Our Winemaking Process

Attention to detail doesn’t stop with the architecture; it permeates the entire winemaking process. From careful monitoring of the fruit through harvest, to the application of the most modern wine making techniques down to the award winning bottle label design, Bob and Joyce strive to make the very best wine Long Island has to offer.

The Vines

Aside from the 35 acres at the winery site in Cutchogue, Pellegrini has two additional vineyard sites – Richmond Creek in Peconic and South Harbor in Southold. Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Gewurztraminer grapes are grown there. These 70 planted acres produce 185 tons of sustainably grown grapes annually (approximately 10,000 cases of wine).

Unique Microclimate

Our vines have the good fortune of growing on Long Island’s North Fork. Buffered by the surrounding Peconic Bay, Long Island Sound and Atlantic Ocean, the vineyards are provided with a distinct regional microclimate and a prolonged 220 day ripening season. The tempering of heat and cold provides an extended warm fall and relatively mild winter. As the sunniest town in New York State, Cutchogue has a maritime climate and rainfall totals paralleling that of Bordeaux. Soil composed of sandy loam and gravel is quickly warmed, porous and well drained. These provide ideal conditions for growing healthy Vinifera grapes.

Traditional Meets State-of-the-Art

Visitors to our production cellar can see how innovative equipment is put to use within a traditional winemaking framework. A gentle membrane press extracts high quality juice, low in solids. Grapes are fermented in stainless steel tanks totaling over 43,000 gallons. Six of these tanks are unique, ten ton open-topped red grape fermenters that use the first pneumatic punch-down system on Long Island, a gentle cap management method which extracts deep color and soft tannins from the grapes. Deep beneath the winery lie row upon row of temperature and humidity controlled French oak barrels slowly aging the wines to perfection. We believe a soundly made wine requires minimal manipulation in the cellar and as such, Pellegrini is among the few Long Island vintners to bottle many of our wines unfiltered.

Our Winemaker

My name is Zander Hargrave and I am a second generation winemaker on the North Fork. My parents, Louisa and Alex Hargrave planted the first commercial Vinifera grapes and started the first winery on Long Island in 1973. I grew up in Cutchogue and revere this place. It is an honor to make wine for Pellegrini Vineyards. Everything about this state of the art winery was designed with purpose and technique in mind. From the gentle membrane press to the delicate de-stemmer to the non-macerating diaphragm pump to the six open fermenters with pneumatic punch down to the 500 liter French Oak barrels for extended Chardonnay ageing, Pellegrini has provided the tools with which to make the best wine possible. We seek to grow and craft fruit driven wines of depth, complexity, and finesse which express the full potential of Vinifera grapes on the North Fork of Long Island. The goal is always to allow ripe fruit to shine with as little intervention as possible, while maintaining control and quality. Great wine is grown in the vineyard and shaped in the cellar.

Wine is an incredible thing, grown through the course of a year and transformed by millions of fungi into an elixir equally capable of inspiring enlightened conversation and elevating food. Wine is quite literally alive and evolving as it ages, much like I aspire to do. Wine is capable of capturing the nuances of the year in which it was grown much like a time capsule. You can taste a wine and conjure up memories of long summer days in the sun, salt smell of the breeze coming off the Sound, the afternoon shower in August that quenched the garden. The grapes hold these truths and more but it is you that bring them to life with each glass. I look forward to introducing myself to you, both in person and through Pellegrini’s wines.


In Vino Veritas, In Veritas Amare (in wine truth, in truth love)