10 Dec 6 OFF BEAT IDEAS FOR WINE TASTING IN LONG ISLAND
A “WINE”-DERFUL TIME
Often, when people think of American wine, their minds go straight to California. Napa Valley is essentially synonymous with “vineyard” and the phrase “California wine” is pretty much universally recognized—like Swiss cheese or French bread or Canadian bacon. But something that you might not know is that you can save yourself a 3,000 mile trip across the country by finding some excellent world-class wines right on Long Island.
If you’re going to turn your wine adventure into a date night, which we think is a fantastic (and romantic) idea, you should probably go ahead and book a limousine to take you around. The key to enjoying any variety of wines is knowing that you can get from place to place, and eventually back home, safely and easily. We’ve compiled a list of Long Island vineyards that you should definitely give a little look-see; you won’t regret it.
SHINN ESTATE VINEYARDS
Shinn Estate Vineyards in Mattituck, New York is a 14-year-old vineyard on a positively scenic 20 acre farm. Its winery is set in a 125-year-old barn, providing an intimate look at the wine-making craft in an historic atmosphere. Tours are free and self-guided, with the purchase of a wine tasting or bottle. There is also a vineyard walk and a barrel cellar tour available on weekend afternoons.
CLOVIS POINT WINES
This 12-year-old North Fork winery is situated among 10 acres of beautiful vineyard and scenic landscape. Their tasting room, set in a cedar shakes with a large patio, is a comfortable place to unwind and, of course, sample all that the vineyard has to offer in terms of wines. Clovis Point is open for visitors six days a week and often hosts live music or other entertainment for its guests.
WOLFFER ESTATE VINEYARD
The Wolffer Estate Vineyard in Sagaponack is just a handful of miles from the Atlantic Ocean and boasts some of the most beautiful landscaping around. Its wine tasting room is open seven days a week and provides an elegant atmosphere for sampling and enjoying their products. From October through April, Wolffer Estates offers “Candlelight Fridays,” where you can enjoy some of New York’s best jazz and wine in an intimate, date-night-perfect setting.
MCCALL WINES AND VINEYARD
Set upon 100 acres of ranch and beautiful farmland in Cutchogue, this 14-year-old winery provides some of the most fascinating history of all Long Island Wineries. Until roughly 1700, the grounds were the home to an Algonquin Indian tribe and were later purchased at the turn of the 20th century as the site of a summer home for a New York businessman and his family. Threatened with commercial development, the McCall Estate was gifted to the North Fork Stewardship of the Peconic Landtrust where its lands were cultivated for corn, potatoes, and, of course, grapes to make wine.
MARTHA CLARA VINEYARDS
Martha Clara Vineyards, found on the North Fork, has been voted Long Island’s favorite vineyard a handful of times, and it’s easy to see why. The vineyard is set on over 100 acres and its proprietors are constantly holding on-site events, concerts and tastings for the community. December’s calendar is chock-full of opportunities for Martha Clara date-night rendezvous, but be sure to plan ahead and get your tickets in plenty of time: they go quickly.
PECONIC BAY WINERY
This 33-year-old Vineyard on the North Fork is a lush and peaceful space that offers plenty of views and access to the North Fork atmosphere. Peconic Bay’s tasting room is open 7 days a week, with special events and concerts held periodically. If you have a larger group, remember to secure reservations. Otherwise, enjoy the tranquility and the delicious wine.