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Large section of Long Island's oldest vineyard back on the selling block

More than sixty acres of historic vineyard property

More than sixty acres of historic vineyard property and a home formerly occupied by the owners of the Castello di Borghese winery have been listed for sale, at a selling price of $3.69 million. Credit: Liz Gazlow

A large portion of Long Island’s first vineyard is once again on the selling block.

More than 60 acres of historic vineyard and a home formerly occupied by the owners of the Castello di Borghese Vineyard and Winery in Cutchogue are listing for sale, at an asking price of $3.69 million.

The 66-acre property includes 11 acres of vines that are among the first planted on Long Island, dating to the wine-pioneering Hargrave family in 1973.

Around five acres of the property include the Borghese family’s former four-bedroom home and detached barns dating to 1680, according to listing agent Joseph DiVello, of Century 21 Albertson Realty. He said the layout of the property "facilitates the potential for various equestrian, agricultural or development endeavors."

The sale does not include the adjacent Castello di Borghese tasting room on County Road 48 and an 18-acre parcel on which it sits. Owner Giovanni Borghese said he will retain that property and the tasting room as he continues to make and market Castello di Borghese wines. Around 14 of those retained 18 acres are planted with vines.

When the larger property is sold, Borghese said, he is "interested in leasing the vines and using the existing cellar" to make his wines, which will continue to be marketed under the Castello di Borghese name.

Among the varietals that are part of the vineyard sale are just over 5.5 acres of pinot noir, 2.5 acres of sauvignon blanc, two acres of cabernet franc and 3.5 acres of merlot grapes. Development rights on the property have been sold on all but four acres, meaning they can’t be developed, and "it’s the family’s wish that [the property] be kept as a farm," Borghese said.

Borghese, the son of former winery owners Marco and Ann Marie Borghese, both of whom died in 2014, remains an active and hands-on owner, running the day-to-day business with a dedicated team, he said. He's known to make deliveries himself to customers from Boston to Florida, and even as far away as California. "It's mutually beneficial because I enjoy the travel," he said.

Borghese said he'd previously bought out his brother and sister's interest in the property, then bought out his parents' former partners' interest in December.

This isn’t the first time the property has been on the selling block.

The Borgheses and unnamed partners bought it from the Hargraves in 1999, renamed it Castello di Borghese and proceeded to make their mark on the local wine community while winning multiple awards. The family first put the entire 85-acre property on the market in 2006 for $9.2 million, though no sale materialized.

Borghese's isn't the only vineyard on the market right now. Bedell Cellars, also in Cutchogue, was put up for sale for $17.9 million. Vineyard 48 also in Cutchogue went on the market in February for $6 million. Neither has announced a buyer.

Giovanni Borghese, in a Newsday interview last year, gave an inkling changes were afoot. He said he’d been considering several new business models with the intent of growing the operation. "We’re exploring the cost benefit of investing more into the vineyard," he said at the time.

Speaking of the sale and his plan for the business on Friday he said, "This is the best path forward to sustain Borghese vineyard as a special place with growth potential."

He called the plan to sell the 66 acres and the former family home purely "a business decision. The focus has always been on our wine and this transaction will enable us to elevate our intentions."

Correction: An earlier version of the story misstated the year that former winery owners Marco and Ann Marie Borghese died. It was 2014.

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