“There are no coincidences in life, Oprah Winfrey once said to me, Everything happens for a reason. (She actually said that while sitting next to me in a car in Italy- but that, as they say, is another story for another day.) But it’s a good lead into what I’m going to write about now: a man that I met at a Burgundy dinner I attended in New York- though I think it applies to a lot of what has happened to me since I moved to the North Fork.
I was seated between two Burgundy producers, one who spoke English well and one who did not. As one who studied French for years to very little avail or verbal distinction, I spent most of my time talking to the dapper English speaker, Antoine Vincent, who also happened to be the scion of the Chateau Fuisse family of Burgundy.(Chateau Fuisse) that produces one of the top Pouilly Fuisses in Burgundy and whose old vine bottling (Vielles Vignes) is a truly complex and ageworthy wine. We made the usual small talk about New York. Do you live in the city? Vincent asked politely. I told him I’d moved far east of the city to “wine country” aka the North Fork. Vincent nodded; he knew it well. How was that possible? “I was an intern at Hargrave Vineyards in 1995,” he said. Louisa Hargrave is a friend of mine! I exclaimed. I couldn’t wait to tell her. “Please say hello to her for me,” Vincent replied. “She is a very nice woman.” Yes, she is, I agreed and for a moment we sat in silent appreciation of our newfound bond. You should really come out to the North Fork sometime, I said. A lot has changed since 1995. There are a lot of good wineries now and some very good food. Vincent nodded. Perhaps sometime he would, he replied. A remarkable connection- and coincidence – to life on the North Fork.