“My father always says that our soil work—composting, adding kelp, no herbicide, etc.—helps create ‘lifeforce’ in the vineyard,” says Gabriella Macari. “It’s one of his favorite terms.”
Her dad Joe Macari’s good, careful vineyard work is legendary on eastern Long Island, as much for the good fruit that it reveals each season as the techniques he uses to coax the best from their vines and their land. It’s a mindset that travels through to their winemaking style, too, like using concrete egg-shaped vessels to ferment (that is, turn yeast and sugar into alcohol). What’s so great about an egg made out of concrete? It’s an old-new winemaking technique that, among other bonuses, helps a winemaker retain the freshness of the wine’s fruit.
“When he tasted the first wine we made in a concrete egg in 2013, the first thing [my father] said was ‘this wine has Lifeforce!’ My mom and I named the wine without telling him — he was surprised!” laughs Macari. But she and her mom were right. More concentrated than the 2019, the inky, intense 2020 Lifeforce pulses with energy in the glass, all crushed, juicy high-summer blackberries, black cherries, and a linear, grounding note of dried thyme.
Part of that departure is the vintage, sure, but it’s also the first one for new winemaker, Byron Elmendorf, and his more brooding, grippy, linear style, but still a beautiful expression of this food-friendly grape, which would be awfully nice alongside all those savory, rich Thanksgiving leftovers you have in the fridge. Lifeforce is sold predominantly via Macari’s wine club, but a few bespoke retail spots get bottles, among them Park Place Wines & Liquors. Get yourself some before it’s all gone.