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Ev&Em Classic Stainless Steel Chardonnay. (Photo credit: Amy Zavatto)

It’s never easy to achieve the right balance when it comes to change. Some people get so excited about something new coming down the pike; others grumble and fuss, unhappy with old being swapped for new. At Ev&Em, owner Dan Abrams and managing partner and sommelier Vanessa Price seem to be achieving that unicorn of balance.

When Abrams bought the winery a couple of years back, it was known as Laurel Lake Vineyards. Housed in a broad, gabled ranch-style building with a sweeping porch, its winemaking had the know-how of the previous co-owner, Juan Sepulveda, who came from a family in the biz back in Chile. He’d discovered the vineyard when on a layover in New York and fell in love with the land and the potential of Long Island-made wine.

The vineyards were special. Abrams saw that. The original acreage was planted in the early eighties at the dawn of the Long Island wine industry, making these some of the oldest vines on the the North Fork.

When Abrams and Price came in, they knew Sepulveda was a keeper, too, and asked if he’d stay on as winemaker. But the dated aesthetics on the bottles and the tasting room … well, they needed a little upgrade.

And that’s what happened. They sold through the old stock, and now, the wines coming from Ev&Em are part of this new collaboration, respecting the past and seizing the future.

(Photo courtesy of Long Island Wine Country)

“It is so special to have our very first vintage produced by our wine making team at Ev&Em Vineyards come from some of the oldest Chardonnay vines on Long Island—40 years old!,” says Abrams. “I love the sea salt spray that is evident in every sip, and that the wine can start before dinner and carry you all the way through the meal. We hope the readers of the Southforker enjoy!”

How could you not? The wine is a delight, through and through. It’s clean and bright, with a refreshing note of salinity running through it, like a little sprinkle of sea salt on just-ripe orchard fruit. We love the notes of Bosc pear, yellow apple and honeydew melon here—so fresh and vibrant, but never too much. Everything about this classic wine’s aromas, flavor and structure combine to create a liquid state of refreshment. It needs oysters—and fortunately, Long Island waters are very giving when it comes to that crustacean. Grab some of each for the weekend and raise a glass to positive change and honoring the best of the past.