A brief history
Joseph T. Macari was born in 1927 in New York City to Italian immigrant parents. The family settled in Corona Queens during the depression where at a young age Joe helped his parents in their candy store and helped his grandparents sell homemade wine at their backyard bocce courts. Joe developed a thriving Real Estate business that specialized in residential and commercial sales, building and insurance, in Jackson Heights, Queens. Along the way he became a community leader and President of several business and community organizations. He was named the honorary Mayor of Corona in 1967. In 1995 Joe started Macari Vineyards in Mattituck Long Island with his son, Joseph Macari, Jr. and his daughter-in-law Alexandra Macari. His memories of his grandfather making wine in the family’s basement in Corona was one of his inspirations. After more than 50 years in business, Macari retired in Southold, New York, with his wife Katherine.
The history of Macari Wines reaches back to the 30’s and 40’s when Joseph’s father, Joseph T. Macari Sr., made wine with his father and grandfather in their basement in Corona, Queens, New York. In the mid 60’s, he purchased a 500-acre former potato farm on Long Island Sound. It would be another 30 years before he began to realize his dream of growing grapes and making wine. The farm was fallow until 1995 when Joseph Jr. and Alexandra Macari moved to the North Fork with their four children to begin planting vines.
The turning point for Joseph Jr. was when he studied with world-renowned visionaries in biodynamic viticulture, the late Alan York from California and Alvaro Espinoza from Chile. From his studies, he developed a complex composting program that includes a herd of Long Horn cattle and a field devoted just to compost. His approach is ecological and holistic: he knows that the health of the plants and the character of the grapes depend on well-nourished, living soil and that each step in the process contributes to the final product.
Thanks to Joseph’s devotion to the vineyard, the biodiversity of the Macari family farm provides an extraordinary grape growing environment that yields some of the finest fruit on the East Coast.