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‘Wine U Design’ Getting Better With Age

From crushing grapes to bottling, patrons are promised the best in ‘fermentertainment’

Normally, Long Islanders pack up their cars and head eastbound on the LIE for a winemaking or tasting experience, but Wine U Design gives aspiring local sommeliers the freedom to create and bottle personalized wines right here in Hicksville. 

The winery opened its doors at 156 Engineers Drive three years ago when co-owners Vincenzo Saulle and Gianni Fabrizi envisioned bringing several generations worth of family tradition to the contemporary corporate world.

“Gianni and I, this is the kind of thing that we would do as kids. Our fathers and grandfathers got us involved in the winemaking process. As the world is getting busier, especially in these parts, these traditions are dying out. We find a lot of people are doing home winemaking kits and the quality is poor, so we kind of wanted to bring this tradition back to the market place,” said Saulle.

The building’s industrial façade is far removed from the vast green acreage of Suffolk County’s renowned vineyards, but once inside, the sounds of jazz and aroma of uncorked spirits dismiss any notion that good wine can’t be made – and enjoyed – close to home. 

In the early evening hours on Sept. 13, patrons poured in to the Wine U Design winery to complete the final phase (bottling) of the personalized winemaking process, one that began nearly one year ago with the grape selection and a hands-on crash course in crushing. 

“They come into our place, ask us about different varietals and what we think might work for them or their group and we order them grapes based on what their taste profile is. Then they come in and it’s time to get dirty,” Saulle explained.

One week after crushing, winemakers came back to press the “must” (the grapes’ new state following crushing and fermenting) in order to squeeze and funnel the liquid into barrels, where the aging process begins. Throughout the next several months, the wine matures and stabilizes during the “rack” phase, during which the barrels are eventually emptied, cleaned and then refilled.

“There is nobody else doing it on Long Island. What we provide is a place where state of the art equipment and the best grapes we can get our hands on are waiting for the customer that wants to make high quality wine,” said Saulle.

The wine is also tested throughout the phases – and before the final phase, where bottles are filled, corked and sealed, winemakers are provided the materials to design their labels.

Patrons can take home to up 240 bottles of their own vintage or as little as one case. Specialty barrels are also available, as is the Wine U Design venue for everything from birthday to engagement parties. 

“They learn about what they’re doing; they learn about fermentation and they learn about the process. At the end, it’s a yearlong term after aging and all that. When they do give that bottle to somebody, there’s a sense of pride and a smile on their face because they can actually say, ‘I made this,’” Saulle said.

For more information, call (516) 939-9463, email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or find Wine U Design on Facebook.

News

At a recent meeting of the Farmingdale Board of Education, school district superintendent John Lorentz discussed New York State’s proposal to invest $2 billion into districts statewide

through the Smart Schools Bond Act.

 

If approved by voters in the upcoming general elections, the act would allow the state to borrow $2 billion in the form of a capital bond to provide students with access to classroom

technology and high-speed internet connectivity, with the goal of equalizing opportunities for children to learn, adding classroom space, expanding pre-kindergarten programs, replacing classroom trailers with permanent instructional space and installing high-tech security features in schools. 

Over the weekend, thousands of Long Island residents flocked to the Village of Farmingdale for its 26th annual Columbus Day Weekend Fair and Fireman’s carnival. Running from Oct. 9

to 13, the five-day affair featured live music from Farmingdale’s own Electric Dudes and Long Island party band Superbad, a Fire Department barbecue, food vendors, a street fair, fireworks, carnival rides, games for kids of all ages and, of course, the Columbus Day parade. 


Sports

Last week, officials with the St. Kilian Saints baseball team inducted John Lombardi and Aaron Powell into their Hall of Fame. 

 

—Submitted by Farmingdale PAL and St. Kilian Baseball 


The 2014 Reilly Cup finals featured the two most successful OTHG teams over the last 9 years. Sal’s Place and Singleton’s have had 11 finals appearances and 7 championships between them during this period of time. They split 2 games during the regular season and Singleton’s became the winner’s bracket representative in the 2014 Cup by beating Sal’s deep in the tournament.

 

Sal’s took the first game 14-7. The game was close until the 8th inning when Sal’s broke it open with some timely hits and taking advantage of a Singleton’s miscue or two.  Sal’s held

Singleton’s to 7 runs with outstanding all-around defense, which was particularly impressive given that some of their significant contributors were visibly fighting through late-season injuries. 


Calendar

Homecoming - October 24

Autumn Fair - October 25

St. Kilian Blood Drive - October 26


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com