Vol.1 No. 29…Long Island wineries

While the Finger Lakes excel in white wines, and some surprisingly good reds, especially Cab Franc’s, Long Island, is comprised of two branches forming a claw, North Fork and South Fork, each with a different micro-clime and soils. I had some very nice wines, both red and white, in both areas.

Paumonok, is on the North Fork and was a McNeill favorite. Again, the Cab Franc was the standout. I could not visit that but I did visit several others and were impressed with some of the wines…most notably the Cab Francs.

Also on the North Fork, a very unusual one called One Woman winery. Seeing the little red house reminded me of the Heitz Cellars tasting room on Hwy 29, in Oakville. I was fortunate enough to meet her, Claudia Purita, a pleasant looking woman with hands that showed a lot of work in the vineyards. Her face also showed her time in the sun. But she was fiercely proud of her vineyard and wines, and that stood out to me…way out! Again, her Cab Franc was the standout.

A friend took me to Roanoke Vineyards tasting room where ran right down the list. They are the only winery I found that besides their North Fork vineyards bought grapes from Roman Roth on the South Fork. He was ‘discovered’ by Eric Asimov, a writer for Newsday and the New York Times and a very accomplished wine aficionado. He was the first writer I know of to be bold enough to write about Long Island wines…favorably. I now have faith in his judgment.

We sampled all their wines – all vitis vinifera grapes, no American or French-American Hybrids, a good thing. Their wines and the ones labeled the ‘Grapes of Roth’, were made with Roman Roth of Wolffer Estate Winery on the South Fork.

With that segue, we will cross Shelter Island, where we stayed in a nice house near a friend. Being an island, it requires taking a ferry over, traversing the island, then another ferry to the South Fork and Sag Harbor. Sag Harbor is a beautiful little town with little indication that there are vineyards close by – very close. We chose two:

Wolffer Estate is perhaps the largest vineyard and winery in the area. They too, use all vitis vinifera grapes and make the full range of wines you would find in California. Of particular interest are the Rieslings, as Roman Roth is a German and the day we visited was preparing for a festival wearing his Lederhosen and trademark Alpine hat.

He is a very nice man who is all about wine. He is as serious a winemaker as you will find anywhere in California, and very proud of his wines…especially the Rieslings. There is much attention to detail both in the winemaking and in the beautiful winery.

The other winery we visited was Channing Daughters which is further west. The name puzzled me but the founder Walter Channing, a successful venture capitalist, and artist whose works adorn the winery, named the winery after his daughters,

Rosie Orlando, my server, poured wines for me. I said I want to try the ones you think are the best and she didn’t disappoint me. We began with a Rosado, one of seven ‘pink’ wines they make,  with the right amount of acid to make a wine with a nice finish. Then another nice Cab Franc and a Refosco and a a North Fork Cabernet Sauvignon, which was a pleasant wine with soft tannins. All the above were priced at $20 – very fair. Next, Sculpture Garden a 91% Merlot blend that was unusual in that it had  6% Teroldego, and 3% Blaufranckisch. The grapes are foot stomped (?), punched down by hand, and then aged 24 months in older French and Slovenian barrels. This is a big wine the could last eight years or more and needs decanting as it throws off sediment.

The final wine was a 2010 Envelope, 62% Chardonnay, 28% Gewurtztraminer, and 10% Malvasia Bianco. A stunning wine.

All these wine represented good value and most were in the $20-25 range.

In summary, I felt that all the wines I tasted on Long Island were good to very good and a pleasant surprise.


©Copyright 2015 TBOW, all rights reserved.

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How did Trader Bill originate? It was conceived by me as a way of providing information summaries of global financial markets so that friends and associates could bring themselves up to speed on events and changing market conditions upon their arrival at work. In addition, it provides information on speakers and economic releases that day with consensus estimates and level of last release so that the reader is prepared to react, or knows how the market might react upon the release of information. Who is Trader Bill? Initially any reference to me was as ‘i’. This is to remove the aura of ego and to suggest that i am but a humble reporter, albeit with 35 years of investment experience. Investments are demanding of ego, however, or one would not feel that he was qualified to manage someone else’s money in the first instance. Therefore i needed an ‘alter-ego’. Like Winchell and Mahoney, Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy and especially Trader Vic and Mai Tai’s! Why Trader Vic? Because he was a likeable man who delivered pleasure to his customers and knew exactly what their desires were. The reason for the alter ego became obvious once I introduced Trader Bill into my commentaries: people started asking what Trader Bill thought. They had never asked me what I thought before, but suddenly they wanted to know what TB thought! Now mind you they KNEW that I was Trader Bill but for some reason he became bigger than life. Maybe it was the small ‘I’? What does Trader Bill try to do?His goal is to educate from his years of experience. Consider that most of the traders and people managing investments weren’t even around in 1987 for the crash! Consider that Graham and Dodd, and even Warren Buffet are not relevant to them, too old hat. Their historical perceptions of markets and fundamentals (earnings, price/earnings ratios, bonds, debt service coverage) are irrelevant in this fast moving world. This is the NEW ECONOMY, or is it? How did your style originate?Years ago i found that i had a knack and talent for writing. In addition, i developed an ability to analyze market news about 15 years ago. It took the Crash of ‘87. Prior to that i was just listening to what others said about the economy. But bond yields had been soaring in ‘87 yet the stock market just kept hitting new highs. That was when i began to learn about markets. i have both a dry and witty sense of humor (some call it inane!). Therefore i attempt to make even the worst news somewhat amusing: whether it is the absurdity of an economic release, or the comments of a CEO. This is trading desk humor (or gallows humor). It isn’t politically correct but it does ease tension. Ironically, it is seeing the light at the end of the tunnel (in the Navy they say: it’s always darkest before it’s pitch black!), that allows you to be more objective in your analysis, as bad as a situation is there will still be a tomorrow! You will see that i practice three-dot journalism, a style made famous by San Francisco reporter Herb Caen, whom i idolized. At least to me it is effective. What is so special about your analysis?Frankly, i don’t know that it is special, but at least it beats “the market closed down today on profit taking.” What i do know is that most of what you read is spat out without considering whether or not it is rational, like the above statement. Is it right? Sometimes yes and sometimes no, and that is the key to what is different about my analysis: it is meant to make you think. Is Dan Rather right or is Trader Bill right? If it causes you to stop and think about it, regardless of whether you agree, i win! Because THAT is my goal…not to have you think i am a guru, got that? Bet you never heard that ANYWHERE before in my business! Instead they want you to think just how smart they are but remember in this business if you are right 60% of the time you ARE a genius! Another thing that is different is when i am wrong on an analysis i will tell you, not hope you forget what i said. So now you have the tools to do what the speculators and hedge funds do: challenge authority, and if you make money it is because YOU did it not me. i was just a tool, your flunky to do the grunt work and let you decide…course you could be wrong too but at least you looked at the big picture. But the goal is also to have fun! This shouldn’t be a business of hushed tones and grim faces. It is a living, breathing thing and nowhere else in the world do you have the odds as much in your favor as here. Just beware of the guy who wants to put his arm around you and tell you he is your friend. So there you have it. I hope you select me as one of your sources for market information. If you do I promise to work my best for your financial success. Trader Bill

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