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Who's Who at Lieb Cellars

Who’s Who at Lieb Cellars: Ami Opisso

February 10, 2016

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Name and Position: Ami Opisso, General Manager

1. What do you do at Lieb Cellars?

I oversee all aspects of Lieb’s business including production, wholesale, tasting rooms, wine club, and marketing.  I also taste and collaborate with Russell on new wines.

2. How did you come to work in the wine industry?

I grew up on the North Fork.  After graduating college, I worked in advertising and marketing for several wine & spirits brands in NYC and Chicago.  I came home over a holiday vacation and went wine tasting with my sister in 2010.  I met the owner of a winery who asked me if I’d be interested in returning to the North Fork and managing her new tasting room.  I said “no way,” and then called her back a few weeks later and said “yes.”

3. What’s your favorite part about working at LC?

Hard to name one so I’ll do three.  1) Our surroundings.  I used to work in cold, corporate high-rises in the city.  One of my first offices in NYC had fluorescent lights and no windows.  Now I get to commute passed beautiful farm fields, breathe in fresh air every day, take walks in the vineyard and watch the sun set behind the bluffs across from our office.  I don’t take it for granted.  2) Our team.  Cliché, but it’s true.  I work with a group of smart, creative, dedicated team members who challenge and inspire me.  It’s rare to assemble a team that clicks.  We click.  3) The wine.  I LOVE wine.  I love learning about it, drinking it, talking about it, teaching about it.  It’s why I pursued my sommelier certification and why I’m headed to UC Davis next month for a week long intensive program on winery management.  Working at Lieb means doing what I love.

4. What are your favorite Lieb and non-Lieb wines?

Favorite Lieb wine is our Sparkling Rosé.  I think it’s one of the best and most unique wines made on Long Island.  I love Northern Italian lighter-style reds for pairing with pastas and burgers – Barbera, Dolcetto and  Barbaresco.  For whites, I like bone dry, grassy or minerally wines – German (or New York!) Rieslings, Muscdet (from France’s Loire Valley), New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs and Albariño from Spain.  You can find some awesome Albariño values.  I also am a HUGE rosé fan.  I’ll take any that are dry, fruity and high-acidity.  A box of our Bridge Lane Rosé is a staple in my house all spring and summer.

5. If someone gave you $100 and the day off, how would you spend it?

I’d probably take my husband and daughter to the city for a stroll around the West Village (my home away from home) and brunch at Morandi.  The lobster avocado crostini is TO DIE FOR.