Fifty years ago, wine tours on Long Island were unheard of. Today, there’s no shortage of places to choose from, specifically on the North Fork. According to East End Bike Tours, there are more than 50 wine producers on Long Island making 1,200,000 gallons of wine and attracting more than 1.3 million visitors every year.
If you have a free day and want to sample the best wine the Island has to offer, head out east to check out one of these picture-worthy establishments.
1074 Main Rd., Aquebogue • www.paumanok.com
Open for 35 years, this vineyard has cultivated its fields to produce Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Visitors can explore the vineyard and stop for a tasting at the winery, which is housed in a renovated barn with a fermentation tank room and lab. The deck overlooking the vineyards is a perfect space for private parties and other special events, which are hosted throughout the year. The vineyard is open during the summer months seven days per week from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
1216 Main Rd., Jamesport • www.jamesportwines.com
Owned by a father-son duo since the 1980s, this vineyard has changed over the year to adapt to a growing number of visitors. Ron Goeler Sr. and Ron Goeler Jr. have now been joined by Goeler Sr.’s grandchildren Alex, Anna, Sarah and Olivia in the operations of the business. The vineyard is open Thursday through Monday from 12 to 5:30 p.m. for visitors. Explore before settling down for a tasting or dinner at the restaurant on-site that features pizzas cooked in a wood-fire oven. The vineyard also hosts special events throughout the year—Jazz in the Vines is a popular summer choice for hearing mellow music on the grounds. If you can’t bear to leave, the winery also has rooms to rent for an overnight stay.
5120 Sound Ave., Riverhead • www.palmervineyards.com
Located in Riverhead, this vineyard gives guests the opportunity to come for tastings or one of the other events that occur throughout the summer, including live music, food trucks and sunset yoga. The tasting room is open Saturday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Friday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. The vineyard welcomes supervised children and leashed dogs in the outside areas. It can accommodate large groups—groups of eight to 20 people must register beforehand, and groups of more than 20 people should call the vineyard to book a time to visit.
Martha Clara Vineyards
6025 Sound Ave., Riverhead • www.marthaclaravineyards.com
If you’re looking for a vineyard that offers more than just sips, head to this North Fork spot. With special public events like Paint Your Own Wine Glass night and Artist in Residence galleries, Martha Clara Vineyards has more than just wine tastings. Open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the week, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, this location is available for group tastings, private tastings and special events. The vineyard was purchased by the Rivero-Gonzalez family, which has 15 years of experience with Mexican wine. The website says that the family is excited about its new property, as they will look to expand their expertise outside of Mexico while working with community members to maintain the history and legacy of the vineyard that they’ve purchased.
Clovis Point Wines
1935 NY-25, Laurel • www.clovispointwines.com
Located in Jamesport, this establishment offers an intimate feel due to the smaller size of its vineyard and tasting room. It can, however, accommodate special events with up to 250 guests. The vineyard offers tasting Monday through Friday from noon to 6 p.m., and on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Opportunities for tasting end one hour before the vineyard closes. Most weekends there is a live music group playing, and food trucks will also make an appearance throughout the summer.
Castello di Borghese
17150 County Rd 48, Cutchogue • www.castellodiborghese.com
Known as the first vineyard on Long Island, this establishment is open for tasting every day from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m in Cutchogue. It also offers “gourmet bites” and items from the Chenza’s Cruzin Cuisine food truck on-site. Visitors can also sign up for a guided tour throughout the vineyard, or book their own private event that the group can accommodate. Aside from weddings, the vineyard can also be a backdrop for proposal or engagement photos. You can also check out one of the North Fork restaurants listed on the vineyard’s website that offer Borghese wines.