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The Next Chapter for the Wineries on Long Island’s North Fork

Category: Finance,Real Estate

Luckily, a neighboring potato farmer named Mike Kaloski, who was known for experimenting with crops, offered to help. “He taught us to farm. He taught us to get out of bed early in the morning. He said, ‘You can’t be a farmer and be in bed!’” she recalled.

Viticulture — growing grapes — is “a hard business to be in. You’re farming, making a product,” said Pindar Damianos, 42, the youngest of five siblings who grew up working at their family’s Pindar Vineyards in Peconic. “It’s very labor intensive, so you have to have a passion for it.”

It’s also a year-round endeavor, requiring constant trimming and pruning, tying down vines, fixing trellises, and other endless tasks. Along with his siblings and their mother, Barbara, Mr. Damianos now runs the vineyard that his late father, Dan, founded in 1980, seven years after the Hargraves claimed their stake. (One of his siblings, Jason, has also passed away.)

The inexperienced young Hargraves eventually did make wine, and ultimately expanded Hargrave Vineyards to 84 acres. But in 1999, with a pending divorce, they sold to an Italian prince named Marco Borghese and his American wife, Ann Marie, for almost $4 million. The vineyard was renamed Castillo di Borghese. Both Borgheses died tragically in 2014, Ann Marie from cancer, Marco several days later in a car crash. One of their children, Giovanni, has taken over the business.

Louisa Hargrave, 71, is a Long Island wine-making pioneer. In 1973, she and her then-husband Alex founded Long Island’s very first vineyard on a potato farm in Cutchogue.CreditTara Striano for The New York Times

But as with any family business, children don’t always want to carry on their parents’ legacy. That’s the case with Bedell Cellars, which is why Mr. Lynne’s estate has put the vineyard on the market.

Similarly, after Robert Palmer, the founder of Palmer Vineyards in Riverhead, passed away in 2009, one of his three daughters, Kathy Le Morzellec, put the vineyard’s two properties up for sale, although they came on and off the market over the course of several years. It wasn’t until 2018 that their 60 acres under vine in Cutchogue, originally listed at $3.9 million, went to an undisclosed buyer for $1.245 million. The Palmer tasting room, inventory and vineyard in Aquebogue, originally listed at $6.9 million, sold to the Massoud family, owners of Paumanok Vineyards in Aquebogue, for $4.2 million.

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