's been a busy July at Suhru with Shelby and the team hosting lots of great events at the Tasting House, including weekly Thursday Happy Hour & Live Music from 4-7pm and Lobster Roll Sliders at the Tasting House every weekend all summer long!
Meanwhile, I have been busy putting some mileage on my car! I've been working across NY and NJ to expand our reach and make it easier to find Suhru wines across the tri-state area! Mid month I spent a few days in New Jersey with Joe, one of our sales reps focusing on the mid New Jersey region. I am happy to report you can now find Suhru Wines at: Vino Sandro Wine and Spirits, located at 1129 Inman Ave in Edison, NJ and Peapack Fine Wines, located at 159 Main Street in Peapack, NJ with more to come soon as restaurants and wine shops revamp their offerings for the Fall.
Another exciting new placement for us is The Marshall, located at 628 10th Ave in Manhattan. The Marshall is a really cozy, rustic-chic restaurant with a hyper local farm to table menu. Russ and I will be hosting a Winemakers Dinner there on Monday, August 29th. It’s a 7-course dinner paired with 7 of our wines (including a library wine) for $99/pp. I can’t wait to try these pairings, we hope you can join us!
If you are going to be in Montauk the weekend of August 6th, stop by Finest Kind Wines & Liquors, located at 552 West Lake Dr in Montauk, where I will be hosting an in-store tasting from 4 – 7 pm. Stop by for a taste, to pick up some wine and for a chat!
You can also find me at bi-weekly Farmer's Markets in Setauket and Shelter Island this summer. I am really enjoying these two Farmer’s Markets and love having visits from Wine Club members, regulars of Suhru, and introducing our wines to new people and new friends. One of the benefits of working the markets is I get to do some shopping and load up with great foods while I’m there. Find me at the Three Village Market on Friday, August 12th and 26th. The market takes place on the grounds of the Three Village Historical Society, located at 93 N Country Rd Setauket Friday afternoons from 3 – 7pm. On Saturday, August 13th and 27th you can find me at the Shelter Island Historical Society Farmer's Market, located at 16 S Ferry Rd from 9am – 12:30pm.
Check out the rest of our upcoming events on the Suhru Events Calendar!
We are thrilled to announce that our 2021 Rosé received the Best in Class award at the 2022 Finger Lakes International Wine & Spirits Competition (FLIWC)!
FLIWC is one of the largest charitable wine and spirits competitions in the US. Internationally certified judges from around the globe converge in Rochester, NY each year to taste and evaluate thousands of internationally crafted wines and spirits.
All proceeds from the competition benefit Camp Good Days and Special Times, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for children and families, whose lives have been touched by cancer and sickle cell anemia. At Suhru, we are very proud to support this cause and the important work done at Camp Good Days.
In addition to the wonderful recognition for our Rosé, our 2021 Pinot Grigio and 2021 Dry Riesling both took home Silver medals. In celebration of these exciting awards we are offering 10% Off on 6+ bottles of our three award winning wines—2021 Rosé, 2021 Pinot Grigio, and 2021 Dry Riesling. Enter discount code "GOODDAYS" at checkout to save an extra 10%.
Please Note: Discount code valid ONLINE ONLY through August 31, 2022. Discount cannot be combined with any other offer or discount. Online orders can be placed for delivery or pickup at checkout. Shipping is available to 40+ states across the US.
Learn More About our 2021 Rosé
Fluke season opens on Long Island in May with the peak of the season occurring in the beginning of July. Over the last few weeks Brad (Suhru's assistant winemaker and my husband) and I have spent quite a bit of time on the water fishing from kayaks, boats, and the beach which means we have lots of fluke to go around. There is no shortage of excellent ways to cook this delicious local fish, however one of our summer favorites is blackened fish tacos!
A few years ago while looking for spice rub recipes I stumbled across a recipe on EverydayMadeFresh.com that became the inspiration for the recipe below. When it comes to freshly caught fish I like clean, simple flavors that highlight the natural flavors of the fluke which is why I tend to keep the toppings pretty simple and scarce. If you are looking for additional flavors, shredded carrots and chopped green onions both make excellent additions to the cabbage slaw.
Blackened Fish Tacos
- 1 ½ lbs fluke/flounder fillets
- 1 ½ tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp cumin
- ½ tsp brown sugar
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 TBSP vegetable oil
- 12 tortillas
- ½ small red cabbage, thinly sliced
- ½ cup cilantro, chopped
- 3 limes, juiced
- 2 avocados, sliced (optional)
- 1 bottle of Suhru Dry Riesling
- In a small bowl combine the blackening seasoning: paprika, salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano, onion powder, cumin, brown sugar, and cayenne.
