[/dropcap]ong Island wineries have become a staple on the East End as Long Islanders and city folk alike flock to quaint eastern Suffolk County towns for day trips and wine-filled weekends.
According to the Long Island Convention & Visitors Bureau, there’s currently more than 90 combined vineyards and wineries on the Island. The North Fork has especially swelled with grape-growing farms, alone boasting more than two-dozen wineries. And here we thought there was an abundance of craft breweries on Long Island.
Aside from producing nationally recognized wines, these Long Island wineries have become prime destinations for visitors attracted to relaxing weekends at rustic, vaulted-ceiling tasting rooms or vibrant outdoor spaces with views of seemingly endless fields of grape vines.
Jessica Anson, public policy director with the Long Island Farm Bureau, says “wineries have really played a major part” in increasing agritourism to the region.
From Martha Clara and Pindar to Jamesport Vineyards and Bedell Cellars, and everything else in between, there’s something for everyone. There’s even a winery that specializes in only sparkling wines.
Long Island wineries have become so popular that there’s even an industry dedicated to bussing people to and fro hotels and vineyards for winery tours.
New York State as a whole has staked a reputation as a prolific wine producer. According to The National Association of American Wineries, New York enjoys the distinction of having the fourth most wineries in the country and produces the third highest amount of wine each year by the gallon.
Long Island may be a long way from Nappa Valley-esque fame, but there’s no question the region’s dedication to wine and its residents’ appetite for its creations continues to grow.
Now, here’s your guide to Long Island wineries and vineyards:
Anthony Nappa Wines
2885 Peconic Lane, Peconic. 774-641-7488. www.anthonynappawines.com
Anthony Nappa Wines is located in the heart of Peconic, with some of the best scenery on the Island surrounding the property. Established in 2007 by couple Anthony Nappa and Sarah Evans Nappa, Anthony Nappa Wines has worked it’s way up to being one of the most renowned wineries in Long Island. They are known for their premium wines that are representative of the area’s climate. The winery takes pride in eschewing additives, and its focus on honest labeling so customers know exactly what they’re drinking. A few of their standout wines include: the Luminous Riesling, a the Frizzante sparkling white wine and their La Strega Malbec. They also have a selection of delicious and unique dessert wines. Their tasting room, “The Winemaker Studio,” is intimate and cozy, and it’s open year-round with extra hours in the summer. Where else would you rather enjoy some delicious wine and relax on a summer,fall, winter or spring day?
Baiting Hollow Winery
2114 Sound Ave., Calverton. 631-369-0100. www.baitinghollowfarmvineyard.com
The first place you spot when visiting wine country in the North Fork of Long Island is the beautiful Baiting Hollow Winery. The inviting atmosphere of BHFV makes any guest feel at home. Live musical performances every weekend, savory food choices, and horse rescue tours make this vineyard a destination spot for a fun weekend or even a quick daytrip. They carry award-winning wine, which is exclusive to the Baiting Hollow Winery. There are three horse rescue wines, the Angel, Mirage, and Savannah Rose. The profits from the sale of these wines go to support the massive costs for maintaining the care these horses require. They also sell two different versions of dessert wine, with hints of strawberry and citrus flavors, along with their regular reds and whites. Their signature drink, the frozen wine-a-rita is a deliciously perfect for a hot summer day. This winery features an expansive lawn with tables, a spread of delicious appetizers, and live country bands.
36225 NY-25, Cutchogue. 631-734-7537. www.bedellcellars.com
Bedell Cellars is the marquis winery of the East End. Owned by New Line Cinema magnate Michael Lynne, Bedell Cellars produces award-winning bottles that have put the entire region on the map. After the auspicious beginning of Kip Bedell, the man Wine Spectator magazine named “Mr. Merlot,” Bedell wines have received critical acclaim—even being served at the 2013 Presidential inauguration. The vineyard sits on 75 acres of sustainable farmland. Sample their wines on the beautifully curated grounds, in the picturesque pavilion or in the intimate loft area overlooking the barrel aging cellar, or visit Corey Creek, their airy barn-style tasting room. As Michael Lynne is a renowned art collector, visitors may tour the contemporary collection, commissioned for the Artists Series labels. Enjoy a group tasting or private event, or attend live music at their Twilight Series events at Corey Creek.
