Eat Drink Local Profile #18: Richard Olsen-Harbich, L.I. Winemaker

Richard Olsen-Harbich, courtesy of Bedell Cellars

The Winemaker:

Richard Olsen-Harbich, Long Island wine pioneer and new winemaker at Bedell Cellars

What He Does:

This summer Richard Olsen-Harbich was appointed winemaker of Bedell Cellars, a long-time leading winery of the North Fork of Long Island, which with its sister, Corey Creek Vineyards, produces nearly 10,000 cases a year. (Side note for artsy types: Bedell’s owner Michael Lynne is also a film producer — including for Austin Powers and Nightmare on Elm Street. And their bottles have commissioned labels from Chuck Close, Ross Bleckner, and Barbara Kruguer: Keepers!) Along with their art blends (Taste, Gallery, Musée) and reserve labels, they also make a celebrated Gewürztraminer and Provençal Rosé. But Richard has long been an influence in the Long Island wine world before he joined Bedell: He’s a true veteran of Long Island wine country. His 30 years in the industry can be earmarked by positions at Hargrave Vineyards, Bridgehampton Winery and Raphael; he’s created many renowned Merlots and Cabernet Francs and a popular rosé called Croteaux Vineyards 314.

Why We Love Him:

We love Richard’s three decades of wine-making prowess, and also that he’ll be helping attendees whet their whistles at the Art of Farming gala dinner, which follows the heirloom vegetable at Sotheby’s on September 23rd — the unofficial kickoff of Eat Drink Local week. The Sotheby’s dinner features the works of Jean-George Vongerichten (ABC Kitchen), Roberto Alicea (Andaz 5th Avenue), Jeff Gimmel (Swoon Kitchenbar, Hudson, NY) and Myriam Eberhardt (pastry chef at DBGB)–all alongside Bedell whites and reds. Could there be any better pairing of art, food and wine? We think not.

Where To Find Him:

Bedell’s beautiful bottles can be found all across the city, including at The Modern, Le Berdardin and 21 Club. Bedell also offers a Discovery Club and Collectors Club, where members receive special just-released bottles four times a year. You can also visit their Cutchogue, L.I. tasting room for $8-$12 flights year-round from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. or a 2-hour VIP tour and tasting on weekends from noon till 3 p.m. for $35 per person. And we can’t promise this will help you get in, but go ahead and tell Rich the Edibles sent you. And be sure to reserve some sips at the Amish-style heirloom vegetable auction after-party at Sotheby’s during Eat Drink Local week on September 23rd!

From September 26th to October 6th Edible Manhattan, Edible East End and Edible Brooklyn — in conjunction with Edibles statewide and GrowNYC — present Eat Drink Local week, our celebration of the local food chain through heirloom vegetable auctions, wine tastings, DIY challenges, lectures, garden tours, farm to table dinners and countless other events. Over the next few weeks we’re highlighting a few of the restaurants, wine shops and wineries, breweries and beer bars, farms and food artisans and cultural institutions that the week is meant to celebrate.

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