Roanoke Vineyards is dedicated to making exquisitely-crafted, quality wines. Our production is extremely limited, and since Roanoke wines are only available in our Tasting Room, or from our website, we have no imposed production quotas, and no obligations to distributors, restaurants, or retailers. This allows us to do our work in the vineyard and the cellar without limits on our creativity. There should be no limitations when it comes to making the best wine for you.
Roanoke Vineyards is also the leader in wine-focused programming. You won't find a seventies revival band in our Tasting Room, but what you will find are exciting events like the Winemakers' Smackdowns, The Judgment of Riverhead, and our Winemakers' Roundtable where you'll meet great winemakers from around the country, and get a chance to taste their 90 plus-point wines.
The New York Times said "Roanoke has mastered Cabernet Franc", and our Gabby's Cab Franc is the highest Parker-rated Cab Franc on the Atlantic Seaboard. Our western location positions us out of the fog zone, yet fully exposed to the southwesterly sea breezes, allowing us to fully ripen Cabernet Sauvignon without disease pressure. Chardonnay vines we planted in 1983 repeatedly deliver extremely concentrated fruit that we use for The Wild!, our highly regarded wild ferment Chardonnay. Roanoke's exciting red blends serve as the creative platform for winemaker Roman Roth, and these high-scoring gems have proven themselves in head-to-head tastings with great wines from California and Bordeaux.
We can't offer you a pony ride, but Roanoke will show you some of the best wine you've ever had; and we do it just for you.
Cabernet and Merlot
Our Sound Avenue vineyard was planted in 2000 on a ten acre parcel of Riverhead Sandy Loam soil. We have one acre of Merlot, with the balance of the vineyard divided equally between Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc.
Roanoke Vineyards is proud to be a member of the Long Island Sustainable Winegrowers, and we always look to other certified members when sourcing fruit.
Environmentally sound vineyard practices are essential for the land, the future, and to create fine wines. A walk through the Sound Avenue vineyard will illustrate our philosophy; carefully manicured canopies, crops thinned to allow air and sunlight between the clusters, and a pretty healthy spider population that functions as our organic pesticide.
"The Hill" is our especially sandy block of Cabernet Sauvignon, located on the westernmost side of the vineyard. Drainage is excellent throughout the entire vineyard, however these vines tend to produce very small and concentrated berries. Rain passes the roots quickly on its way to the aquifer beneath, and the fruit doesn't have an opportunity to bloat up with water. A little stress on the vines is a good thing.
The Finest Chardonnay
Planted in 1983, our Chardonnay vineyard is home to thirty year-old vines that produce exotic, almost tropical flavors. For years we sourced fruit here for our barrel fermented Roanoke Vineyards Chardonnay, but now this vineyard is home to The Wild! and a key element in our rosé.
Chardonnay is an especially creative platform, and certainly a varietal we love. In an effort to push the envelope of possibility and creativity, we decided to make a wild ferment Chardonnay. The result, The Wild!, is a wine that tastes like no other Chardonnay, with a refreshing crispness that makes it perfect for North Fork oysters.
Fruit for our barrel fermented Chardonnay is sourced from our friends in the Long Island Sustainable Wine group.
The Twelve Rows
The "Twelve Rows" is the easternmost block, which is Cabernet Franc. Gabby's Cabernet Franc comes from this part of the vineyard, and these are the ultra-manicured vines sculpted by our 83 year-young Vineyard Master, Gabby Pisacano.
Gabby works this block twice daily, beginning in January when he carefully prunes each vine by hand. It's not unusual for Gabby to reduce the crop on these vines to 1.5 tons per acre in an effort to grow pristine fruit without chemical intervention. The Gabby's Cabernet Franc is a wine that is truly made in the vineyard.
Beginning in 2010, Gabby moved into the Cabernet Sauvignon, and the balance of the vineyard, successfully employing his techniques to increase concentration, and eliminate the risk of disease. You can taste his work in so many of our wines, including the 2010 field blend The Hill. Here, Cabernet Sauvignon and grapes from The Twelve Rows of Cabernet Franc were harvested together in equal amounts. This right-from-the-start blending created a wine with wonderful harmony and balance.
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