Just prior to our visit to Long Island wineries that began last Friday, the region’s owners, winemakers and winegrowers celebrated the 40th anniversary of the wine industry on the island. A lot can be accomplished over a period of 40 years, at least in the late 20th and 21st centuries. One may reason that 40 years isn’t enough time to produce quality wines compared to wine regions that are hundreds or even thousands of years old. That claim may have a slimmer of truth for vineyards. It takes years to establish a vineyard and many of the vineyards in the Long Island region have been planted in the 21st century. It takes decades to learn about the grape varieties that will do the best in an area. However, today the science and research involved in grape growing has surpassed the combined knowledge of the subject for previous centuries. A new wine region can plant vineyards with a tremendous amount of knowledge and science that will help grow quality winegrapes. One no longer has to wait for centuries for a wine region to establish.
Winemaking is an art and a science. The modern day winemaking science also far exceeds the knowledge of previous centuries. Although it may not be fair to compare wines made on Long Island to those made in France, comparisons have been made and some wines from Long Island have shown well. A lot can be accomplished in a modern 40 years.