209 Wythe Ave., Brooklyn. 718-599-1259. www.brooklynoenology.com
Brooklyn Oenology is an urban winery set in hipster-haven Williamsburg. The name refers to the art and science of making wine. As such, art plays a large part in the ambiance of the tasting room as well as in the commissioned artist labels, which peel off to be preserved by purveyors. The wines are made from New York grapes (sourced from Long island’s North Fork and in the upstate Finger Lakes region), crushed, fermented, aged, and bottled in their Long Island facility before being transferred to the Williamsburg tasting room location. The tasting room serves BOE wines along with other New York region whiskeys and wines. Check out their Happy Hour Friday night oyster parties and sample some of their unique blends (including a sparkling orange wine!).
Bridge Lane Wine
35 Cox Neck Rd., Mattituck. 631-298-1942. www.bridgelanewine.com
Bridge Lane was produced by Lieb Cellars, another winery on the North Fork of Long Island. However, it has set itself apart from typical wineries. Bridge Lane’s wines are described as young, fresh, and fruit-forward. They refer to their wine as “craft wine,” which basically means they aren’t made from grape juice as most are, but from grapes which have been sustainable farmed and hand-harvested. This also means the wine is made in small batches, and are put together with passion and commitment to quality. They travel around Long Island to major stores, and offer in-store tastings for the people who have never made it to the winery. Bridge Lane is also known for having acclaimed musicians, such as Ian Petillo, and Cassandra House, perform there from time-to-time. This is the perfect winery to enjoy a night out with loved ones, sipping on some delicious wine and listening to young talent.
45470 Main Rd., Southold. 631-765-4168. www.bedellcellars.com/corey-creek-tr/
The critically-acclaimed Corey Creek boasts a rustic, barn-style tasting room overlooking its sprawling vineyard. Visitors can taste flights while gazing out at the Peconic Bay. The vineyard offers five different types of wines for tastings, ranging from rose to cabernet franc. Their most unique wine is the Gewürztraminer, which has a tropical, zesty taste and an exotic aroma. Corey Creek has been in the spotlight more than a few times, with their wine being served at the 2013 presidential inauguration, and at top restaurants in some of the biggest cities in the world. If you’re planning on visiting Long Island’s wine country, Corey Creek better be on the top of your list.
Channing Daughters Winery
1927 Scuttle Hole Rd., Bridgehampton. 631-537-7224. www.channingdaughters.com
Channing Daughters Winery is comprised of six separate vineyards in Bridgehampton, planted between 1982 and 2007. Vines grown on the South Shore have slightly different characteristics from North Fork-based vineyards. Because winds come in directly off of the Atlantic Ocean, they are cooler than those which have had a chance to be warmed by their passage over land and by the Peconic Bay, resulting in a slightly more acidic composition. This is one thing that sets Channing Daughters apart. Their seemingly endless varietals are another. Channing Daughters produces 14,000 cases of wine per year; they offer almost three dozen different varieties: single varietal wines, blends, filtered, fined, made with wild yeast, made with indigenous yeast, made in stainless steel tanks and barrels, but also in French, Slovanian, American, and Hungarian oak barrels as well. They are constantly innovating and their prized bottles show it. Stop by their rustic tasting room for a flight. They don’t disappoint.
Clovis Point Winery
1935 Main Rd., Jamesport. 631-722-4222. www.clovispointwines.com
Clovis Point Winery sits on an intimate 10-acre parcel, where they pride themselves on crafting interesting bottles. This potato farm-turned-vineyard features wines made by John Leo, a studied winemaker who hailed from Long Island’s Wolffler Estate before coming to Clovis Point in 2004. The vineyard is one of exquisite beauty and run by a small staff that caters to their loyal clientele. They host vineyard weddings with up to 250 guests and offer samplings in their tasting room and barn. Visit Clovis Point for one of their regular artist shows or for live music events (with food trucks from Taco Loco!).
Coffee Pot Cellars
31855 Main Rd., Cutchogue. 631-765-8929. www.coffeepotcellars.com
Coffee Pot Cellars produces artisanal, ultra-premium wines in Cutchogue, Long Island. The newest kid on the block, Coffee Pot Cellars gets its name from the shape of the Orient Point lighthouse, the beacon of the North Fork. Their newly renovated tasting room offers their five wines: Merlot, Meritage, Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer and Sauvignon Blanc, as well as beeswax products from Blossom Meadow. Winemaker Adam Suprenant’s vision was to create a small selection of superior wines from this lush North Shore region—and he has done just that.
