20090706

Long Island wine country in a growth spurt

From Newsday

Recession or not, a new crop of wineries, tasting rooms, vineyards and wines is making its way to Long Island wine country this season, suggesting that the business of sipping may not only defy but thrive in tough economic times.

From the planned September opening in Southold of a 10,000-square-foot tasting room and winery called Sparkling Pointe devoted exclusively to sparkling wines to a quaint red tasting shed across the road called One Woman Wines & Vineyards, Long Island will play host to nearly a dozen new winemaking operations over a one-year period, pushing the total to more than 60.

The "newcomers" include some stalwarts in the business. Just this week, Jason Damianos, the winemaker of Pindar Vineyards fame, plans to open a two-story, 5,500-square-foot winery and tasting room called Jason's Vineyard in Jamesport. His plans preceded the economic downturn, Damianos said. But financial changes since then actually have helped, because interest rates are down. "I'm hoping they stay low," he said.

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