Nature can be cruel to vintners, but a lovely evening graced Harvest East End on Aug. 25, enticing more than 1,200 people to Bridgehampton to sample Long Island’s abundant food and wine.
A clear sky and a cool breeze welcomed a stylish crowd to the grounds of the Hampton Classic Horse Show, where more than 30 restaurants offered delicious interpretations of local specialties, including duck, oysters, tomatoes, corn and peaches.
The dishes were accompanied by wines from nearly 40 Long Island wineries, whose offerings included rich Merlots and Cabernet Francs, opulent Chardonnays, crisp rosés, and aromatic whites such as Grüner Veltliner and Albariño. The diversity testified to the adventurous nature of local vintners.
"I think this is a great event to have here,” said Debbie Rudoy, a year-round South Fork resident in the fashion business. “The people who live here don't always take the time to get up to the North Fork, but this raises the awareness of the wines.” Gesturing to the lively crowd surrounding her, she added, "They are obviously embracing it."
Wine Spectator was the presenting sponsor of the fundraiser. A silent auction and raffle brought in $30,650, contributing to a charitable donation of more than $40,000, according to event organizer Donnell Brown Stires. The event’s beneficiaries were East End Hospice, Group for the East End and the Peconic Land Trust. In three years, Harvest East End, which debuted in 2010, has donated more than $130,000 to organizations serving Long Island’s East End.
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