1450 S. Harbor Rd., Southold. 631-765-6099. www.croteaux.com
Croteaux Vineyards is unique in that they only produce rose wine—a timely choice for sure, being that rose is the black. Summer’s inarguably most popular wine, a trend that has trickled down from France and peaked in the Hamptons, Nantucket, and Miami, showing no signs of slowing down. Croteax produces three varieties: Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Sauvignon Blanc that reflect the luxurious vacation culture of the East End. They sell their bottles into the autumn when they typically run out. Visit their tasting barn and garden dedicated to the lush sweetness of summer and the colorful, crisp flavors of the wine. Decorated with hanging wind-chimes made from Croteaux bottles and stocked with wares for sale in their boutique, Croteaux Vineyards embodies the rose lifestyle.
250 Manor Lane, Riverhead. 631-722-3416. www.dilibertowinery.com
Grown-ups only at Diliberto Winery, the sole winery on Long Island’s East End to enforce a strict 21 and over policy on its premises. This provides an adult atmosphere compared to those catering to families. Diliberto’s St. James tasting room is painted with breathtaking murals that replicate the experience of sipping wine at an outdoor trattoria in Tuscany. Taking their authentic Italian experience a step further, Diliberto offers homemade pizza and other specialties from the old country, such as antipasto, Lupini beans, and cured olives along with their award-winning wines. Winery events include Italian lessons with a professor from nearby Stony Brook University and yoga in the vines, making Diliberto an absolutely unique vineyard experience.
Grapes of Roth by Wolffer Estate
139 Sagg Rd., Sagaponack. 631-537-5106. www.wolffer.com
Wolffer Estate is a grand vineyard in the heart of Long Island wine country. Sitting on 175 acres, this potato farm-turned-winery is comprised of both acres of grape vines and horse paddocks, stables, and jumping ring, in addition to the estate itself, including an old-world tasting room in which to sample winemaker Roman Roth’s exquisite creations. One of the few certified sustainable wineries on the Island, Wolffer is constantly innovating in their winemaking techniques, combining new vision with traditional practices. They offer Merlot, Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and small lots of Trebbiano, Pinot Noir and Vignole. The estate hosts sunset events on Friday and Saturday nights into the fall, live music, yoga, and weddings and parties and corporate events.
Harbes Family Vineyard
715 Sound Ave., Mattituck. 631-298-0800. harbesfamilyfarm.com
Harbes Farm is a staple on the North Fork for families to experience the bounty Long Island can provide. From apple picking to pumpkin picking, corn mazes and hay rides, Harbes is a fall family favorite. Yet tucked away on Sound Avenue, Harbes has converted a barn into a beautiful tasting room where guests can sample and purchase wine made from their five acres of vines. Their selections include dry rose, fermented chardonnay, ice wine, pinot blanc and riesling, among others. The staff that Harbes visitors have come to know and love bring their helpfulness and knowledge to the tasting barn where they assist visitors in selecting the perfect bottle.
169 Harbor Rd., Head of the Harbor. 631-291-9900. HarmonyVineyards.com
Harmony Vineyards, located in central Long Island, offers visitors the chance to experience a high-quality winery without traveling all the way out to the North Fork. Harmony serves exceptional wines—from Chablis-style Chardonnays to Bordeaux-style red blends—as well as local craft brews, and offers a robust small plates menu, weekly live jazz year-round, and an impressive buffet-style Sunday brunch in a 326-year-old mansion and tasting room that gives patrons stunning views of the harbor. Setting Harmony Vineyards apart from the pack is that this gorgeous slice of heaven generously donates all of its net profits to local charities focused on eradicating hunger and supporting education, including Island Harvest, City Harvest, the Stony Brook Foundation and the East African Center for the Empowerment of Women and Children. Besides hosting stellar wine-related events and a “Tasting Notes Jazz Club” in its historic homestead (circa 1690) and popular “Movie Nights” beneath the stars during summer months, Harmony is also known for its amazing, year-round Gourmet Waterfront Buffet brunch [Read: Harmony Vineyards: Perfect Ensemble of Beauty, Wine & Brunch HERE] that is absolutely spectacular.
