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Brooklyn Winery Uncorks New Chapter In Sandy Recovery

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Almost four months after Hurricane Sandy hit the city, businesses continue to claw their way back from the devastation including a Brooklyn winery that sustained more than a million dollars in damage. NY1's Tara Lynn Wagner filed the following report.

After the hurricane had come and gone, owner Mark Snyder says the Red Hook Winery looked liked someone had shaken it.

"If you shake up a snow globe everything that was five feet and under was kinda mixed into one big pool," Snyder said.


Located in the middle of Pier 41 on the Brooklyn waterfront, the winery was hit from both sides. Water rushed in creating waves strong enough to knock over hundreds of barrels weighing roughly a thousand pounds each.

"They broke. A lot broke open and the wine spilled, mixed with the water," Snyder said.

Others had salt water seep into the wine when the barrels were submerged. In total, he says Sandy washed away three years' worth of work, including the 2012 harvest.

"We lost that vintage and a majority of the two vintages that were in the barrel room," Snyder said.

Along with damage to machinery and the winery itself, the final estimate has losses totalling a million and a half dollars.

But the storm also brought a surge of help from the community and beyond. Snyder raises a glass to the countless volunteers who came day after day, including Mayor Michael Bloomberg who paid a visit and made a purchase.

"The city's been good. Federal as I said gets an F. They haven't done much for the businesses in this area," Snyder noted.

Despite having extensive water damage, four months later the winery's tasting room is ready to reopen.

Bottles stored off site have been brought back to sell and sample, which the winery hopes will be enough to sustain business as its owners begin the longer project of rebuilding their inventory.

Tours and tastings are scheduled throughout the spring. And while hints of Sandy will likely remain Snyder says it's time to move forward.

"It's now a part of our lives as everyone else in the neighborhoods as well as New York and New Jersey," said Red Hook Winery General Manager Darren Palace.

"I really want to focus on the positive parts of the storm at this point and purge the negativity," Snyder added.

The tasting room is scheduled to reopen March 1.

For more information, visit www.redhookwinery.com.

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