The crowd was dense and the wine flowed freely at the 7th annual Dan’s Harvest East End Saturday night at McCall Vineyards and Ranch in Cutchogue.
Food and wine lovers came together at this annual celebration to sample the best of the North and South forks. More than two dozen wineries were on hand to pour their wines, while over 30 of the region’s best chefs and food purveyors served up samples of their specialities.
The party was once again organized by Dan’s Papers and the Long Island Wine Council and the Food Network’s Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian served as host for the second year in a row.
“This event is amazing,” Zakarian said. “This is a very special part of the country out here with some of the best wines in the world and it just gets better every year.”
With 1,200 tickets sold by Saturday night, this year’s event was down in attendance compared to last year’s record 1,700 attendees, but that did not phase Wölffer Estate Vineyards winemaker and Long Island Wine Council president Roman Roth.
“It takes a village to raise a glass of Long Island wine,” Roth told the crowd. “This is a passion that grows from everybody who is in the wine business and it’s real, you don’t have to fly to France or California to experience a real wine region. We’re building a real wine region right here.”
Ron Goerler Jr. of Jamesport Vineyards joined Roth on the stage to honor three North Fork notaries; Matt Kar, chef and owner of Jamesport Manor Inn, former Long Island Wine Council Executive Director Steve Bate and Palmer Vineyards’ owner Kathy Le Morzellec, for their contributions to the region’s food and wine industry.
Food standouts mentioned by several people included the ravioli by aMano, pulled pork by Smitty’s All-American Grill and the crème puff pastry by Caci North Fork.
“The puff pastry was delicious,” Daryl Nuccio of Stony Brook said. “But then everything was great.”