Established in 1996, Sherwood House Vineyards is committed to the production of world-class wines using only estate-grown vinifera grapes. Owners Dr. Charles Smithen and wife Barbara believe that producing fine wine is a combination of passion and patience, handcrafting their wines using traditional methods combined with the latest scientific techniques. "There's very little nature and man can do in true harmony," says Dr. Smithen. "A vineyard is one of those things. Making wine requires both science and art to excel. Anyone can learn the science. But it's the art, the near-intuitive understanding, the smell, sense, and feel, that makes the difference."

Gilles Martin has been Sherwood House's winemaker since its inception. Gilles received his Master of Oenology degree from France's prestigious Universite Montpellier I and went on direct production at more than a dozen prominent wineries in France, South America and California before settling on Long Island in 1996. During Martin's years as head winemaker at Delas-Freres, in France's Rhone Valley, he directed the production of such prestigious wines as Hermitage, Crozes-Hermitage, Chateauneuf du Pape, and Condrieu. While at Roederer Estate in California, Gilles trained the staff in the traditions of Methode Champenoise, and helped to produce three wines rated as the best sparkling wines ever crafted outside the Champagne region. In 2011, his 2008 Sherwood House Vineyards Chardonnay received a "Best in Class" and 91 points at the Los Angeles International Wine Competition, firmly cementing Sherwood House Vineyards as one of the premier producers both on Long Island and internationally. 

On their 38 acre farm, the Smithen's initially planted Chardonnay vines from Burgundian clones, but after careful research and planning, have since added Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot. Sherwood House currently produces a Stainless Steel Fermented (un-oaked) Chardonnay, Barrel Fermented (oaked) Chardonnay, Blanc de Blanc (sparkling), White Merlot, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Bordeaux-style red blend.

Sherwood House has two tasting rooms: a small, quaint outdoor facility that sits on the vineyard property in Mattituck and a larger indoor/outdoor facility on the Main Road in Jamesport that includes a renovated 1860's farmhouse, fireplace, deck and event barn.

Founding Partners

Dr. Charles and Barbara Smithen always wanted to live among the vineyards, and were determined to make that dream come true. They were North Fork, Long Island residents for over twenty years, and they finally found their dream home in 1996. The farmhouse, which was built in 1860, and the surrounding 38 acres of former corn and potato fields offered outstanding conditions for growing wine grapes. The Smithen's initially planted Chardonnay vines from Burgundian clones, but after careful research and planning, have since added Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot. The Smithen's house and vineyards are proudly displayed on the front of each bottle of Sherwood House wine. When Gilles met Barbara and Charles in 1996, he told them that he could make the type of wine that they enjoyed drinking during their travels to France. He went on to produce some of Long Island's best awarded wines, including his 2008 Chardonnay which was awarded "Best in Class" and 91 points at the 2011 Los Angeles International Wine Competition and his 2005 Blanc de Blanc which received a 90 rating from Wine & Spirits Magazine.

Winemaker

Gilles Martin - With a Master of Oenology degree from France's prestigious Universite Montpellier I, award-winning winemaker Gilles Martin has directed the operations of more than two dozen wineries during his fifteen years of viniculture experience and has been the head winemaker at Sherwood House since it's inception. As head winemaker for Macari Vineyards, his 1997 Barrel Fermented Chardonnay was served at the White House. It was also ranked sixth of all United States Chardonnays by the Beverage Tasting Institute. During Martin's years as head winemaker at Delas-Freres, in France's Rhone Valley, he directed the production of such prestigious wines as Hermitage, Crozes-Hermitage, Chateauneuf du Pape, and Condrieu. As assistant winemaker of Roederer Estate in California, Martin trained the staff in the traditions of Methode Champenoise, and helped to produce three wines rated as the best sparkling wines ever crafted outside the Champagne region.

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