After a report by the New York Post this week that the industry was "under-supplied by roughly 300 million cases a year — the worst dry spell in 50 years, the research firm Morgan Stanley claims," some panicked.
The Post article stated that wine drinkers worldwide were drinking more wine than vineyards could produce, due to a spike in popularity in the U.S. and China, which has allegedly quadrupled its wine consumption in the past five years, according to the report.
The article also said crops were down internationally due to poor harvest and weather, and other issues; a price hike could be expected, the piece read.
But in Sayville, and on the North Fork, experts said the rumors were nothing to worry about.
Barney Loughlin, whose family runs Loughlin Vineyards on the historical Meadow Croft estate on South Main Street in Sayville, dismisses the notion of any wine shortage now or in the future, especially on Long Island.
Loughlin Vineyard harvests merlot, cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay grapes to produce about 1,000 cases of dry and sweet wines each year
“We got plenty of wine here [Long Island],” he told Patch, shaking his head at the notion of a global shortage as he worked at the six-acre vineyard which is the closest Long Island vineyard to New York City. “We’ve got over production,” he added.
The Sayville vineyard’s first harvest was in 1985 and for its 25th anniversary it started its own processing facility so all its wines are now estate grown and bottled in Sayville.
Rich Olsen-Harbich, winemaker at Bedell Cellars on the North Fork, said he had seen the article. "It's mainly just a statistical artifact that occurs when you add the drinking population of China into the equation. It's a non-story."
The United States, Olsen-Harbich said, produces "plenty of wine."
He added that wine lovers need not worry about a shortage. "If anything, the amount of high quality wines has increased worldwide over the past decade so wine lovers should rest easy. Most importantly, vintners on the North Fork have just finished one of the finest vintages in our history, so everyone should look forward to the wines produced in 2013, which are going to be outstanding."
Steven L. Bate, executive director of the Long Island Wine Council, added that he found no reason for concern.
"I found the story a little strange. Just because there are different reasons around the world, and there may be different harvest conditions in one part of the world, there are usually good crops growing elsewhere. In some regions, like ours, you could always say there is a little bit of a shortage, because many wineries sell out of their product, which is a good thing — we're all boutique products. I've seen the experts chiming in on this, and they have all kind of agreed the story is weird."
“We tend to run constantly between glut and drought year after year," said James Silver, general manager of Peconic Bay winery, who will be moving to Sonoma later this month. "I’m not moved by the supposed shortage, but would welcome, as a business person, a rise in overall wine prices so long as quality were maintained, as I suspect it would be. Smaller yields tend to produce better wines on average.”
He added that, with California showing its second huge harvest in a row, straining the capacity of many wineries, "they seem to be the ones poised to take advantage of this shortage, especially in light of the harsh frost in Chile which has drastically reduced that country’s output. If New York wineries have any advantage, it probably is mitigated somewhat by our lack of presence at those price points.”
- Additional reporting by Judy Motti.