Welcome Pindar Winery, coming home to Three Village Farmers Market!
This week I met with Pindar Damianos at Pindar Estates in Peconic. Yes, his name is Pindar, he is the youngest son of the late Dr. Herodotus Damianos; a medical doctor who had his medical practice across from the Country House right here in Stony Brook. In the late 1970's Dr. Damianos bought a potato farm in Peconic and planted his first grape vines, naming the farm Pindar Vineyards, after his son.
Pindar grew up in the vineyards and during our discussion, kept going back to his roots, his history, his family. Anyone who knows me, knows that I love history, so I was hooked. History helps us to understand the present and anticipate the future. Pindar shared: “My father studied in Italy. He always loved wine and his intent was to grow grapes and make wine.” In the early 1980s Dr. Damianos, his wife (a nurse), and his 5 young children started to plant vines. His dream, paired with years of hard work, helped to build the winemaking industry on Long Island.
Pindar reminisced “In the early days, we were kids learning every aspect of the winery - plowing fields, planting grapes, the long days and long nights. The work shaped me, gave me good values and a unique perspective. It’s important to know the land. We all worked various jobs at the vineyard and now we’ve each settled into what we do best. After splitting into Jason Winery in Jamesport and Duck Walk on the South Fork, we still remain a tight family business."
“When my father started producing wine, Long Islanders were more often beer and spirits drinkers so when we planted those early vines, we made easy drinking wines, like our Winter White, to get people more interested. Over the years people’s tastes got more sophisticated—and so did our wines. My father purchased other parcels, eventually expanding the operation to more than 500 acres with 17 different grape varieties. Weather and soil have a lot to do with the wines we make. Each winery can grow their own amazing varieties because the climate is different on the North and South Shores.
My father always said “Surround yourself with good people”, and we do — Pindar is a complete team effort. Our staff are like family to us. Rose, our tasting room manager, has been with us for 30+ years.
You are 2nd generation wine family, tell me about your formal training, did you always know you wanted to continue the family tradition? We’re very fortunate that our father told us we could do whatever we wanted to do.” So I have degrees in Viticulture from California and in Oenology. Personally, I got lost in the interview for a moment because I was thinking “What could be more romantic than a double major in wine?
What are the most gratifying parts of your work? Education and having conversations! I love educating people about wine and Long Island, finding out their favorite. That’s one of the reasons I’m looking forward to Three Village Farmers Market. When I asked Pindar if making wine is a science or an art, he said “chemistry.” Then he said “Both. A collaboration. The winemaker has the knowledge and the taste buds and we are out in the tasting room with the people, learning about what they are looking for. So, it’s a combination of science and art, with a blend of people.”
What do you plan to get out of the Farmers Market? My father was a great doctor, he was all about people and enjoyed treating the whole person. I enjoy being a vintner just as much. It will be nice to bring wine to our home community. People in the area knew my parents and I will love to hear their stories.
What is one of your biggest challenges? Since we all work at the wineries, it’s rare we can get away together.
What are your plans for the future? We’d love to keep the legacy going. As my father said to us, it will be up to them, but fortunately my family seems to stay in either the wine industry or medicine.
Thank you, Pindar! This has been a pleasure and you’re incredible! Pindar brings a lot of passion to the wine industry. Today Pindar pretty much does what his dad did, overseeing all aspects of the business. It was clear to me that Pindar is a 24/7 kind of guy. He’s worked the fields since he was just a young child, and he’s learned lots of lessons along the way. Pindar was very humble while talking about all that his family has done for the wine community and he and his family clearly love what they do. Come and meet Pindar at Three Village Farmers Market every other Friday beginning June 10 between 3 and 7pm.
We're returning rain or shine June 3rd 2022., 3-7pm --please help spread the word. Ribbon Cutting 2:30
If you want to reach out to us at any time -- be it market feedback, inquiries about how to get more involved, or just to say hi -- feel free to message Linda here.