HARVEST attracts the East End’s top talents in winemaking and culinary arts, and benefits treasured regional causes. Below, get to the know some of the people and organizations behind HARVEST.
2013 MASTER OF CEREMONIES
Best-known as the founder of Best Cellars, Joshua Wesson has enjoyed a long and successful career in the wine-and-food industry. In 1984, Josh won the title of Best Sommelier in French Wines & Spirits in the United States. Two years later, he traveled to Paris to represent America in international competition, where he was named one of the top five sommeliers in the world by Sopexa, Food and Wines from France. In 2003, he received the prestigious Ambassador’s Award from the European Wine Council. In 2007, he merged Best Cellars with the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company and, two years later, was named Wine Enthusiast’s “Retailer of the Year.” In 2011, after leaving A&P, he founded Joshua Wesson Wine & Food, a retail and restaurant incubator. In 2012, Josh opened the first in-store wine & spirits business for Fairway Market, a top, NY-based grocery chain where he serves as corporate wine guru. His most recent book, Williams-Sonoma Wine & Food—A New Look at Flavor, was published in 2008 by the Free Press/Simon & Schuster. Josh is a regular commentator on NPR/Public Radio International’s “The Splendid Table.”
EVENT CHAIR EMERITUS
Roman Roth is winemaker at Wölffer Estate Vineyards and owns The Grapes of Roth. A native of Germany, he came to the East End of Long Island in 1992. He is Executive Vice President and a founding member of Merliance and Vice President of the Board of the Long Island Wine Council.
The Long Island Wine Council is an industry association dedicated to achieving recognition for Long Island as a premium wine-producing region. Its role is to provide a coordinated effort for the promotion and development of the region’s wine industry. The Council was founded in 1989 and currently has 48 full members.
Merliance, a nonprofit trade association, was formed in 2005 and is dedicated to advancing the quality in the production of merlot wines and merlot-based blends. We believe merlot is the signature grape of the region. It is the most widely planted grape, consistently performs well in our terroir and, because it’s so often used with other varietals, enriches most red wines of our region.
The Peconic Land Trust was established in 1983 to ensure the protection of Long Island’s working farms, natural lands, and heritage. Since its inception, the Trust has worked diligently with landowners, communities, and municipalities to protect more than 10,000 acres of land, conserving more working farms on Long Island than any other private conservation organization, and securing millions of dollars from the public and private sector for land protection.
The Long Island Farm Bureau Promotion & Education Foundation was just established in 2013–seeded in part with proceeds from HARVEST EAST END–to help fund scholoarships for aspiring young farmers.