History of The Old Field
THE OLD FIELD VINEYARDS, established in 1974 by Chris Baiz, is a family owned and operated vineyard.
After years of producing fruit for sale,
The Old Field started making wines, first with its 1997 Pinot Noir, and now Merlots, Cabernet Francs, Chardonnays, Blush de Noir, and newly released Blanc de Noir sparkling wines.
THE OLD FIELD, an agricultural area just one mile east of the village of Southold, had been actively farmed by native Americans for at least five hundred years prior to the arrival of “the first European settlers” in 1640.
These “first settlers” bartered with the natives for small parcels of farmland within The Old Field in order to grow their food. By the-mid 1660s, the King of England had decreed that all colonists in America start formalizing their land positions. Those writing the records of the day, referred to all the small family parcels in this area east of Southold as “The Old Field”.
Chris’s great grandmother, Mathilda Lang, bought The Old Field at the end of World War I, to become only the fourth family to own and work this farm since Southold was first “settled” in 1640.
Chris’s grandfather and his wife, Clara Lang, were potato and cauliflower growers, together with his uncle. When Clara died in 1993 aged 101 years of age, Chris and Ros became the next stewards. In 1997, The Old Field stopped row crop production and was laser planted with Merlot and Cabernet Franc.
This is the third vineyard Chris has planted behind his 1974 planting of Hargrave vines and a 1985 planting of Pinot Noir. Today, the wines from these vines are crafted by winemaker Eric Fry, with guidance from Ros and Chris.
THE OLD FIELD legacy continues with Chris, Ros and their two adult children, Perry and Ryan. They are the fourth and fifth generation family members to farm The Old Field. The family celebrated the thirty-fifth anniversary of its establishment as a wine-growing farm in 2009.