Pindar Vineyards — Looking Ahead To The Future

Pindar Vineyards, Long Island’s largest and highest volume producer is without a winemaker.  Les Howard, who grew up working in Pindar Vineyards right out of Mattituck High School is leaving to take the same position with Raphael Vineyards.

Here is what Pindar Vineyards has released in regards to Les Howard leaving Pindar Vineyards for Raphael and where Pindar Vineyards is going.

Please join me in congratulating Winemaker Les Howard as he begins his new role as Winemaker at Raphael Winery.

After working for Pindar Vineyards for the second time throughout his career, he has decided to further his breadth of experience by working at a smaller winery, where he will focus on a different market. Les has worked at many Long Island wineries, including not only Pindar Vineyards but Osprey’s Dominion, Wolffer Estate Vineyards, Bedell Cellars, Jamesport Vineyards, and now Raphael Vineyards. It was a mutual decision that at this time our paths go in different directions as we continue to expand our product base and explore additional new markets. Our family’s commitment to making quality wines is unparalleled, and our customers are the best out there.
The winery experience at Pindar Vineyards has reached a new and exciting level. Jason Damianos will continue his role as the Executive Winemaker. Our California based team is making its way across the country and will be fully in place by August. As our market share continues to grow, we will be expanding our wine making staff and creating a unique experience for all of our customers. We are very excited about our family’s future, and we thank you for your support for over 30 years.
The Damianos Family (Dr. Dan, Barbara, Alexander, Shari, Jason, Alethea, Ken, Eurydice, and Pindar & Nicole + 4)

Another shocking turn of events on the east end.  Just as a few weeks ago, we all wondered where Raphael would turn.  Well, now we wonder where Pindar Vineyards will turn.  After a phone conversation with Pindar Damianos, I am eagerly excited to see where they will turn.  The first thought is to bring new blood into the Long Island Wine Industry.  Pindar hopes to have someone in place by August.  Just in time for the start of harvest, which may turn out to be one of the best yet.

In the meanwhile, Les is still at Pindar, finishing up some bottling of the 2009 wines, clearing up space for what will be a very interesting harvest for the 2010 year.  While the Damianos family is happy for Les, they are sad at the same time.  Remember, he started his winemaking career at Pindar.   Most thought Les had come full circle, returning home.  It is a mutual and amicable departure, though a bit melancholy.

Change is good, I have said it before, and I still believe it.  Les will be fine and Pindar will be fine.  I never thought Les would leave Pindar, just I thought Rich would never leave Raphael.  I only hope the best for all involved.   I cannot wait for the exciting future for Pindar Vineyards.

About Michael Gorton, Jr.

I am a Licensed Funeral Director who is having a love affair with Long Island Wine and the people that make Long Island wine so special. I am married to my wife Melissa and live in Rocky Point. Our first son Gabriel Noel was born on July 27, 2010. We have three cats and one dog.
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