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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

Last year, U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer stopped at Moby Drugs in Farmingdale to highlight the launch of a drug take-back program, which was designed to help residents remove addictive prescriptions out of their medicine cabinets. 

 

Yet, despite studies conducted by the Center for Disease Control—which found 70 percent of those addicted to prescription drugs get them from home, family or friends—federal regulations have prevented pharmacies in New York State from hosting the take-back program. 

Lt. Matt Komorowski of Farmingdale was recently honored with the first annual American Heroes award, for showing bravery when faced with impossible odds. 

 

On Sept. 11, 2001, Komorowski was one of  six FDNY firefighters with Ladder Co. 6, called to the World Trade Center just a short while before the tower collapsed. Arriving at the scene, Komorowski and the members of his ladder company rushed inside the building. As they rushed up the stairs the men of Ladder 6 stopped to assist Josephine Harris, a then 60-year-old Brooklyn grandmother, who was stuck in the stairwell of the building. 


Sports

 

The 2014 Farmingdale Flag Football season kicked off with a blast on Sept. 7.

 

3rd Grade Division

 

The Texans and the Jets played a great opening weekend game, with the Texans getting the victory.  For the Texans, touchdown pass from Joseph Spano to Jaxon Parisi with 20 seconds in the half broke a tie that the Jets never came back from.  The Jets were led by Brendan O’Keefe, who had two rushing touchdowns and Jimmy Caputo, who picked off a pass at the goal line.

 

Farmingdale State College’s women’s tennis team opened the 2014 season with an 8-1 victory over John Jay College (0-1) on Sept. 3. The Rams (1-0) held a 2-1 advantage after doubles play before sweeping the singles matches.


Calendar

Board of Education - September 17

A Town of the Taste - September 18

Evening with Jeffery Wands - September 19


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