Historical society unveils ‘A Toast to Long Island Wine’ exhibit

The Southold Historical Society is presenting “Clink! A Toast to Long Island Wine,” a visual essay exhibition of the history of wine on Long Island.

The historical society took a unique crowdsourcing approach to curate the exhibit. Members of the community and the wine industry were asked to donate or loan artifacts that showcased the beginnings and growth of North Fork vineyards. 

“We had a few roundtable discussions in the beginning of this process and we did a kind of crowdsourcing,” explained Deanna Witte-Walker, acting director of the historical society. “We tried to put it out to people so that we weren’t just using things from our collection.” 

The exhibit includes soil samples from Bedell Vineyards, a vintage grape crusher and corkscrews. Retired Southold chef John Ross also gifted a piece of artwork that features corks from various North Fork wineries from 1994, 

Southold Historical Society trustee Margaret “Lee” Cleary, who curated the pieces, said the idea for the exhibition came from a lack of display of the area’s wine history. 

“There’s no wine exhibit, no museum and [the vineyards] are 50 years old now,” said Ms. Cleary, adding that the historical society received a number of photographs and paintings from local artists pertaining to the Long Island wine industry. Some of the photographs on view were loaned from Louisa Hargrave, the North Fork’s first vineyard owner. 

The exhibition, made possible by a grant from the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation, can be viewed Saturdays and Sundays through Oct. 7 from 1 to 4 p.m. — and Wednesdays by advance appointment — in the Mayne Gallery at the Ann Currie-Bell House on Main Road in Southold. 

A donation of $5 per person and $10 per family is suggested.

Photo caption: The exhibition is now on display through Oct. 7. (Erika Peters photo)