Bottles in the Club
The best of Long Island's wineries at your doorstep
CSA constituents embrace the benefits of membership: the warm fuzzies of supporting a local farm, the regular delivery of high-quality goods and the education gleaned from the surprises that turn up in that box.
Now that most of Long Island's 50-plus wineries offer a CSA-style club, similar perks are available to wine aficionados.
It's an uncomplicated arrangement: You agree to buy a certain amount of wine, and every so often bottles selected for the club--often limited releases--are delivered to your door. Pricing and timing structures vary, but many memberships also include tastings, tours, classes, discounts and tasting notes.
Channing Daughters Winery pioneered this model and now has 1,250 members who receive two bottles of wine six times a year; releases include small-batch bottlings such as the coveted Blaufränkisch.
Bedell Cellars offers two options (three or six bottles) in which new releases--including its acclaimed artist series (pictured)--arrive four times a year. Members of Wölffer Estate Vineyards also gain access to winemaker Roman Roth's library of past vintages and complimentary tastings for members and their guests.
The most common club model is quarterly wine shipments, offered by wineries such as Old Field, Osprey's Dominion, Pindar and Macari Vineyards. Palmer offers a monthly shipment, while Lenz's subscribers can stay at a cottage on the winery's property.
Waters Crest offers a bimonthly shipment as well as the "barrel club," whose members get their name emblazoned on one of the winery's barrels, private barrel tastings, two cases of the wines made from the barrel and the barrel itself--when it's empty, of course.