Bedell Cellars Review
Address: 36225 Main Rd. Cutchogue,New York 11935.
Phone Number: 631-734-7537
Tasting Hours: 11:00-5:00, open until 6:00 Fri-Sat from Memorial Day through Halloween and by appt.
Region: Long Island AVA, North Fork of Long Island AVA, New York
Reviewer: Joanne Dunne
Review Date: 5/1/2012
Reviewer: Joanne Dunne
The Place: Bedell Cellars is probably the most modern and fashion forward of the wineries of the North Fork Wine Trail. While theyve been in business for about 30 years, the same as many of the others, they have taken a distinctly different route in everything wine. The décor of this winery is different, and so is their point of view. This winery is currently owned by Michael Lynne, an artist and film producer on The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and by a veteran winemaker, Rich Olsen Harbich, along with founding winemaker, Kip Bedell. Bedell creates its wine from about 80 acres from three different areas, both on-site and nearby. The wine tasting room is housed in a renovated potato barn, and showcases famous artwork and photographs by Michael Lynee and others. When visiting, one should take a look upstairs at the view from the windows onto its expansive vineyard. The notable factor of Bedell is their dedication to sustainability.
The Experience:  From the exterior, Bedell Cellars appears to be a typical Long Island wine tasting room (which is pretty snazzy already!), but the moment you walk in, their presence and the realization that this winery isnt like any other is immediately seen and felt. It is a small but high tasting room, with a loft, in hues of demanding reds, blacks, and touched with white, grey, and wood. Its very minimalistic in its design. I immediately noticed a sign on the bar that advertised for Sustainable Wine Growing in the area. Bottles of wine line the walls, using the sheer quantity of wine bottles as artwork. The upstairs loft is a gem for relaxing with oversized, plush arm chairs that make you want to sink and stay for hours and design books on the table. You simply have to experience it. Its definitely modern and simple.
Our pourer, however, blended so much into the bar area, its as if the stunning room sucked all the energy out of her. There was minimal conversation (perhaps in keeping with the design?), and while I could tell she was knowledgeable, it seemed to be just a job to her and she wasnt exploding to share all of her knowledge about Bedell or its wines. Most concerning to me was that I never heard her mention to us or anyone else, Bedells drive to promote and incorporate sustainability into everything they do. We entered breathless at the outstanding appearance of this wine tasting room and left just as breathless in shock at how boring our visit ended up being.
The Wines:  Bedell has definitely made its mark in the wine world and their efforts to create great wines have not gone unnoticed. Their red wine, Musee, is the only red Long Island wine to make the top of the well known Wine Spectator list. Their Gewurztraminer was the best we tasted during our day of wine tasting. Bedell is not for the wine buyer on a tight budget. Their lowest priced bottles are the First Crush White, and First Crush White, retailing for $20. Their famous muse is $75 a bottle, and most of their wines cost $30 -$40.