1216 Main Rd., Rte. 25, Jamesport. 631-722-5256. www.jamesportwines.com
Jamesport Vineyard, one of North Fork’s oldest vineyards, was started by a father-son duo in 1986. The winery and tasting room are housed in a 165-year-old barn, however it has undergone several renovations over the years. This winery often hosts weddings, private parties, and small gatherings. There are five different spaces that are available for these events: the tasting room, the vines, the barrel room, the garden and the patio. Jamesport has two special wines that set them apart, East End Chardonnay, a fruity, light bodied wine, and Reserve Sauvignon Blanc, which has been fermented for seven months and has hints of oak and fruit. Their wine is said to be some of the best on Long Island. Jamesport has a lot to offer for visitors of all ages.
13050 Oregon Rd., Cutchogue. 631-734-1100. www.liebcellars.com
This 85-acre vineyard produces wine that can be sampled in their tasting rooms in Mattituck and now Cutchogue. Their near-constant innovation now includes 3l boxes of wine and wine in 20L disposable kegs (the first of their kind in New York). They produce private label wines for celebrity chef tom Colicchio’s Craft restaurants. From sophisticated bottles to their lighter everyday Bridge Lane bottles, Lieb Cellars has a wine selection for all price points and tastes. Check their event calendar for live music dates at their Cutchogue location or to book a privte tour or tasting.
Macari Vineyards (two locations)
150 Bergen Ave, Mattituck. 631-298-0100. www.macariwines.com
Recently voted “Winery of the Year” in the New York Food and Wine Classic, Macari Vineyards produces award-winning selections that run the gamut from light Chardonnay and Dos Aguas to deep Merlot and the wine the NY Food and Wine Clssic deemed “Best Red,” their Cabernet Franc. Macari Vineyards is a family business, beginning with Joseph Macari Jr. back in the 1930s and ’40s, crafting wine in his Corona, Queens home. He purchased the acreage for Macari Vineyards in the ’60s as a potato farm and brought his passion for wine full circle in the 1990s. The rest of the family, in the following generation, joined the business and shared in his love and vision. What stands today are two tasting room locations in Mattituck and Cutchogue, a vineyard that hosts stunning weddings and corporate events, and their newly launched El Cantina, a private barrel cellar under their Mattituck tasting room where visitors can learn about the winemaking process.
Martha Clara Vineyards
6025 Sound Ave., Riverhead. 631-298-0075. www.marthaclaravineyards.com
Located in Riverhead on a 200-acre parcel, Martha Clara Vineyards is the brainchild of Robert Entenmann, of unbelievable crumb cake and soft baked chocolate chip cookie fame. This former potato farm-turned thoroughbred horse farm-turned vineyard produces consistent award-winning vino and offers stunning ambiance in their rustic tasting loft, exclusive Northville barn, or exquisite rose garden. Schedule a private tasting or attend one of their public events, like Wine Down Wednesdays, their annual grape stomp party, or their MCV concert series with performances like Eagles Tribute band The Fast Lane or CSNY tribute band Four Way Street. Home to beautiful East End weddings, rehearsal dinners, and special occasions, Martha Clara Vineyard is a Long Island staple and an example of what the East End’s perfect wine-making conditions could produce.
46005 NY-25, Southold. 631-655-9554. www.mattebella.com
Mattebella Vineyards is an eco-conscious winery that prides itself on its sustainable farm practices. The Tobin family crafts Bordeaux-style wine using old-fashioned harvesting practices—picking grapes by hand. They use bio-diesel for all of their tractors, organic fertilizer, and “under the row” tilling to eliminate the use of herbicides, creating a natural environment that extends to the products they sell. Their wine is complex, full-bodied, and delicious. Their tasting cottage, located in an early 20th century barn, is a cozy place to sample their wine, surrounded by ample gardens.
22600 NY-25, Cutchogue. 631-734-5764. www.mccallwines.com
McCall Wines does not sell endless varieties of wine. They concentrate on just two types of wine: merlot and pinot noir. And then they seek to craft them into truly remarkable bottles. Their tasting room is a converted horse stable that serves as a quaint place to sip. With their first vintage sold in 2007, McCall Wines are a new kid on the block of Long Island’s North Fork. With care and precision, they aim to produce high quality world-class reds that wine lovers appreciate. Walk the grounds or take a tour and see the wild life that roam the area. The McCall family is dedicated to the preservation of the land and the wildlife who call this area home.
