Tell me about Westchester-Wine related

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Peter Panzica
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Tell me about Westchester-Wine related

#1 Post by Peter Panzica » April 13th, 2019, 6:38 am

In November I started this thread:
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=155894&p=2660664&hi ... r#p2660664

I was contemplating a move to Westchester from Boston for a great new job in the medical field.
Well this has come to fruition and I move to the area tomorrow. I will be coming back to see the family on weekends until the house is sold and I purchase a new one.
I'm renting in Pleasantville.

Wine related questions: (I believe these questions were posed before and I did search but could not find anything)

Does anyone have experience with reliable and reasonable wine movers in the northeast?
I have to move 2300 bottles most likely during the summer and will hopefully have climate controlled space to put it into wherever I end up buying.
Another board member recommended Horse Ridge Cellars out of central CT. There is also one in the Boston area and I believe that quote will come in around 5-6K.

Does anyone have a company in the area that can build a cellar for me?
In my search for houses the places with preexisting wine cellars I didn't love the house or the cellar was too small. So unless I find something in the next few weeks that has an adequate one, I will most likely have to build one in a preexisting lower level room. I saw a company in passing in Briarcliiff. I'd love anyone to share their experiences with me who had to deal with this same situation.

What stores should I make relationships with? It seems like there are an embarrassment of riches when it comes to wine stores in the area. I would like to make a couple close connections.

Non wine related questions:

I am having a hard time choosing a town I want to live in because they all seem great. I've been looking in Chappaqua, Briarcliff and Armonk/Bedford area as they all are beautiful, have great schools and are within 20 minutes of work. I am also going to start looking in Greenwich as well because of taxes. Access to NYC is not a priority right now but it would be nice if it were convenient. If I find the perfect place I will probably take it but all things being equal help me understand the nuances of those and surrounding towns? I only want to move once.

I look forward to making wine friends in the area and having a few cellar diminishment parties after I get settled in. Unlike MA BYO seems abundant!

Thank you for any help and guidance with my first world issues.

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Re: Tell me about Westchester-Wine related

#2 Post by Patrick D » April 13th, 2019, 9:16 am

Not sure of the quality but Wine enthusiasts is based in the area and do custom builds.
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Dan Hammer
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Re: Tell me about Westchester-Wine related

#3 Post by Dan Hammer » April 13th, 2019, 9:32 am

If you're driving to Grasslands (Westchester Medical Center), the exit off the Sprain can be a pain in the morning.

My wine go to is Grapes the Wine Company on Route 22 in North White Plains. It's a few minutes south of Armonk. No end cap wine displays. If you're not on his e mail list, you should get on. http://grapesthewineco.com/ Sales are legit.

Looking forward to meeting you at an offline, or Jay Hack's BBQ on Saturday July 27th.
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Re: Tell me about Westchester-Wine related

#4 Post by Steve L Gellman » April 13th, 2019, 9:51 am

I've been using Horse Ridge for years and have been very happy.

Board member Chris Kravitz builds cellars.
https://www.custom-wine-cellars.com

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Brent C l a y t o n
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Re: Tell me about Westchester-Wine related

#5 Post by Brent C l a y t o n » April 13th, 2019, 9:54 am

Peter!

There is a great crew in Westchester and I think you'll be happy there. Hopefully more of the locals will chime in with answers for you.

The Metro North express to/from White Plains is about 30 minutes, and Greenwich isn't more than 30-45. I don't think you'll find it difficult to access the city.

Board member Ian Dorin is now running the retail program at Zachy's, though he does not always work out of the store in Scarsdale.

Dan will take good care of you at Grapes.

If you find yourself in northern Westchester my old colleague Dan Spadola is a buyer at Suburban in Yorktown Heights.

As Steve just noted, Chris Kravitz is your man for a cellar.

Make sure that you come to Jay Hack's for Berserkerfest in July!
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Re: Tell me about Westchester-Wine related

#6 Post by Jorge Henriquez » April 13th, 2019, 10:05 am

Peter, welcome to the "hood". Let me see if I can help you address all your questions:

1) My previous employer, The Wine Cellarage, used to do cellar relocations but phased that out last year. I would say Horse Ridge is indeed your best bet.

2) For a custom cellar build, on&off board member Chris Kravitz's company (https://www.custom-wine-cellars.com/) has done some great jobs for friends and former clients that I've referred. Reach out to him.

3) You do indeed have a few options when it comes to stores. Off the top of my head go to Best Wine Purveyors in Pleasantville (Thierry is the owner); Suburban Wine & Spirits in Yorktown Heights (Lance and Dan are your guys there); Grapes in N. White Plains (the charming Mr. Posner will be happy to help you); Zachys in Scarsdale (do yourself a favor and befriend Javier); Vintology in Scarsdale as well (Dean & George are the owners) & Varmax Liquor Pantry in Port Chester (don't know anyone personally but it's a good shop too).

4) Choosing town to live in: that will ultimately depend on what your priorities are. I lived in Pelham (as southern Westchester as you can go) from 2008 to 2013 and while the town itself was, and still is, pretty bland in terms of commerce and things to do the school system and proximity to NYC made up for it. Now I have lived in 2 rivertowns, Tarrytown & Dobbs Ferry for the last 5+ years and I absolutely love them. The views, the downtowns, the dining options are great. Since my children still live with their mom in Pelham, I really haven't had to concentrate on school systems. If you value a short commute to Valhalla then I would say focus on towns like Pleasantville, Chappaqua, Briarcliff Manor, Armonk.

Hope some of this info helps and once you settle in, say the word and we can plan a meet & greet.

