The Winemakers from L to R
Roman Roth; Anthony Nappa; Russell Hearn; John Leo
Anthony Nappa studied botany at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst and completed a degree in ‘Fruit and Vegetable Agriculture’ from the Stockbridge School of Agriculture. Anthony went to New Zealand to receive his formal training in winemaking from Lincoln University in Christchurch where he received degrees in Viticulture and Oenology. Anthony has extensive experience particularly in cool climate farming and winemaking. He has worked as a winemaker in New Zealand, Southern Italy, California, Massachusetts and New York where he was Head Winemaker for Shinn Estate Vineyards from 2007 - 2011. Anthony joined the winemaking community on the east end of Long Island in 2007, in the same year establishing his own wine brand Anthony Nappa Wines with the production of 200 cases of Long Island Pinot Noir, named Nemesis.
Russell Hearn of Suhru Wines, T’Jara Vineyards and Winemaker for Pellegrini Vineyards
With 30 years of winemaking experience, in Australia, New Zealand, France and the USA, Russell Hearn has taken his Australian training with him throughout the journey. During the last 20 years on the North Fork of Long Island, As winemaker for Pellegrini Vineyards from 1991 to 2012, Russell is also the founding partner of Premium Wine Group (est. 2000), a Custom Crush facility in Mattituck. Suhru wines was founded in 2008 by Russell and his wife Sue as the family’s private label. Russell is also partners in a single vineyard wine project called T’jara established in 2007. He thoroughly enjoys bringing his wine experience and passion to the creation of wines of unique distinction and style. Russell has established himself as an industry veteran who has helped forge our region one known for producing World Class Wines.
Roman Roth of The Grapes of Roth and Winemaker for Wolffer Estate
The son of a winemaker and cooper, Roth started his winemaking career in 1982 with formal training in Germany. After an intense apprenticeship and hands on experience at California’s Saintsbury Estate and Australia’s Rosemount Estate, he graduated with the title of Master Winemaker and Cellar master from The School of Oenology in Weinsberg, Germany. Roth came to Long Island in 1992 to fulfill his passion to craft fine wines as the winemaker for Wolffer Estate, where today Roth is the winemaker and technical director. At Wolffer, Roth oversees every detail of the production. He is also the winemaker/consultant to several other high quality producers, including Roanoke, Scarola and Gramercy Vineyard. Roth launched his own label “The Grapes Roth” with the stunning 2001 vintage.
John Leo of Leo Family and Winemaker for Clovis Point
A native of the Hudson Valley, New York, John graduated with a journalism degree and immediately proceeded to wander slowly around the world. He started working in wine in 1982 and joined the East End wine growing community in the early 1990s, becoming winemaker for Clovis Point, in Jamesport in 2004. John works full-time at Premium Wine Group where he makes the wines of Clovis Point as well as Leo Family Red. A journalist by training, traveler by inclination, and grape grower by preference, John believes in honest hard work, natural transformation and the pleasure of sharing a bottle with friends.
As a Buffalo NY native, the Riesling grape has always been close to Erik Bilka’s heart. Erik has been part of the Long Island wine industry as production winemaker at the custom crush facility Premium Wine Group since 2001. He also is the winemaking consultant for Castello di Borghese and Harbes Family Vineyards. Having established himself as a successful member of the Long Island wine industry, Erik brought Influence Wines to life starting with the release of his 2010 Riesling. Whether in the vineyard or the cellar, every step in winemaking creates a different Influence, Influence Wines strives to demonstrate that “no two wines are alike” by showcasing the fingerprint that a winemaker leaves on the wine.
Biography and photo coming soon...