Hi, I’m Macey Reichel. I’m the assistant tasting room manager at the Lenz Winery in Peconic. I’ve been in this industry for almost seven years now and coming up on a little more than a year and a half here at Lenz.
I do a lot of different things day to day, from helping customers to managing the floor, taking reservations and figuring out where they’re going to go. Pretty much anything and everything that you can think of. I work behind the bar as well. We do individual tastings, tasting flights, we serve wine by the glass, bottle, we do cheese boards. It’s all what the customer wants, whether they want a very hands-on experience, a very knowledgeable experience. That’s kind of what we’re here for, to be wine educators.
I started in the wine world when I was only 20. I knew absolutely nothing about wine and was going to school for hospitality and tourism management at UMass Amherst. I was looking for a summer job in hospitality that I hadn’t experienced before, which led me to the vineyards. It’s my backyard. I was born and raised [in Riverhead.]
Then I never left. What intrigued me was how little I knew about wine and I think it made me more eager to learn. When I started working in a tasting room, I realized I kind of have to know what I’m talking about. It’s an art form, it’s all subjective and everybody has different tastes, which is really great.
Here, we’re pretty hands-on with the winemaking in the back. Our winemaker, Thomas, is out here all the time and we see him all day long. We get to see things happening in the cellar — tasting fresh-pressed juice, partially fermented, just before bottling and then when it’s released, the end product.
One of the challenges is the fast-paced nature of everything. But one thing I really enjoy is that you come across a lot of the same customers: wine club members, regulars, other industry members. It’s become a real community out here.
It’s really all about making those connections with everyone all day long and talking about something you love.
“The Work We Do” is a Suffolk Times multimedia project profiling workers on the North Fork made possible by Peconic Landing.