One Woman Wines and Vineyards
5195 Old North Rd., Southold. 631-765-1200. www.onewomanwines.com
The “One Woman” the name of the vineyard refers to is Claudia Purita, purveyor of wine grapes all the way from her childhood in Cambria, Italy. Her Long Island farmland is planted and curated almost solely by the woman herself, with meticulous care and the knowledge gained from her girlhood. Here on the North Fork, she creates nine different varietals of wine, from Sauvignon Blanc to deep Merlots. The tasting room on Old North Road is a converted barn whose rustic charm fits the ambiance of the area. Sample one woman-made wine overlooking rich farmland.
Osprey’s Dominion Vineyards
44075 Main Rd., Peconic. 631-765-6188. www.ospreysdominion.com
Situated on 90 acres of North Fork soil, Osprey’s Dominion vineyards produces world class wine surrounded by the Long Island Sound and Peconic Bay. Winner of numerous awards, including “Best Cabernet Sauvignon” and “Best Pinot Noir” at this year’s New York Food and Wine Classic, Osprey’s Dominion ups LI’s wine game. The rustic-chic tasting room offers ample seating and leads to the ample grounds, where a gazebo, picnic tables, and family games flank the beautiful vineyards. With live music playing every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday during wine season, Osprey’s Dominion is a primo vino Long Island destination.
5120 Sound Ave., Riverhead. 631-722-9463. www.palmervineyards.com
One of Long Island’s original vineyards, Palmer Vineyards has helped lay the foundation for the North Fork growing region. Since its founding by Robert Palmer in 1983, Palmer has been labeled by some as Long Island’s most visitor friendly winery. It has been recognized for its award-winning Sauvignon Blanc blend, as well as having the first Albariño vines planted in the state of New York. This comes from the innovation of Martin, a native of Spain, and one of the regions foremost wine makers. Tours and tastings, of course, are offered. Visitors will see the inner workings of the winery including the Tank room, where the grapes ferment, and the barrel room, where the red wine goes through its aging process. Last but not least, tasting of different blends takes place on the vineyard deck, overlooking the rolling grapevines.
23005 Main Rd., Cutchogue. 631-734-4111. www.liwines.com/winery/pellegrini-vineyards/
For more than three decades Pellegrini Vineyards has been on the cutting-edge of wine production on Long Island’s venerable wine region. The vineyard was the brainchild of husband and wife duo Bob and Joyce Pellegrini. The couple purchased the vineyard in 1991 and subsequently built a 14,000 square foot complex in which Bob, a graphics designer, played an instrumental role in creating a desirable space that now serves as both a tasting room and wedding venue. But mostly people flock to Pellegrini for the wine. The 35-acre winery uses new technology to produce some of the top-rated wine in the region. Cutchogue’s “microclimate” is especially conducive to making savory wines. The tasting room is open to group tastings and private events.
37645 NY-25, Peconic. 631-734-6200. www.pindar.net
Pindar Vineyards is Long Island’s unofficial flagship vineyard. Located on 500 acres in scenic Peconic on Long Island’s North Fork, Pindar produces Long Island’s most recognized wine and is easily the largest vineyard on Long Island. Their vineyard grows 17 different varieties of grapes, producing 23 varietals and proprietary blends, resulting in an astounding 70,000 cases of wine per year. Their tasting room is a large, open space of blonde wood, where patrons can sample flights of wine and purchase bottles. Their outside deck, pavilion, and lawn offer the perfect space for wine lovers to spill out and enjoy the stunning vista views. Pindar also offers behind-the-scenes tours of the barrel and tank rooms to show every step of the wine-making process. Pindar hosts live music events, sunset Fridays, and plenty of private events, including memorable weddings, corporate events, group tastings, and the gamut of celebrations. Check out their Port Jefferson location to purchase your favorite Pindar selections.
