From humble beginnings to world class wines
It all began in 1977, when 15-year-old Richie Pisacano began working in the pioneering vineyards of Long Island where he witnessed firsthand the profound impact one can have. Driven by a harmonious blend of timeless wisdom and a clear vision, Richie's path led him to acquire land in Riverhead, where the seeds of Roanoke Vineyards were sown. It was on this precious ground that he unveiled his true muse, focusing his devotion on nurturing the rare and elusive cabernet sauvignon — a varietal overlooked by many at the time.
In the lee of a hill, in aim of the sun
Nestled between the Long Island Sound and the Atlantic Ocean, our vineyard thrives in the gentle influence of maritime breezes which, at nightfall, bring a refreshing coolness to the vines even on the warmest days. This unique microclimate, coupled with the sun-drenched summer days and cool nights, creates an ideal environment for the grapes to ripen slowly and develop their exquisite flavors. The harmonious interplay of temperature, humidity, and gentle winds bestows upon Roanoke Vineyard a distinct advantage, fostering grapes that embody the essence of the land and reflect the artistry of winemaking at its finest. Located slightly further west than the rest of the North Fork’s vineyards, we are fortunate to have a bit warmer weather that gives us a ripening advantage ideal for growing the varietals we are most passionate about - Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.
The sum of the land, the weather and the people
This remarkable land, caressed by the gentle breezes of the nearby coast, unveils a tapestry of microclimates and diverse soil compositions. From the sandy loam near the shore to the mineral-rich clay further inland, the terroir of Riverhead offers a symphony of flavors and complexities, creating an ideal canvas for grape expression. Bathed in abundant sunshine, moderated by maritime influences, and blessed with a unique balance of moisture and drainage, this terroir gifts the vineyards with optimal conditions to nurture grapes of exceptional character and express the true essence of the land.
In the Vineyard
Seven and a half miles of love
Gabby Pisacano, our esteemed late vineyard master, continues to influence our varietals from one vintage to the next. With meticulous pruning, Gabby understood the importance of eliminating fruit to enhance airflow, minimizing disease risks. Early intervention also results in higher flavor concentration, a tradition we uphold throughout the vineyard until harvest. Our attention to each vine is critical to our success. By nurturing the potential of each vine, the vineyards find balance and harmony which, in turn, is reflected in our wines. At Roanoke Vineyards, all due respect is given to the natural order of things, and the shared dependence we have with the native flora, fauna and insects. They secretively, and often not so secretively, live out their lives among our vines and do their part to keep the vineyard’s ecology balanced and healthy.