Vineyard Spotlight: Bedell Cellars
In 1980, a couple named Kip and Susan Bedell started their own vineyard on the North Fork of Long Island. From the beginning, Bedell Cellars Vineyard was known for their innovative and progressive winemaking methods, and they were at the forefront of the sustainable-farming techniques before the trend had even started.
In 2000, the Bedells sold their vineyard to Michael Lynne, the esteemed New Line Cinema executive, who brought the vineyard even further into the limelight of the wine community, while upholding the Bedell reputation.
Kip Bedell, also known as Mr. Merlot, started his inventive sustainable techniques when the farm first began making wine, and it was those methods that pioneered the unique North Fork style with some of the country’s oldest vines. Not only are the Bedell Cellars wines made only in small-batch, they are one of the only wineries to ferment with 100% naturally-occurring indigenous yeasts.
The terroir of Long Island plays a huge part in the wines that are produced at Bedell Cellars Vineyards. Their varietals are chosen by their ability to grow well in the loamy soils of their three vineyard sites, which grow over 75 different kinds of grapes. Of course, we all know about the famed waters of New York, which not only make the best pizza and bagels but are essential in the process of winemaking, and Bedell Cellars pays special attention to that.
“Bedell is a quality leader and regional pioneer in sustainable farming practices,” notes Molly Deegan, Executive Vice President of Marketing and Development at Bedell Cellars Vineyards.
Of all of the prime winemaking techniques that this vineyard prides itself on, it’s their hands-on staff who make the biggest difference. Their crew works diligently with the vines on eight separate occasions throughout the year, which equals about 1.2 million hands-on interactions each year between human and vine. Bedell Cellars Vineyards have made their mark on the Long Island Wine community, which is starting to stake a claim in the national industry.
“Long Island has a passionate wine community that hasn’t strayed far from its early roots, yet continues to embrace progress and inspire innovation,” says Deegan.