Photo by: Derek Edward Pfohl
Brooklyn native Mark Snyder began distributing a collection of unique California wines in 2004, as Angels’ Share Wines.
In 2008, noting a lack of support and opportunity for New York State wines among restaurants and retailers, Mark started the Red Hook Winery. Located along the western edge of Long Island, on Pier 41 in Brooklyn, the winery exists to help show off the potential of New York State viticulture in a variety of styles to the denizens of New York City and its visitors.
The North Fork of Long Island is dominated by the sea, in every sense. The growing region is situated on a narrow “fork” of sea-level land that is sandwiched between the Great Peconic Bay on one side and by the wide Peconic Sound on the other. Geologically, the North Fork is a glacial moraine and is composed almost entirely of well-drained sandy loam. Winters on the North Fork are cold, but are moderated by the surrounding water. Summers, on the other hand, can be very warm and exceedingly humid. Humidity, rather than heat or cold, is the most significant challenge posed to winegrowers on the North Fork of Long Island. Salinity and the scent of sea air are signatures of wines grown on the North Fork.
The Finger Lakes are characterized by both the lakes for which the region is named and the cold weather that governs the region in winter. It is situated in west-central New York; the first successful planting of European grape varietals was in 1959 by a Ukrainian botanist named Konstantin Frank. Viticulture is gathered around the steep edges of the four largest lakes. The water moderates the bitter winters and in the autumn helps capture warmth to extend the ripening season. Geologically, the Finger Lakes are dominated by highly fossiliferous sedimentary rock. Glaciation has created a dramatic up-churning (& depositing) of diverse rock formations and has left impressively diverse soils in its wake. Racy acidity and keenly defined edges are characteristic of wines grown on the Finger Lakes.