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Page 72 December 20, 2013

Top Honors for New Local Winery isa Donneson burst onto the Long Island wine scene in a grand way. She had a full sweep at the New York Wine and Food Classic this year: her 2010 Bouquet White Dessert Wine won a Double Gold Medal, the 2012 Bouke Rose took Silver, and the 2010 Bouquet Red Dessert wine finished with a bronze. Donneson’s company features two brands. Bouké is the label for her dry wines and Bouquet speaks to the aroma of the sweet wines. We meet at a small café in Greenwich Village, Home Restaurant on Cornelia Street, where her wines have been featured. She is also in Empire State Cellars in Riverhead, McNamara Liquors in Bridgehampton, and has done tastings at Bay Burger in Sag Harbor. And—oh yes, she says quietly, Whole Foods! Whole Foods? That’s a pretty big coup for a small wine maker, but Donneson is more than familiar with big business. As a former securities analyst at Solomon Brothers, covering the media industry, she comes by her business savvy the old fashioned way: she worked at it. “They were a very powerful company,” she says. “It was an exciting period, the market was very strong then.” She now uses her Bouquet or Bouké? yes, please! abilities to promote her own brand. “I didn’t know anybody in the wine business,” It would seem to be a big jump from big business to boutique wines, but Donesson was already on her she says. She “asked around,” and was introduced way. “In college I went grape picking in Tuscany… to Gilles Martin [consultant at Sparkling Point and that’s where I fell in love with my husband [Henry Sherwood House wineries]. “We tasted a lot of Weisberg]. We traveled a lot in Europe and you can’t wines...discussed the merits of different wines at different price points...We also tasted a lot of food help but get seduced by wine there.” A friend with a “million dollar cellar” enlisted together. We wanted the wine to go with foods we Donesson to help plan dinner parties around his really eat.” The first year Donneson did all the marketing wines. “I got very elaborate. ‘Why don’t you take a

NORTH FORK For more events happening this week, check out: Arts & Galleries Listings pg. 79, Calendar pg. 86, Kids Calendar pg. 87

THuRSDAy, DECEMbER 19 WineMaKeR’S WalK vineyaRD ToUR & Wine TaSTing 1 p.m. A guided tour of Castello di Borghese Vineyard and Winery. Call to make reservations. 17150 County Road 48, Cutchogue. 631-734-5111

FRIDAy, DECEMbER 20 live MUSiC aT TWeeD’S 7–10 p.m. Various artists on Friday Nights. 17 East Main Street, Riverhead. 631-208-3151 FRiDay nigHT live MUSiC aT oRegon RoaD 6–9 p.m. Live music every Friday night. Mark Anderson and Jon Divello. Local beer, light fare. Lieb Cellars Oregon Road, 13050 Oregon Road, Cutchogue. 631-734-1100

SATuRDAy, DECEMbER 21 SpaRKling poinTe pReSenTS eaT, DRinK anD Be SpaRKling 11 a.m. Join Sparkling Pointe every Saturday and Sunday in December to celebrate the versatility of sparkling wine when paired with your favorite holiday meal. Sparkling Pointe Vineyards & Winery, 39750 County Road 48, Southold. 631-765-0200 KeiTH MagUiRe aT MaRTHa ClaRa vineyaRDS 1–4 p.m. Free admission. 6025 Sound Avenue, Riverhead. 631-298-0075

live MUSiC eveRy SaTURDay aT lenZ WineRy 2–5 p.m. Also on Sundays. The Lenz Winery, 38355 Main Road (Route 25), Peconic. 631-734-6010 live MUSiC eveRy SaTURDay aT lieB CellaRS oRegon RoaD 2–6 p.m. Rain or shine. Open every day from 12–7. 13050 Oregon Road, Cutchogue. 631-298-1942

herself. “I went door to door everywhere selling my wine...No one feels the love and urgency the way I do. I did so well I quintupled the production. It was too that point I got a distributer...I went a little too fast.” She took a step back and diversified the line. “I wanted to keep it simple. We came out with Perlant—a trio of pinots. That was a beautiful wine and went very well with oysters...Because it was a sparkling wine, it went out pretty quickly.” She started making dessert wine in 2008, their Vin Doux Natural, a fortified wine. “My idea was to have a wine that could take you through a whole dinner.” She wants to continue to grow her brand. She has added a boutique to her website featuring wine-related items that she has personally chosen for her customers. “There are great gifts to send with wine: leather wine carriers for your bike, a bamboo wine rack. All interesting and welldesigned.” She would eventually like to combine the wine with a floral business in a brick and mortar store. Don’t be surprised if you see her setting up shop in the near future. She’s a local. Her husband’s family has had a home in Sag Harbor since 1958, and Donneson co-authored the Guide to Sag Harbor: Landmarks, Homes and History with Weisberg after they graduated from college. It’s only a matter of time before Donneson’s Bouquet Wine is blooming all over the Hamptons. Drink now, but keep your eyes peeled for her next venture. She’s smart, she’s creative, and has already proven she’s a winner. For more information, visit or


Keith McGuire at Martha Clara 1–4 p.m. (see below)

SuNDAy, DECEMbER 22 FooD DRive aT FiRST paRiSH CHURCH 10:30 a.m.–noon. First Parish Church UCC is collecting for all local food pantries. Canned, jarred and boxed goods needed. First Parish Church, UCC, 5267 Sound Avenue, Northville. 631-608-3827 live MUSiC aT RapHael vineyaRD anD WineRy 1–4 p.m. Live music weekly. 39390 Route 25, Peconic. 631-765-1100 TaSTing SUnDay: 7 DayS oF BiSTRo 72 Noon–11 p.m. Prix fixe dinner with half-price local wine and beer flights. No corking fee on Long Island wines. Bistro 72, 1830 West Main Street, Route 25, Riverhead. 631-369-3325


FRIDAy, DECEMbER 27 FRiDay nigHT live MUSiC aT oRegon RoaD 6–9 p.m. Live music every Friday at Lieb Cellars. Lieb Cellars, 13050 Oregon Road, Cutchogue. 631-734-1100

SATuRDAy, DECEMbER 28 Winin’ CHeeSe aT MaRTHa ClaRa vineyaRDS 2–5 p.m. Free admission. 6025 Sound Avenue, Riverhead. 631-298-0075

N. Chowske


class,’ he said.” She enrolled in the prestigious WSET [Wine and Spirit Education Trust]. “At the end of the classes, I thought: I’m going do it. And that was it,” she says. Launched in 2008 with one red and one white, Bouquet now produces eight different wines, yielding 700–800 cases a year. And Donesson is pretty much a one-woman show except for a little help on the production side.

By DeBBie Slevin

peconic lane, peconic

SuNDAy, DECEMbER 29 loCalS nigHT aT ReSTaURanT alURe 7 p.m. Prix fixe. Bring a bottle of local wine and get it corked without fee. Restaurant Alure, 62300 Main Road, Southold. 631-876-5300

TuESDAy, DECEMbER 31 neW yeaR’S eve aT aMano 4–10 p.m. Two seatings. 4–6 p.m., $35 per person, 6:30– 10 p.m., $55 per person. Amano Osteria & Wine Bar, 13550 Main Road, Mattituck. 631-298-4800 See a complete list of Christmas and New Year’s events at For more events and to post your event online, go to Events submitted be noon Friday will be considered for the print calendar.


Dan's Papers December 20, 2013 Isue

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