Anthony Nappa studied botany at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst and completed a degree in ‘Fruit and Vegetable Agriculture’ from the Stockbridge School of Agriculture. Anthony went to New Zealand to receive his formal training in winemaking from Lincoln University in Christchurch where he received degrees in both Viticulture and Oenology. Anthony has extensive experience particularly in cool climate farming and winemaking. He has worked as a winemaker in New Zealand, Southern Italy, California, Massachusetts and New York.
Anthony joined the winemaking community on the east end of Long Island in 2007, in the same year establishing his own wine brand Anthony Nappa Wines with the production of 200 cases of Long Island Pinot Noir. Anthony was Head Winemaker for Shinn Estate Vineyards from 2007 to the 2010 vintage. Starting in the 2013 vintage Anthony Joined Raphael Vineyards as Head Winemaker.
What are the unique characteristics of your winemaking style?
I chose to make wine here on Long Island because I believe it is the best place to make wine on the east coast. We are able to make a broad range of world class wines in one place which is fun and interesting for a winemaker.
The unique character of this place is what dictates my wine style and makes it so unique. Our wines have naturally balanced chemistry allowing me to make wines without requiring any additives or adulteration when we pick our fruit. With moderate alcohol I am able to wild ferment all of our wines. And with modern techniques I am able to produce clean wines without filtration or fining.
I prefer wines that are structured and full bodied with a full middle and a long finish. We have plenty of fruit and acid in our wines here on long Island but what makes my wines unique is they are tannin driven, often times with little or no oak. I use different fermentation techniques for all of our different wine styles to accentuate them but the common thread is a focus on structure and balance.
What foods are paired best with the wines of Long Island?
Our culinary culture is what pairs best with our wines. As they evolve together the wines shine, expressing a long Island character that is truly unique.
Our small farms, fishing, wineries and restaurants, together are on the path to creating something special. A true localized cuisine that is reflective of this place, a symbiotic relationship supporting the whole environment and agriculture system to the table.
Our wines are fruity, acid driven, naturally balanced and all with moderate alcohol. Our wines pair perfectly with food, not just our whites and rose’s of course, but our medium bodied low oaked reds show great! Try an untraditional summer pairing like a slightly chilled red wine and some fresh fish or shellfish.
What Long Island wine would you recommend to someone just discovering the region?
I would recommend to explore our Sauvignon Blanc’s. Great food wines and summer wines I believe they are unique and distinctive here tasting somewhere between New Zealand and Sancerre. Naturally balanced and ripe, fresh and acidic they offer a broad spectrum of flavors and styles. There are many great local offerings including Raphael, Macari, Shinn, McCall, One Woman, Wolfer and Bedell.
What are your passions outside of wine?
My wife Sarah is a Chef and we are passionate about cuisine, our food and wine together. We love to travel, we met in New Zealand and we both spent many years studying and working abroad. We love the outdoors, camping, hiking and we both enjoy to Ski and Sail. It would be impossible to choose between the mountains and the Sea.
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