Oenophilia… Don’t know what that means?! The definition is, a love or obsession with wine. A word to describe me pretty accurately. In my opinion, wine is not a drink to get you white girl wasted, its more of an object that can take you to a different culture, or place, just like food can. There are vineyards all over the world, both big and small that make their own wine, each and every one being very different. A glass of wine to me…it’s a conversation piece, it is a way to unwind, relax and soak in the beauty around you. Whether it’s the beauty in your own home, someone else’s home, at a backyard bbq, at a vineyard, in a wine cellar, or at your favorite restaurant, it always leaves a memory and makes the experience that much more enjoyable.
I am lucky enough to live on Long Island, where the North Fork vineyards are just a drive away. We have been to many wineries all over the island, but to me, one stands out overall. From the moment you walk in, you feel as though you have transported somewhere in Italy. Have you ever walked into a place, and automatically felt you were at home? Well here, I tend to get an instant warm feeling, and can’t help but just look up and down and all around to look at the gorgeous structure this place offers. It has just enough dark wood to give a small rustic feel, and the chandeliers provide this old world elegance. The huge wine tasting barrel in the center of the room, with the twinkle lit branching, is so unique and is just overall stunning. If you haven’t figured it out yet, I am talking about Raphael’s Vineyard in Southold, NY.
A little history on the Winery …
Quoted from the story on the website ” Raphael was born from the vision of owner John Petrocelli, who named the winery in honor of his father and continues a centuries old family tradition of winemaking. The winery was designed by John Petrocelli who was inspired by the Italian monasteries of his ancestral home. The production facility blends classic Mediterranean architecture with modern winemaking equipment.”
Five years ago (this August), my husband (boyfriend at the time), and I decided to do our own wine tasting tour to celebrate our one year dating anniversary. We went to a couple of different vineyards, and ended up joining the wine membership at Raphael’s. It was an easy decision, and the best decision we could have made. Don’t get me wrong there are many gorgeous vineyards on the North Fork that provide both great wine and a nice atmosphere, but for us, Raphael’s just stole our heart from the moment we opened those double doors. Not only is the atmosphere stunning, the wine is also delicious. One really awesome part of being members at Raphael’s is the exclusive barrel tastings that you are invited to attend. Some of the events happen in the main ballroom and others happen in the wine cellar cave (which is hands down one of my favorite places on Long Island).
It is so stunning and provides such a unique ambiance, with an instant romantic touch. Attending these exclusive tastings, not only do you get to taste wine of all kinds, and all ages, you also are educated on a completely different level. Gabby is usually the host of the event, and she is in my eyes, someone so admirable in the wine world. Everything from her sweet soft presence, to the way she speaks about these wines, and the history behind it all, is just so fascinating. She is so educated and always so happy to answer any questions. She is wonderful and makes the tour & tastings that much more enjoyable.
Raphael’s has MANY different wines to offer and has had some amazing years with several high PTS to prove it. For those of you unaware of the PTS definition, wine spectator tasters review wines on the following 100-point scale: 95-100 Classic: a great wine. 90-94 Outstanding: a wine of superior character and style. 85-89 Very good: a wine with special qualities. 80-84 Good: a solid, well-made wine. Of course the wine options change all the time due to what is being grown and how the season turns out, but at the moment Raphael’s offers a wide range of wine. For their white selection they have Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, La Tavola, Riesling, Pinot Grigio, First Label Sauvignon Blanc, First Label Riesling, First Label Chardonnay & White Primo Reserve. For their red selection they have Bel Rosso, Estate Merlot, Cabernet Franc, La Fontana, First Label Merlot, Malbec Reserve, Merliance, Petit Verdot Reserve and Primo Reserve. They also offer a Rose of Pinot Noir and three different dessert wines, Riesling Port, Late Harvest Riesling and Merlot Port. At Raphael’s they offer a menu broken down into tasting flights of each category of wine. This is a great opportunity to try wines to your liking & also maybe experiment a little. Fairly new is their food menu which is also amazing, presentation and all! They offer everything from charcuterie platters, to flatbread pizzas, antipasto platters & a to die for Baked Brie! Overall you will be satisfied on both ends of wine and food.
When we started at Raphael’s I was only a white wine drinker, now I’m educated on all different wines and have a palette that has grown to like many more (& my first go to is Malbec… side note their Malbec is AMAZING!!!!).
Fun Fact: We actually chose Raphael’s as our destination for our engagement photos. Being that we celebrated one year of love, many firsts & found an escape that felt like another home, it just felt right. It is a place we hold very close to our heart, and we know it will forever be apart of our lives.
Raphael’s just has so much to offer and is appreciated at all ends. From the amazing, kind-hearted & very helpful staff, to a gorgeous clean facility, being family & pet friendly, a gorgeous view inside and out, amazing wine, amazing food, live music and a memory every time you go. They have provided not only delicious wines (I may have mentioned that twice but they really are just SOO good), but for us, also a second home. It is a place we look forward to going, and never want to leave and like I previously said, a place we know will forever be apart of our lives. On top of it, we also gained a lifetime friend, Diandra. Diandra is the heart of Raphael’s and makes our experience nothing but perfect every single time we arrive. She is a part of the Petrocelli family and has made us feel a part of her family. We have celebrated many occasions, ..our engagement, multiple birthdays, milestones, holidays, wine pairings with Forever & Always Sweet Treats and each and every one she has made so incredibly special for us and we cannot thank her enough!
So I will leave you with this… For my husband and I, a Raphael’s wine has a lot more meaning. It’s opened for occasions, it’s opened for holidays, it’s opened with special dinners, it’s opened for milestones, it’s opened at hard times, it’s opened for great times, but each and every time, it creates a new memory and we look back at where it all started on that 1st year anniversary ❤ So… Cheers & I give a TREMENDOUS recommendation to go try Raphael’s Winery in Southold, Long Island… And if you have already been, go back, and this time, take a moment to look around and really take in the beauty, take a second to smell the wine and swirl it in your glass before tasting and appreciate all the hard work that gets put into making it so special for you. Just fully enjoy all the beauty, both inside and out, that Raphael’s has to offer. xoxo
P.s. Coincidence or not that it ‘s National Wine Day! lolol.
Cheers & Enjoy