The Long Island wine scene is getting a fresh infusion of star power. ABC News chief legal analyst, author, Mediaite founder and longtime wine lover Dan Abrams has purchased the 40-acre Laurel Lake Vineyards estate on Long Island’s North Fork. The purchase price was not disclosed.
“I’m so excited to invest in the North Fork and this vineyard with the goal of creating a new luxury Long Island wine,” Abrams told Unfiltered via email. Abrams, whose wine-collecting passion started with reading Wine Spectator, has been known to host casual tastings for his TV staff and is already well-acquainted with Long Island wine country—he has a house on Peconic Bay. He’s also a big U.S. presidents buff, having published books on Abraham Lincoln, John Adams and Theodore Roosevelt, so we hope he’ll be enjoying a glass of wine in presidential style on Presidents’ Day next week.
Abrams plans to rebrand Laurel Lake. A new name is still in the works (March 24 update: The vineyard has been renamed Ev&Em, after Abrams' children, Everett and Emilia), but he has revealed that wine educator and Big Macs & Burgundy author Vanessa Price will serve as managing partner on the project.
The existing Laurel Lake team is staying on board for the revamp, including winemaker and former co-owner Juan Sepulveda. “I’m very happy Dan asked me to stay and to have the opportunity to continue with the wine here and take it to the next level,” Sepulveda told Unfiltered via email. “Dan is coming here with great ideas.”
The Laurel Lake estate vineyard is planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Chardonnay, but Abrams anticipates investing in some new vines. “[Laurel Lake] presented a perfect opportunity to create an experience that both local residents and seasonal guests will enjoy,” Abrams said.
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