In anticipation for Dan’s Harvest East End on Saturday, August 22nd at McCall Vineyard and Ranch in Cutchogue, I would like to introduce you to Sal Diliberto, President of The Long Island Wine Council. Diliberto, who is still a practicing attorney in Queens, wanted to establish a small winery on the North Fork going back more than fifteen years ago. He is the owner of Diliberto Winery in Jamesport on Manor Lane. He began his journey into the winery business in 1998 and in 2001, Diliberto Winery earned its license to start producing and selling wine. He leads the wine council that comprises of forty to fifty members. Each member is a winery owner. There are affiliate membership opportunities available for individuals who own B&Bs, hotels, restaurants, etc.
Dan’s Harvest East End is a joint event between Dan’s Papers and the Long Island Wine Council, which this is their signature event every year. “[The event] is an opportunity for large groups of people to come and experience the wines (and food) of Long Island. There are so many people that do not even know there is a wine region on Long Island,” says Diliberto.
According to Diliberto, many residents of Long Island have never visited the North Fork and or took tours of the wineries. “[Dan’s Harvest East End] gives people an opportunity to see what they have been missing, [and] people are surprised about what is being offered to them on Long Island,” adds Diliberto. “It is an opportunity for the wineries to put their best foot forward. Visitors should get ready to sip incredible wine and delicious food.”
It is very difficult to visit all of the wineries, even in one summer. During tours, visitors or local residents may go to three wineries in a day. “Come to one location, McCall Vineyards, and experience so many different wineries and the best wineries, you will not be disappointed,” adds Diliberto.
Harvest East End will celebrate the bounty of Long Island wine country. Guests will have the opportunity to savor premier pours and barrel tastings from over 35 East End winemakers paired with bites from top regional chefs and local purveyors. The event will be hosted by by Geoffrey Zakarian, lead judge on Chopped and co-host of Food Network’s The Kitchen.