Another Long Island winery has been sold, this time Jamesport-based Diliberto Winery, for just under $3 million, according to its co-founder.
Diliberto Winery, a boutique winemaking operation with a 2-acre vineyard, a home and a tasting room with a separate apartment above, sold to Greg and Jacqui Goodale, part of the family that owns Riverhead Building Supply, pending approval of a liquor license.
The property went on the market in August for just under $2 million, but the sale eventually included a second lot to bring it to just under $3 million, said Salvatore Diliberto, who with his wife, Mary Ann, bought and converted an old barn into a Tuscany-like tasting room, starting in the 1990s. The first vines were planted in 1998 and the tasting room opened in 2007.
Salvatore Diliberto, a lawyer who continues in private practice, said his decision to sell came as he reached his 75th birthday last year and realized he didn’t have anyone in his family willing to take over the winery.
"You start getting up in years and it’s not as easy to do some things you used to before," he said.
But he’s not retiring. In addition to the law practice based in Queens, Diliberto operates a wine touring company with his wife and daughter called dilibertowinetours.com.
Diliberto and his wife plan to stay on a house on the property for a year, he said, after the new owners get their liquor license. The couple is having a new home built 20 minutes from the Jamesport-based vineyard.
Jacqui Goodale confirmed the pending purchase in an interview and said she expects final closing of the sale in the next two weeks. She said the family plans to preserve the hard work of the Dilibertos in building the winery and tasting room, but expects to bring their own brand to the operation, and a focus on education, starting online.
"We are so excited to become part of the industry and to bring something fresh to the North Fork," Goodale said.
Diliberto had been primarily an "adults-only" tasting room, with a 1,600-square-foot home built in 1997, a private apartment above the tasting room, the small vineyard — all with the "ambience of an Italian piazza," Newsday previously reported.
Diliberto made a name for himself on the North Fork not just as a two-year president of the Long Island Wine Council (now Long Island Wine Country) but also as perhaps the only singing winemaker. He’d often treat his guests to live music, accompanied by piano, during tastings.
He said the new owners can expect him to make cameo appearances, both to help with the wine operations, and for entertainment.
"I’ll be here when they need me," he said. "I’ll be happy to. I’d like to see the business do really well."
Listing agent Valerie Goode of Colony Realty said showings during the six-month time it took to sell were brisk. "The North Fork is just continuing to gain momentum in terms of being sought after," she said.
Two other wineries — Bedell Cellars and Vineyard 48 in Cutchogue — remain on the market. Laurel Lake Vineyards recently sold to TV newsman Dan Abrams. And a portion of Castello di Borghese, including the family house, went on the market earlier this year.
Diliberto said of his new younger buyers, "This is the kind of transition the industry needs. It shows that there’s real interest in this region. The region needs that."