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Paumanok Vineyards to buy Palmer Vineyards

The grounds at Palmer Vineyards in Riverhead, seen

The grounds at Palmer Vineyards in Riverhead, seen on July 15, 2016. Credit: Randee Daddona

Paumanok Vineyards of Aquebogue has entered into a contract to buy Palmer Vineyards of Riverhead, joining two of the North Fork's oldest family-run wineries. 

Terms of the deal weren't disclosed Tuesday night. Paumanok owner and founder Charles Massoud, in a statement, said the deal was expected to close Aug. 1. 

Massoud's statement said the deal "makes sense" for Paumanok because it gives the Main Road winery a presence on Sound Avenue, another main thoroughfare on the North Fork wine trail. He also noted Palmer is located "very close to Paumanok, which will make the logistics of running the two operations smoother." 

Kathy Le Morzellec, president of Palmer since the 2009 death of her father, Robert Palmer, who founded the vineyard in 1983, said she was happy to be selling to the Massoud family, noting she had been very committed to see that Palmer Vineyard was sold to someone who would keep it as a vineyard/winery.

Massoud, in an interview Tuesday night, said the Palmer name would continue on both the winery and the labels. “Robert Palmer’s legacy is important,” Massoud said. He said the purchase gives Paumanok two of the westernmost wineries on the North Fork.

Palmer’s 60 acres will join 120 acres owned by Paumanok, which produces around the same annual amount of wine as Palmer. “Effectively, it’s doubling our operation,” he said. “The family is getting bigger, I have more mouths to feed, and we have to find a way to pay our children properly.”

His son Kareem Massoud will be winemaker for both operations.

Newsday reported in June that Palmer had sold 60 acres in Cutchogue, a second vineyard property, for $1.25 million and had been searching for a buyer for years. It was listed in 2016 for $5.375 million. 

The sale includes Palmer's 49 acres of planted vines, another 11 acres of property and the winery, tasting room and a wine inventory, Paumanok said. 

The owners said both vineyards would remain open through the transaction. 


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