Pindar Vineyards, Long Island's largest vineyard, has made almost $5 million in land purchases this year, pushing its property total to more than 650 acres. "I made a major commitment this year," said Pindar owner Herodotus "Dan" Damianos.
"It was an opportunity to pick up some prime sites for growing," Damianos continued. "These farms are going very quickly, and real estate prices are going up." Pindar winemaker Mark Friszolowski concurred, explaining that local farmland is being snapped up for future vineyard growth.
Of Pindar's 80 acres planted this year, about 35 are dedicated to Merlot, while another 30 host a Chardonnay clone. On the remaining 15 acres, Damianos is growing Petit Verdot, Malbec and some experimental grapes.
Currently, Pindar Vineyards grows Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier and several other varieties, including Sangiovese. This year, Pindar is releasing about 100 cases of its first Syrah, from the 1997 vintage. Damianos said that he is happy with what he's seen from the vintage and thinks the grape will flourish in the cool climate.
"I like to experiment," Damianos said, adding that in a young industry it's important to explore many options. And with his new land, he'll have plenty of space for just that.
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