34515 Main Rd., Cutchogue. 631-734-4057. www.pugliesevineyards.com
You name it, Pugliese makes it. Known for its wide variety of earthy wines—Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Riesling, and Merlot, to name a few—Pugliese is entrenched in the North Fork community. The three-decade old vineyard embodies the family charm that has fostered a respectable reputation in the community. Wine aficionados get the opportunity to taste the vineyards collection of top-notch reds and whites inside its tasting room and, if they so choose, leave with a gift basket to go along with that ear-to-ear grin as they head to the next stop on their wine tour. The vineyard produces about a dozen red and white wines, a handful of sweet dessert wines and four different sparkling wines. Weekend wine revelers will more often that not be greeted by live music, which typically runs from early afternoon through 6 p.m. The winery, which has collected a handful of awards throughout the years, offers its grounds to couples enchanted with the idea of a quaint vineyard wedding.
39390 Route 25, Peconic. 631-765-1100. Ext. 105. www.raphaelwine.com
Raphael Vineyard goes to great lengths to produce the best tasting wine, so much so that founder John Petrocelli chose to build the facility 12 feet underground. The upshot being that gravity, and the Earth’s underground temperature—an a constant 55 degrees—creates a natural environment for wine to nurture. The majority of the work that goes into producing wine is done by hand—which, the vineyard claims, places it among a select few vineyards in the entire country to harvest its wine this way. The vineyard offers wine flights to be enjoyed in its tasting room or outdoor patio. Groups of eight or more are required to make a reservation. The tasting room also offers live music and is pet friendly. As for the main attraction, Raphael’s staple wines include merlot, chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and more.
3543 Sound Ave., Riverhead. 631-727-4161. www.roanokevienyards.net
Roanoke Vineyards is putting a new spin on the East End’s winery obsession. Founded by Richie and Soraya Pisacano in 2000, Roanoke is known best for being Long Island’s first membership-based vineyard. Access to the vineyard’s tasting rooms are usually limited to Roanoke wine club members. Roanoke has received praise from outlets like The New York Times, Wine Spectator and The Wine Advocate. Interested in obtaining a Roanoke wine club membership? Good luck. Membership has been capped due to high interest. Among the incentives to become a member is the cost to join: it’s free. Being the first of its kind has earned Roanoke some prestige among the North Fork’s many wineries. There are benefits to becoming a member: guaranteed access to each bottle on the four portfolios released each year, as well as up to a 20-percent discount on bottle purchases. Tastings are offered at a different location, the vineyard’s Mattituck farm, for non-members every weekend. Although they require an appointment, outsiders can enjoy new releases on Saturday and Sunday between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Sannino Bella Vita Vineyard
1375 Peconic Lane, Peconic. 631-734-8282. Ext. 2. www.sanninovineyard.com
Anthony Sannino’s love affair with wine started with a trip to his mother’s homeland of Italy more than 30 years ago. Sannino experienced wine making first hand during that visit and in 2006 he and his wife purchased a vineyard in Cutchogue. The vineyard is such a significant part of their life that the couple built their home on the very same land. Its tasting room is open year-round but only on a limited basis during the winter and spring (Monday-Thursday), as opposed to being open daily during the summer and fall from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Groups of six or more interested in a tasting must make reservations prior to visiting, and that also goes for patrons being dropped off by limousine or private cars. Aside from the tasting room, the vineyard also boats a bed and breakfast outfitted with a private balcony.
Sherwood House Vineyard
1291 Main Rd., Jamesport. 631-779-2817. www.sherwoodhousevineyards.com
Sherwood House Vineyard took shape after Charles and Barbara Smithen purchased a 146-year-old farmhouse in Jamesport in 1996. They then transformed the former corn and potato fields into a wine haven. Essentially, the Smithens were turning their home into a destination in which people from across the Island and elsewhere could sip handcrafted wine and revel in the serenity that defines this picturesque North Fork village. The couple brought in Gilles Martin to serve as head winemaker, a position he held in France, and later in California. The Smithens initially planted Chardonnay vines but later added Merlot, Cabernet, Sauvignon and others to the mix. The vineyard sells at least 10 varieties of wine, many of which can be consumed inside the vineyard’s tasting room. Like many other vineyards, the winery plays hosts to live music every Saturday.
