Sam McCullough considers himself a life-long farmer. Growing up on the North Fork, he first worked on a farm at 12 years old and that was, as they say, that. He had found his passion and has been outside ever since. After earning a degree in Horticulture from Colorado State University at Fort Collins, Sam returned to the North Fork and began planting grapes. When asked what, after almost 30 years, he still finds exciting about being in a vineyard, Sam said, “There’s never a dull moment. Each year I learn something new. Each year I enjoy the challenge of achieving that balance between vine health and productivity to ensure wine quality.”
Since joining The Lenz Winery in late 1989, Sam has added to its original plantings. The vineyard now produces chardonnay, gewürztraminer, pinot gris, sauvignon blanc, cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon, malbec, merlot, petit verdot, and pinot noir.
An avid skier, sailor and overall outdoorsman, Sam also volunteers his time to protect the farmland he loves. He has served several terms on the Town of Southold Land Preservation Committee.
Tel: 631.734.6010 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
After earning a dual degree in Microbiology & Psychology from the University of Indiana, Eric Fry ventured to California where he worked in the lab at Robert Mondavi Winery. After 5 years with Mondavi, he took off to explore Europe. While working a harvest in France at Moulin des Costes, he developed a sense of respect for the craft of winemaking. It wasn’t all about the lab. “Wine is about flavor, aroma, mouthfeel.”
Eric returned to the United States with a keen interest in being a winemaker. At Jordan in Sonoma, he worked with wine consultant and enologist, André Tchelistcheff, who encouraged Eric to head to New York to work for his friend, Dr. Konstantin Frank, in the Finger Lakes. In the 4 years Eric worked at Dr. Frank, he enjoyed freedom to shape his own winemaking style, ever focusing on the developing flavors and aromas in each varietal wine.
In 1989, Eric became the winemaker at The Lenz Winery. After almost 3 decades at Lenz, Eric is still the most animated when talking to people about his wine. For Eric, the greatest challenge is in producing wines that showcase the best of each varietal. As he puts it, “I prefer varietal wines. I think merlot is wonderful. And I enjoy that little constraint of keeping to the nature of the grape itself.”
Tel: 631.734.7846 | No email. Eric prefers to speak with people!
After serving in the USMC, Thomas Spotteck transformed a hobby of brewing and fermenting into a career as a winemaker. He immersed himself in all aspects of the Long Island wine industry, working in the vineyard with our vineyard manager, in the cellar, and even spending time behind the counter in the tasting room. In addition to Long Island, Thomas has premium wine experience in Columbia Valley, WA and Stellenbosch, South Africa. He holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Viticulture & Oenology from Washington State University.
Thomas’ passion for creating great wines is inherited. He is the son of viticulturalist, Gordon Spotteck of Parlow, VA. In 2016, he returned home to Shelter Island and joined The Lenz Winery as our Winemaker & Oenologist.
Tel: 631.734.7846 | Email: Thomas@lenzwine.com