Today the 1977 Citroen H van that you see parked outside Croteaux Vineyards in Southold is painted a pleasing light green, swaths of colorful fabrics hang from its top and rows of pinkish wine line its shelves.
But the van, which has been dubbed “Rosé on the Run” by the vineyard’s owners, has origins that are far less glamorous than that of a mobile wine shop.
The van, which has been completely refurbished and now features a working 1963 engine, originally served as a butcher’s truck in Normandy, France. That was before the Croteau family discovered it about two years ago.
“When we found it, it had no engine and it was all rusted out,” said vineyard co-owner Michael Croteau, adding that it likely traveled from market to market each morning. “Its lifespan probably existed within a 20 to 30 mile radius. [The H van] was the proverbial work van in Europe.”
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