By the way, make sure to look up Jay Hack's thread in the offline planner section about a mini Bersekerfest at his place in White Plains this coming July.
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Re: Tell me about Westchester-Wine related

#7 Post by Mark Golodetz » April 13th, 2019, 10:14 am

Storage

River Valley in Hawthorne is a fantastic storage facility and literally ten minutes away from Pleasantville. I used to be at Horseridge, and there is a huge difference in quality between the two. River Valley inspects every bottle that comes in, and has saved me a fortune if the bottles are problematic. It is also useful to get a bottle at short notice, which was a problem with Horseridge

They do have vans, but doubt that they would do a move from Phoenix.

Wine cellars:
my go to is Chris Kravitz. Great quality, and he is a serious wine lover, so can ask the right questions to build something appropriate.

Wine shops
Grapes and Zachys obviously.
But you have access to all the great Manhattan stores, all of whom deliver.

Misc
If you are in P’ville you have in nearby Chappaqua one of the best wine restaurants in the country. I think it is about a 80k cellar. Prices used to be amazing, but lots of repricing has made them ok but not stellar. Ask for Leo.

Lots of wine lovers here, pm me if you are interested in some of the clubs.

Finally, went to graduate school in Phoenix, and moved eventually to Westchster. A bit of a contrast, but it is fantastic here, and I have come to really love it.
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Re: Tell me about Westchester-Wine related

#8 Post by Chris Kravitz » April 14th, 2019, 8:24 am

Thanks to all for the recommendations and the notification about Berserker Fest @ Jay's, I think I'm overdue. For transportation and storage we highly recommend the services of rivervalleywinecellars.com.

Peter, congratulations on the move, I look forward to connecting with you. Of the towns you mention I'd choose Chappaqua.
You can see our work at Grapes in White Plains and Suburban in Yorktown Heights, both very fine yet very different merchants.
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Re: Tell me about Westchester-Wine related

#9 Post by JMFrawley » April 14th, 2019, 12:10 pm

Welcome to Westchester! I live in Chappaqua with my family and its a lovely community. I would reiterate the Grapes and Suburban Wines recommendations and add Bedford Wine Merchants as a smaller local store as well.

You’ll find that Westchester has great restaurants, very few BYOBs though....and high taxes!
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Re: Tell me about Westchester-Wine related

#10 Post by J Dove » April 14th, 2019, 3:26 pm

I moved from STL to CT in 2012. Had the same issues and questions. My thoughts:

- Love it here, but:
- The infrastructure everywhere around here is circa 1970; Westchester is even worse. You're from Boston, so no surprises likely.
- The traffic completely sucks
- Restaurant scene in CT is pretty horrible relative to (gasp) the midwest -- and, I'm not talking about prices. Not convinced Westchester is much better.
- If you like Italian wine, don't miss Wine Connection in Pound Ridge; as good as it gets for Italians... Agree on other suggestions (e.g., Grapes)

Built a cellar with New England Wine Cellars. Positive, not exceptional experience.
Horse Ridge Cellars is awesome. Very highly recommend for interim storage.

Happy to answer any questions you have. Lots of good advice above.
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Re: Tell me about Westchester-Wine related

#11 Post by J Dove » April 14th, 2019, 3:28 pm

Also -- how do I get on the Jay Hack invite list?
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Re: Tell me about Westchester-Wine related

#12 Post by Peter Panzica » April 14th, 2019, 6:19 pm

Thanks for all the great recommendations everyone. I just moved down today into my rental. Can't wait to nail down a house. Actually saw one today in Greenwich (right on NY border and close to work). Beautiful area and very close to work. Taxes I hear are much less as well as electric? Is there any down side to living in CT and working in NY. What happens with state income tax?

Chris and I had a conversation today and he was very helpful

Brent good to hear from you again.
Jim I don't know if you remember but we crossed paths in a restaurant in St Estephe back in 2008 I believe.
Appreciate all of the advice and welcoming words. I'll try to have an offline once I am settled.

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Re: Tell me about Westchester-Wine related

#13 Post by Mark Golodetz » April 14th, 2019, 6:24 pm

BTW you may want to add Pocantico Hills to your list of towns. They have far away the lowest tax rate in Westchester, comparable to Greenwich.

School is a little quirky; they have an excellent elementary and middle school, and the kids then have the choice of high schools, Briarcliff, Pleasantville or Sleepy Hollow.
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Re: Tell me about Westchester-Wine related

#14 Post by Dan Hammer » April 14th, 2019, 7:36 pm

Peter Panzica wrote:
April 14th, 2019, 6:19 pm
Thanks for all the great recommendations everyone. I just moved down today into my rental. Can't wait to nail down a house. Actually saw one today in Greenwich (right on NY border and close to work). Beautiful area and very close to work. Taxes I hear are much less as well as electric? Is there any down side to living in CT and working in NY. What happens with state income tax?
Greenwich is a little too hoi polloi for me. I think everyone drives a BMW, is a member of a golf/swim club, and everyone wears sweaters tied around their necks in the summer. Sorry for the stereotype. Just saying.

As for CT taxes, I hears they're low but... check out the cost to register a vehicle. My friend tells me the state gets you in other ways, and this is one of them. Maybe CT Berserkers can provide additional info.
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Re: Tell me about Westchester-Wine related

#15 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng » April 14th, 2019, 8:30 pm

Non-sequitur?

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Re: Tell me about Westchester-Wine related

#16 Post by Mike Cohen » April 14th, 2019, 8:54 pm

Glad you spoke with Chris. He built my cellar and has serviced my cooling unit. He’s a stand up guy.

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Re: Tell me about Westchester-Wine related

#17 Post by Karen Troisi » April 15th, 2019, 8:01 pm

For moving your wine - contact Joel Rubins at the Wine Vault at Western.
https://westernwinevault.com/cellar-transportation
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