As the Greek legend goes, Jason, the mythological hero who rallied the Argonauts and rightfully deserved the rule of Thessaly, received his education from the centaur Chiron. Known for his comprehensive intelligence in medicine and observance of social propriety, Chiron educated Jason on a variety of subjects, including the intricacies of plant life and the civilized arts. And although Jason Damianos—owner of Jason’s Vineyard—lives on Long Island in the 21st century, far from the roots of Western civilization, he shares more in common with his Greek namesake than just a moniker.
Both of Mediterranean descent, the men hold a cultural connection that has always been apparent in the Damianos household. His parents have celebrated their lineage, paying homage to poets, gods and lore by using traditional names for all five of their children. And just as the Jason of ancient times had a mentor, Jason Damianos had the guiding hand of his father, Dr. Herodotus. Like Chiron, Herodotus, or Dr. Dan as he was known, had extensive knowledge in both medicine and agriculture; he was a licensed internist and had spent nearly 30 years growing grapes and making wine.
Jason’s Vineyard was planted in 1996 using only the finest clones of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Jason also maintains a smaller vineyard in Southold where he has planted supreme varietals of Sauvignon Blanc, Seyvel Blanc, Cayuga and Riesling. Jason pioneered the dense spacing of vines on the North Fork. This technique, not seen prior to Jason’s Vineyard, is more closely planted than many other local vineyards. The six feet between rows and three feet between adjacent vines are Bordeaux measurements. The design is intended to reduce grape yields and intensify wine flavors.