- Place oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. While the oil is warming, pat the fillets dry and cover on both sides with blackening seasoning. Once oil is hot, cook fish, approximately 5 minutes on each side.
- While the fish is cooking, thinly sliced red cabbage and rough chop cilantro. Place chopped vegetables into a bowl. Squeeze lime juice over cilantro, red cabbage mixture and season with sea salt. Mix well.
- Slice avocados and warm tortillas.
- Assemble tacos by placing a fillet in a warmed tortilla and topping with cabbage slaw and avocados. Serve with a chilled bottle of Dry Riesling and enjoy!
Learn More About our Dry Riesling!
We are very excited to announce that our 2020 Teroldego received a 95 point score and Best in Class at the 2022 New York Wine Classic competition!
The New York Wine Classic celebrates a diverse selection of world-class wines from producers within New York State. Judging for this year’s competition included 694 entries from 101 wineries from across the state.
In addition to the wonderful review and top marks for our Teroldego, we are beyond excited to share the good news that our 2019 Cabernet Franc was awarded 94 points and a Gold Medal, showing among the best Cabernet Francs in New York! We also recieved silver medals for our 2021 Sauvignon Blanc (coming soon), 2021 Dry Riesling, 2019 Shiraz, and 2019 Ember.
We could not be prouder of the hard work and long hours that our winemaker and winery team put in on all of our wines. It is their hard work, creativity, and dedication that allow Suhru Wines to continue to produce the high quality, innovative wines that rank among the best in New York and we all know and love!
Hello Suhru family! You may notice that I am not in the Tasting House as often as I've been in the past, a few changes are happening at Suhru. We have an incredible staff, managed by Shelby, as well as our new Assistant Tasting Room Manager Shannon, which has allowed me to refocus my efforts recently. I will be focusing more of my time over the coming months and years on Wholesale Outreach and Farmer’s Markets. But don't worry, you will still see me at the Tasting House from time to time!
This summer you can find me at a number of Farmer's Markets, including the Three Village Farmer’s Market, located at 93 North Country Road in Setauket every other Friday from 3–7 pm and at the Havens Farmers Market at the Shelter Island Historical Society every other Saturday from 9am–12:30 pm. Checkout Sue's Farmer's Market schedule
They are both great markets with about 25 Vendors each with some awesome offerings. It’s been fun introducing our wines to a new audience farther afield from the Tasting House. I have been doing Farmer's Markets for Suhru since we first opened in 2008 and it has been so nice to get to connect with people at these new venues. Over the last few weeks several Wine Club Members have stopped by my table. It’s always nice to see a familiar face, so please stop by and say hello!
In addition to Farmer's Markets I have also been working more closely with our Distributor, Vias Imports, Ltd to expand the accessibility of Suhru Wines in wine shops and restaurants across New York and New Jersey. In addition to focusing on expanding placements on Long Island, I spent some time working with our sales rep Sarah in New York City earlier this month and will be working with Joe in New Jersey in July.
We are ever expanding the list of Where to Find our Wines on our website. However a few recent additions of late include:
- Lucha Cubano, located at 87 E Main St in Downtown Riverhead, NY
- Sound Avenue Bistro, located at 3225 Sound Avenue in Riverhead, NY
- Blue Point Spirits, located at 226 Blue Point Avenue in Blue Point, NY
- Page at 63 Main, located at 63 Main Street in Sag Harbor, NY
- North Fork Wines and Spirits, located at 122 South Street in Greenport, NY
- Finest Kind Wines and Liquors, located at 552 W Lake Drive in Montauk
One of the things I do to support new Wine Shops is schedule in-store Tastings. I will be at Finest Kind Wines and Liquors – 552 W Lake Dr in Montauk, NY sampling our Sauvignon Blanc, Dry Riesling Rose and Cabernet Franc on Saturday June 25th from 4–7 pm. If you're in the Montauk area, please come and say hello!
If you'd like to see Suhru Wines in your local wine shop or favorite restaurant please ask them to carry it and let me know by sending an email at email@example.com so I can follow up and schedule a tasting. Some of my best wholesale relationships have begun with a recommendation from one of our regular guests. I look forward to sharing more with you about where I’ve been and new placements next month. Cheers!