ONABAY VINEYARDS is a new name on the North Fork of Long Island, but it has a long history. The 18 year-old vineyard is part of a larger, historic farm owned by the Anderson family. Today, the property encompasses over 180 acres of fertile fields, meadows, and forests as well as over a mile of bay and creek frontage. It is a wondrous, peaceable kingdom of great horned owls, deer, osprey, herons, and shorebirds. Striped bass, bluefish, and flounder abound in the tidal creeks and the deeper bay.
The North Fork's temperate climate is often compared to Bordeaux, as it has a superb microclimate for viticulture. The surrounding waters of Peconic Bay, Richmond Creek, and Long Island Sound create a long and warm growing season. The soils are deep and loamy, the perfect medium for growing. Previously, the farms yielded crops of rhubarb, potatoes, spinach, and brussel sprouts. The old half-buried Sprout House and the Old Barn on the Main Road are remnants of this history. At the turn of the century, the Home Farm was self-sufficient, with cattle, pigs, and other livestock. There are still horses and chickens today.
The Anderson family is committed to the artisanal wines of Onabay Vineyards. Proud of their stewardship of the land, they appreciate the extraordinary natural beauty and bounty of the North Fork, and its culture of great wine, cuisine, and people.
Onabay Vineyard's nineteen acres are dedicated to growing the highest quality Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Cot grapes. Onabay combines original plantings that are more than twenty years old with more recent high density plantings (of the highest quality clonal selections based upon research from the past twenty years). This synthesis enables Onabay to consistently produce balanced, world-class wines.
Brad Anderson is committed to producing high quality vintages with the help of a very talented team, including vintner Bruce Schneider, winemaker/viticulturalist John Leo, and viticulturalist Bill Ackerman. Francesca Anderson is a renowned botanical artist. Her drawings of herons appear on the front labels. Daughter, Mia C. Anderson's poems also grace the labels. She is a published poet of natural history themes and the environment.
Chiara Anderson Edmands oversees the marketing of Onabay Vineyards. She and her husband, Ben, delight in pairing wine with the delicious bounty of the North Fork.
Two generations of Andersons are committed to artisanal winemaking. With their dedication and diverse talents, they create exceptional wines. A taste of this paradise "on a bay."
Our Estate Vineyard
Set on Peconic Bay, Onabay Vineyards is just two miles from the majestic Long Island Sound. The vineyard is blessed with a moderate climate that allows our grapes to maintain their natural acidity while ripening to the optimal level over a long season. Well-draining, sandy-loam soils (containing high percentages of clay and gravel) enable us to produce wines of structure, complexity, and pleasing minerality.
Onabay's winemaking philosophy is based upon minimal intervention. All handling is focused on a respect for the integrity and purity of the grapes that are harvested. Our goal is to capture the authentic expression of our unique growing conditions in each wine. All grapes are hand-harvested.
The grapes are picked very early in the morning and whole cluster pressed. Only the juice from the most gentle pressing cycle is used. The juice is cold settled for 24-48 hours before being racked for the start of a long, cool primary fermentation.
After de-stemming, the whole berries are soaked for two days at 58ºF to extract color prior to the beginning of fermentation. The wine is then warmed to approximately 82ºF for the start of alcoholic fermentation. Following the completion of alcoholic fermentation, the wines are racked to barrel. Malo-lactic fermentation is started and completed in barrel, and the wine is stirred weekly for four months in order to build elegant tannins.
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