You love wine, and you love New York. You would love to go on a winery tour or wine tasting this holiday season, but you don’t want to make the long trip out to California’s wine country. Your family gathers for the holidays on Long Island every year, and you would never want to miss out on this family tradition. Even without taking into account the cost of such a major trip, the red-eye flight, the year-round sunshine, and the West Coast snobs don’t sound like your idea of a good time.
The good news is that there are plenty of wineries right here at home on Long Island. Long Island’s wine country might not get as much publicity as California’s, but it is just as beautiful, and the wines taste just as good. Long Island is home to 2,500 acres of vineyards, mostly located in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Many of these wineries are open year round, and some of them are available for special events such as weddings and holiday parties. These are some of Long Island’s top destinations for oenophiles.
Located in Suffolk County, the hamlet of Mattituck is technically part of the Town of Southold. It is a popular destination for road trips and boat trips alike, and wine is one of its main attractions. Its soil and climate give its wines their distinctive flavor. It specializes in a variety of wines, from red and white dessert wines to dry and off-dry rose wines to cabernet franc and pinot noir.
The hamlet of Baiting Hollow is part of the Town of Riverhead in Suffolk County. It is home to unique organic wines. Baiting Hollow is a good choice of destination if children are traveling with you on your trip to Long Island wine country, because a water theme park is nearby.
Located in the Town of Southold, not far from Mattituck, the hamlet of Cutchogue is home to several wineries. Some of the oldest vineyards on Long Island are located in Cutchogue. Besides wine, another attraction in Cutchogue is its frequent art exhibitions.
Located on the South Fork of Suffolk County, the hamlet of Bridgehampton is part of the town of Southampton. Wineries are only one of the reasons to visit Bridgehampton; road racing and horse shows are other popular diversions there. Of course, the wines, which are made by traditional methods, are also superb.
By: Stephanie Cara