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Two Long Island Wineries Change Top Winemakers

Ryan Isaac
Posted: October 28, 1999

One Long Island winery has recently welcomed a new member to its staff, while another has dismissed its winemaker of two years.

Peter Silverberg joined Osprey's Dominion Vineyards as its winemaker in late August after spending seven years in Israel at the Golan Heights Winery, six of them as assistant winemaker.

Osprey's Dominion, in Peconic, owns 84 acres and produces Cabernet, Chardonnay, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling, as well as a Port-style wine and a sparkling wine. "I'm here to improve where I see improvement can be made and to carve out an individual style," said Silverberg.

"This was a good opportunity to come back to the U.S. and be close to the area I'm from, to see my family more than once a year," commented Silverberg, a native of New York state. His initial move to Israel was never intended to be permanent, he remarked. "Suddenly, seven years later, I had been there for much longer than I ever intended."

Meanwhile, Macari Vineyards & Winery and its French winemaker of about two years, Gilles Martin, parted ways in early October, during the harvest. Martin had worked as assistant winemaker at Roederer Estate in northern California before coming to Macari, a newly opened winery in Mattituck. Macari now owns more than 130 acres planted to Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Malbec, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillion and other varietals.

"Gilles made some very good wines during his time here, and his contribution was very significant," remarked Ryan Quinn, the winery's marketing director, who said only that Martin left for personal reasons. He added that Macari had the current harvest under control and will name a successor in the next few months.

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Check out recent ratings of Macari and Osprey's Dominion.

For past news on Macari:

  • July 6, 1998
    French Accent at Long Island's Newest Winery

    To learn more about Long Island wines in general:

  • June 30, 1999
    Long Island's Work in Progress

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