Just because the formal New Year’s Eve parties are over doesn’t mean that the celebrations have to end. That festive spirit should be alive year-round – nowhere is this easier to remember than at Sparkling Pointe vineyards in Southold.
The only New York vineyard devoted solely to the production of sparkling wine, Sparkling Pointe boasts the “excellence of champagne, but not the arrogance,” according to Tom Rosicki, who owns and operates the vineyard with his wife Cynthia.
The offhanded statement couldn’t better describe Sparkling Pointe’s operations. While only wines from the Champagne region of France can rightfully be called “champagne,” Sparkling Pointe’s wines are produced in the traditional French method known as method champenoise. Made from a variety of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes, the sparkling wines are true to champagne’s roots while infusing a Long Island flair that has been well-received in numerous wine circles.
After purchasing a nursery on North Road in 2002, the couple enlisted the help of vineyard developer Steve Mudd, now of Mudd Vineyards Ltd., to help them prepare the property to plant their vineyard. But the decision of what type of wine to grow had yet to be determined.
“Steve asked us ‘What do you like to drink?,’ ” recalls Tom. “And Cynthia and I both looked at each other and replied ‘Champagne!’ ”
Sparkling Pointe was making headlines a few years later. In 2009, its Brut Seduction was named Best of Class in the Sparkling Sweepstakes at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, the largest and one of the most prestigious competitions for a domestic vineyard.
The key to Sparkling Pointe’s success has been the obvious love of champagne shared by the Rosickis, and the work of master winemaker Gilles Martin, who had previously worked in a French Champagne house.
As the vineyard produces sparkling wine exclusively, the specialized equipment ensures superior quality. All of Sparkling Pointe’s bottles undergo two fermentation processes – the bubbles naturally form during the second fermentation – and, depending upon the type of wine, take a minimum of three years to produce.
The international flair, however, is not reserved for the method champenoise alone. The couple frequently travels to Brazil, and the wines and ambiance of Sparkling Pointe fuse their taste for Brazilian, French and, of course, North Fork culture.
Brazilian paintings and artifacts are sprinkled throughout the tasting room and each wine’s label features a small copy of one of the images.
The pristine white tasting house is both elegant and inviting, large enough for private parties and yet small enough to create an intimate wine-tasting experience. The tertiary Bubble Room, which can be closed off from the rest of the hall for intimate private gatherings, features white couches, a private tasting bar and bubble-like chandeliers for a cozier wine tasting experience.
The wine shop, which was a Dan’s Papers 2011 gold winner for best winery store, also serves as a purveyor of the couple’s unique ideas, as their love of champagne and panache for creativity extends beyond the winemaking process. Cynthia has recently worked with Drom Fragrance to blend the perfume and wine industries together and create scented perfumes and candles to reflect the fragrance of Sparkling Pointe wines.
Cheers, and Happy New Year.
Sparkling Pointe, 39750 County Road 48, Southold, NY. 631-765-0200. www.sparklingpointe.com.