Shinn Estate Vineyards
2000 Oregon Rd., Mattituck. 631-804-0367. www.shinnestatevineyards.com
Started by a couple who bolted the Midwest to take up roots in New York City to open a restaurant in New York City that embraced New York wines, Shinn Estate Vineyards has found a way to stand out amongst the crowded North Fork vineyard crowd. The winery has drawn admiration from the likes of The New York Times> for its savory wines and its on-site Bed and Breakfast. Aside from its collection of wines, the vineyard—well, its distillery—produces a fruit-based brandy and grape vodka. It’s not everyday, that you find a vodka and brandy operation inside a mom-and-pop vineyard, but, hey, the North Fork has come a long way since the days of depressed potato fields. As for the wines, Shinn Estate produces everything from a Blanc de Blanc sparkling wine, a hybrid Sauvignon Blanc-Chardonnay and a Rieseling its dubbed “Coalescence,” the ubiquitous Chardonnay, a Merlot—one of its most popular creations—as well as a Bordeaux blend called “Wild Boar Doe.”
Sparkling Pointe Vineyards
39750 County Road 48, Southold. 631-765-0200. www.sparklingpointe.com
This vineyard exclusively produces sparkling wines, and that’s quite all right with its champagne-loving owners. Shortly after Cynthia and Tom Rosicki purchased a piece of property that would eventually become their vineyard, they had a fateful meeting with a prominent North Fork vineyard manager who asked what kind of wine they’d want to make. They both answered, “champagne.” And that folks is how this couple created the only vineyard on the Island that focuses solely on sparkling wine production. With the help of Gilles Martin, a well-traveled French winemaker, the couple began selling its first batch of sparkling wines in 2008, according to the Wall Street Journal. And these wines are not cheap. Its 2013 Brut, embellished with fruity notes, goes for $29. A 2006 Brut Seduction will cost you $72. Sparkling Pointe also offers a different kind of tasting room experience. Not only does it provide the traditional terrace or lawn tasting areas, but Sparkling Pointe also offers table service for those who want a more elegant experience. (This is a classy champagne operation after all.) Reservations are required for groups of eight or greater or for anyone arriving by bus or limo.
2885 Peconic Lane, Peconic. 774-641-7488. www.suhruwines.com
Like most East End vineyards, Suhru is a family affair. Winemaker Russell Hearn had been in the business for three decades when he decided the time was right to open a family business. Hearn, the winemaker, and his wife Susan, who is the owner, discovered wine at different points in life. Hearn has been in the business for years, while Susan, a physical therapist, began appreciating fine wine after she and Russell met. Now they’re both fully devoted to the cause. Their adoration to their vineyard is so deep, in fact, that the couple used a combination of their first names as the winery’s name: Susan and Russell plus their last initial gives you “Suhru.” Currently, the vineyard is producing five different types of wine. Wine fans can get a feel of their creations at the vineyard’s “Winemaker Studio” in Peconic. The tasting room is open daily during the summer and from 12-7 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The Old Field
59600 Main Rd., Southold. 631-765-0004. www.theoldfield.com
This 17th century farmland has quite the history. As the story goes, Native Americans once farmed on this field and then Europeans took over after their arrival. But the field is now the pride of a North Fork family that has dedicated their lives to producing top-notch wine through sustainable practices. The methods in which this family has used since the mid-‘70s to cultivate the land and harvesting grape vines is farming at its best. The vineyard takes pride in the “old” in its name, featuring a rustic tasting room that delivers the ambiance so many wine drinkers appreciate when visiting the North Fork. The Old Field currently features nine varieties of wine, ranging from rose and chardonnay to cabernet franc and merlot. Its tasting barn is open during the summer from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday-Monday.
Wolffer Estate Vineyard
3312 Montauk Highway, Sagaponack. 631-537-4771. www.wolffer.com
German-born venture capitalist Christian Wolffer founded the vineyard in his name nearly three decades ago. Although Wolffer has since passed, Wolffer’s wine legacy has remained in tact thanks to the work of his children and winemaker, Roman Roth. The entire property runs about 170 acres, with 100 acres reserved for stables and another 55 acres for the vineyard itself. The elegantly designed estate pays homage to wine-obsessed Tuscany, according to The New York Times, and features French doors where visitors spill into a stone terrace and German-made stained glass. Remarkably, its tasting room is open throughout the year. As for the wine, the vineyard mostly grows merlot, chardonnay, cabernet franc and cabernet sauvignon. Its wines are made with local fruits—some of which are grown on the estate. The vineyard also boasts an outdoor wine stand that’s open from May through October, and plays hosts to weddings and other events. Groups of 10 or more must make reservations to visit the tasting room.