Local-made: Long Island’s Shinn Estate Vineyards To Host “Bounty of Summer”

Terry Flanagan

On Saturday, July 28, one of the North Fork’s more innovative vineyards hosts a special dinner to celebrate the summer yields from local farms and artisans.

Homemade: The blending process at Shinn Estate; Page in the process of smoking a pork belly from Southampton’s Mecox Bay Farms. (Jill Futter/Markets Media)

Located in the peaceful hamlet of Mattituck, New York, Barbara Shinn and David Page’s organic, 20-acre vineyard thrives in an area rich in agriculture and finely crafted foods;  each year sees a Strawberry Festival bearing the fruits (ahem) of local farms’ labor. If there were ever any place perfectly suited for hosting a “Bounty of Summer” dinner featuring local foods, this town–and this vineyard–would be it.

“Barbara and I have spent the last 25 years of our lives promoting local food and wine,” David Page told us. “North Fork cuisine has come to life during our time here and we are dedicated to sustaining a developing local culture.”

Indeed, the husband-and-wife team of Shinn and Page began sowing the roots of the now-widespread locavore movement decades ago, starting out as the highly successful Chef-owners of Home in Greenwich Village, which still retains a philosophy of local sustainability well after the couple passed on the ownership baton in 2007.

Clearly still in possession of some ace abilities in the art of entertaining guests, the couple plan on serving up the best ingredients from Long Island: cheeses from Goodale Farm (in neighboring Aquebogue), pork from Mecox Bay (in Southampton), chicken and fish from Browder’s Birds and Southold Fish Market (nearby, in Southold), and produce from Deep Roots Farm, Tomato Lady and Charnew’s Farm.

Four exquisitely prepared, homemade meals are in store. “There will be a lot of tomatoes–both from our own garden and from The Tomato Lady, probably served with some fresh goat cheese from Goodale,” Page said. “We’ll also serve tomatoes in a gazpacho sauce under steamed fluke. I’m thinking about doing a Browder chicken, local corn, and potato chowder. We’ll slow-smoke pork shoulder from Mecox Bay Farms”.

Each course will be expertly paired by Shinn and Page with one of their critically-acclaimed wines; expect to be served goodies such as their “First Fruit” Sauvignon Blanc–delicious with seafood–the richly complex “Haven”, the heartily spicy 2004 Wild Boar Doe blend, a 2005 Nine Barrels Reserve Merlot, and the distilled 2010 Late Harvest Sauvignon Blank Semillon. We’re guessing the latter may be served with dessert, which is likely to be made with blackberries grown by Barbara right at Shinn Estates (she tends a garden full of fruits and vegetables that would be the envy of any produce aisle). To start off the dinner, Page will serve up a bubbly dose of one of his signature Champagne cocktail–he’s made this drink for us, and the effervescent combination of the vineyard’s Brut and its distilled Eau de Vie spirit (with a dash of bitters) is irresistibly, headily fresh.

Five years after leaving the busy world of Greenwich Village for a more idyllic existence on a North Fork winery, it seems that through these dinners, Barbara Shinn and David Page seek to steadfastly maintain their well-honed restaurateur chops, as exemplified by their Farmhouse Inn, which serves up one of the freshest, tastiest breakfasts around to overnight guests. In fact, we would recommend that you stay over at their beautifully restored, cozy-yet-modern B&B for the night, but rooms for that weekend are, as can be expected, fully booked (reserve a room for the early fall instead, when harvest nears). For now, call ahead and get a seat or two at this “Bounty of Summer” dinner, as space is limited.

“These dinners give a chance to showcase the best of the North Fork paired with the wines we grow…and we have a lot of fun in the process,” Page said. Thank goodness they’re all about sharing the fun–and the bounty.

“Bounty of Summer” will be held on Saturday, July 28 at 7 p.m. on Shinn Estate Vineyards on 2000 Oregon Road in Mattituck, NY. $110 per person, including tax and service. To reserve seats, call 631-804-0367.

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