Long Island’s biggest wine bash gets underway in just a few days.
Harvest East End, a tasting festival featuring 39 Long Island wineries and almost as many restaurants and food marketers, takes place in Bridgehampton on Aug. 25, the eve of the Hampton Classic horse show.
This is Harvest East End’s third annual festival, a fund raiser for three local charities, East End Hospice, Group for the East End and the Peconic Land Trust, and the first to tie into the Hampton Classic.
“Harvest is shaping up fantastically,” said Roman Roth, technical
director at Wölffer Estate Vineyards and chairman of Harvest East End. “It’s the height of the summer [in the Hamptons] … It will be a full house.”
Tickets, $150 each, have been selling briskly and $250 VIP tickets, which provide attendees with an extra hour of tasting and access to library wines, are already sold out.
Last year, the event, put on by Merliance and the Long island Wine Council, both trade groups, attracted 1,000 wine aficionados, half of them attending only the festival. (A gala dinner followed last year, but is not part of this year’s program.) Merliance executive director Donnell Brown Stires said the sponsors are anticipating 1,200 attendees this year.
The lineup of culinary offerings, an array of locally sourced produce, meat, fish and fowl, includes treats from many of the top toques on the East End, including Tom Schaudel of A Mano Osteria, Mattituck; Noah Schwartz of Noah’s, Greenport; Kevin Penner of Cittanuova, East Hampton; Keith Luce of Luce & Hawkins, Jamesport; and Starr Boggs, among others. They’ll be duck, tomatoes, tuna and lobster in many guises, as well as cheeses and sweets.
Among the 39 participating wine producers (only two East End wineries, Paumanok Vineyards and Lenz Winery, are not participating because they’re not members of the Long Island Wine Council) are numerous well-established producers as well as a few new ones. Award winning bottles, new releases and barrel samples will be among the approximately 200 wines available for tasting.
The wineries and restaurants participating do so on the expectation that people who taste the wines and foods will follow up with visits to the various wineries and eateries.
There’ll be more than wine and food under the big tent. The sponsors will be selling tickets to a luxury raffle. Prizes include three nights in Barbados, a selection of 19 Long Island wines in magnums and two tickets to one of three 2013 Wine Spectator Grand Tour tastings. There will also be a silent auction. Lots will include hands-on wine and food experiences, golf, and even yodeling lessons from Roth.
There’s more. In the several weekends following the event, Harvest will sponsor a series of invitation-only “10 Mile Dinners” in private homes, wineries and gardens, each limited to 10 guests. Two of the dinners already are sold out. Invitations to the dinners, which feature foods and wine sourced from a 10-mile radius, can be requested by email.