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TV newsman Dan Abrams buys Laurel Lake Vineyards

TV newsman Dan Abrams plans a high-end makeover
Dan Abrams' plan is to transform the vineyard

TV newsman Dan Abrams plans to transform Laurel Lake Vineyards into a "luxury winery and lifestyle brand" where "Napa meets the Hamptons." Credit: Patrick T. Fallon, left photo, Randee Daddona

Laurel Lake Vineyards, one of the North Fork’s westernmost wineries, has been purchased by television newsman Dan Abrams, who plans a high-end makeover, his spokeswoman said.

The sale is expected to close "in coming weeks," Abrams' spokeswoman Cameron Gurley said Monday. Abrams was not available for comment.

But Gurley noted that Abrams, chief legal correspondent at ABC News, has a "long passion" for the wine business. The purchase was first reported by The Hollywood Reporter, which said Abrams' plan is to transform the vineyard and winery into a "luxury winery and lifestyle brand" where "Napa meets the Hamptons."

In a statement, Gurley said Abrams was "so excited to invest in the North Fork and this vineyard with the goal of creating a new luxury Long Island wine."

"Expanding into the wine business has long been a passion of mine, and this winery presented the perfect opportunity to create an experience that both local residents and seasonal guests will enjoy," Abrams said in the statement.

Hamptons Magazine in 2018 featured Abrams as an "influencer," and he listed nearby Paumanok Vineyards as one of favorite hot spots, noting it was one of "many underappreciated wineries on the North Fork. Abrams, son of noted constitutional lawyer Floyd Abrams, reportedly has a North Fork home on Peconic Bay.

Juan Sepulveda, the longtime wine maker for Laurel Lake, said he's been conferring with Abrams about plans for the vineyard and winery for months. He confirmed the sale and said Abrams has "asked me to stay. I'll be very happy to continue with the wine here and take it to the next level. I'm very happy Dan is coming here with great ideas."

The purchase marks the latest in a series of winery and vineyard sales in recent years. Shinn Estate Vineyards was purchased by the Frankel family in 2017, then partnered with the owners of the Menhaden Hotel in Greenport to buy another vineyard and tasting room, Croteaux. Randy Frankel, a former Wall Street financier, owns a minority share of the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team. The Massoud family, owners of Paumanok Vineyards in Aquebogue, bought Palmer Vineyards in 2018.

Meanwhile, just over 60 acres of the Castello di Borghese Vineyard in Cutchogue, along with the former Borghese home and historic barns, recently went on the market for $3.69 million. Nearby Vineyard 48 and Bedell Cellars, are also on the market. Bedell is owned by the Lynne family, and was put on the market in 2019 after the death of its owner, New Line Cinema chief executive Michael Lynne. Vineyard 48, which had been shuttered since 2017 after losing its liquor license, has been on the market for $6 million since February 2020.

Laurel Lake Vineyards, once a nursery, is a 40-acre farm previously owned by a group of Chilean investors.

Correction: An earlier version of the story incorrectly stated Randy Frankel's ownership in the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team.

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