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Lieb Cellars and Lieb Vineyard are owned by Mark and Kathy Lieb. Born and raised in West Hartford, Connecticut, Mark lived for several years in California where he developed his passion for wine. Mark became involved with vineyards during the early 1980s when he worked closely with a friend who had purchased an 80-acre vineyard in Sonoma, which later became the Landmark Winery. While looking to buy vineyards in California, Mark and Kathy experienced an earthquake. After the dust settled, Kathy turned to Mark and asked, “When is the next flight out of here?”
Returning to the East Coast in 1985, Mark began to research potential vineyard locations. Drawn to the North Fork of Long Island by the beauty of the land and the superb growing conditions for high-quality grapes, Mark and Kathy found a 20-acre vineyard for sale in 1992. They decided that this location was ideal for their plans and purchased it immediately. Thus, they found their home on the East End of Long Island (where the earthquakes are much less frequent!). A true family-owned and operated business was born. In 2012, with 50 acres of vineyards and two Tasting Rooms, Lieb Cellars has evolved into a diverse winery and a trusted name in the wine world.
Lieb Cellars produces its wines and operates its tasting room at The Premium Wine Group (PWG), a custom crush facility located in Mattituck, LI, just minutes from Lieb Vineyard. PWG, owned by Russell Hearn, Mark Lieb, and Bernard Sussman, opened its doors in September 2000 with some of the highest quality and most advanced wine-making equipment to be found in North America. The state-of-the-art facility provides “custom crush” services for many wineries and growers in the area, establishing the North Fork as an internationally acknowledged high quality wine-producing region.
Since Lieb Cellars acquired the vineyard in 1992, the soil content has been strengthened, and the pruning process upgraded. Lieb implemented a unique approach, eliminating the use of all herbicides in this growing region, and that strategy is now applied in all portions of Lieb Vineyard. On August 19, 2005 Lieb Cellars received a Federal Grant from the US Department of Agriculture’s Conservation Security Program for “Meeting High Standards of Conservation and Protecting the Environment”.* With this grant the winery will receive funds over a ten-year time period to continue good practices that protect the soil and water. Mark Lieb, owner of Lieb Cellars, said: “We’ve been extremely protective of the environment since my wife Kathy and I started the vineyard in 1992, because this is our home, and not just a commercial vineyard. The soil has top cover to eliminate erosion, and organic fertilizer is used to reduce excess nitrogen which is bad for water quality and aquatic life. We make sure nitrogen additions are minimal and there is no run-off”. Mr. Lieb states that his operation will continue to employ these good practices to preserve the environment.
* The USDA Grant is awarded to vineyards based upon the number and type of conservation practices that are performed in the vineyard. Lieb Cellars scores in the top tier of conservation practices, which include: use of organic fertilizers; minimal nitrogen additions that are only applied when needed based upon accurate soil testing; control of all runoff of rain and sprays to minimize impact upon aquifers, estuaries and marine habitat; topsoil conservation by maintenance of year-round ground cover and minimal rototilling; a set habitat preservation for indigenous wildlife.
Other eco-friendly practices include hand-tending of the vines versus large scale mechanical systems for canopy, weed control and harvesting. Our vineyard crew inspects our vines daily, so we can tend to individual plants and clusters and select the best grape clusters for our wines.