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Castello Di Borghese Vineyard and Winery
by
Terry Sullivan

Castello Di Borghese Vineyard and WinerySummary: January 2013 marked the 40th anniversary of the first vineyard and winery on Long Island. Today that first winery and vineyard is under the ownership of Marco and Ann Marie Borghese, a name associated with Italian nobility. Wine enthusiasts will enjoy the tasting room environment and tasting experience.

The Borghese family came into prominence in Siena, Italy during the 9th century. By the 16th century Camillo Borghese became Pope Paul V, and was instrumental in funding the completion of the Vatican. Today, a descendent of the noble Italian family owns a winery and vineyard growing noble grapes.

Castello Di Borghese Vineyard and WineryWe met and talked with Marco and Ann Marie Borghese about how their wine journey brought them to the North Fork of Long Island from Philadelphia. Marco was always interested in wine. He was a collector prior to becoming a producer. The Cutchogue, New York winery/vineyard that was established in 1973 was for sale in the late 1990’s. Marco and Ann Marie thought it would make a good change of life for their family, and bought the winery and vineyard in 1998/1999. Cutchogue was not Philadelphia, and took some getting use to for Ann Marie who enjoyed living in a city. Marco and their children took to the country life. Ann Marie discovered that she could travel to New York City to sell wines.

Castello Di Borghese Vineyard and WineryVineyards

Viewing the vineyards in January affords an opportunity to view the vines' architecture. Today the vineyards comprise of 25 producing acres. An additional four and a half acres were recently planted. Marco said he could plant additional vineyards on land that currently is used to grow hay. Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon are the white varieties grown on the property. The red varieties include Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon. Near the vineyards and the tasting room entrance, an old flat bed truck has retired oak barrels with letters written on the barrel heads. The barrels spell out “Pinot Noir”. Marco said Castello Di Borghese was the first and one of the few vineyards planted with Pinot Noir in the North Fork.

Castello Di Borghese Vineyard and WineryTasting Room and Winery

Very few changes, mostly cosmetic, were done when Marco and Ann Marie acquired the property. The tasting bar was moved to another larger location in the building. Now, the tasting room establishes an intimate adult tasting room environment. Ann Marie wants to embrace the historic beauty of wine. The rich walnut wood tones add to the elegant setting. Dialogue rules over monologue in the tasting room and it is common for the visitors to talk to the people next to them whether they are known or not.

Castello Di Borghese Vineyard and WineryThe winery is now in a converted 150-year-old barn. The winery is a short drive through the vineyards from the tasting room. Stainless steel tanks of various sizes fill one area while barrels, stacked two high are in another room.

Wines

Back in the tasting room we sampled several wines. The 2010 Riesling Estate was a light straw color. The floral aroma had a pear, green apple and a hint of peach on the taste. The finish was crisp and fruity. The 2011 Sauvignon Blanc Estate had citrus on the aroma and taste. The wine had a crisp finish. Pair it with seafood or enjoy it as an aperitif. The 2011 Fleurette was a light pink color. The wine was made with Merlot grapes and offered red berry fruit on the aroma and taste. The finish was crisp. Pair it with seafood, poultry and cheese.

Castello Di Borghese Vineyard and WineryThe 2008 Pinot Noir Estate was a light red color. There were cherries and an earthiness on the aroma and cherries on the taste. Mild tannins were on the crisp fruity finish. The wine would pair with cheese, lamb and game birds. The 2008 Pinot Noir Barrel Fermented was also a light red color. There were cherries and spice on the aroma. The taste offered cherries, cinnamon, and vanilla. There were tannins on the crisp finish with fruit yielding to spices. The wine would pair with a tuna steak or roast pork. The 2010 Cabernet Franc Estate was a ruby colored wine with black pepper and dark fruit on the aroma. The taste had cherries, while tannins were on the finish with fruit yielding to black pepper. The wine would pair with red meats, salmon, chicken and BBQ. The 2007 Cabernet Franc Reserve was a ruby color. Cherries and blackberries were on the aroma and taste with a hint of cedar. Tannins were on the very fruity finish. Pair the wine with game.

The focus at the Castello Di Borghese Vineyard and Winery tasting room is on the wine. Expect gentle wine education and dialogue about the wines. The winery has an active wine club. Several wine club members were at the winery tasting room tasting wines. Many brought guests with them.

Castello Di Borghese Vineyard and Winery
17150 County Rte 48
Cutchogue, New York 11935

N 41º 01.056’ W 72º 30.412’

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 


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