This weekend, my very first best friend got married. And a bit over a week ago, a group of us took her to celebrate the end of her single life (and the beginning of her married life to one of the best guys out there) by doing a tour of the vineyards of the North Fork of Long Island.
The first vineyard we visited was Jamesport Vineyards, one of the oldest in the area. It was a little bit cool on the afternoon that we visited, but I can only imagine that on a warmer day, the outdoor seating would be positively perfect. As it was, we just put on sweaters and started our tasting.
We did a five-wine flight, which featured an assortment of whites, reds, and rosés for $20. One of my favorites was the first one we tried, a sauvignon blanc, though the chardonnay was unexpectedly pleasant as well (and didn’t taste at all like licking a table, as so many can).
If you’re staying further east, as we did, I highly recommend making this the first spot you hit and sampling some food before continuing onwards. We aimed to arrive at noon, and we ended up sharing a delicious pizza cooked in the wood-fired oven (it featured ham and honey) as well as a plate of blistered shishito peppers (which I can’t get in France and thus order pretty much every chance I get).
Our next stop was the Shinn Estate, my favorite of the three vineyards we visited. The tasting room itself was tasteful and rustic (I can’t speak for the inn, though if it’s half as beautiful as the cellar, I’d highly recommend it).
The wines were delicious, especially the Rose Hill rosé, a few bottles of which I purchased for later.
We also got a cheese board and a meat board to fortify us for the rest of our drive.
We ended up visiting one last vineyard – Sparkling Pointe – before heading to Greenport where our Air BnB was. I had originally intended to visit an additional vineyard, but three was more than enough. In fact, given the hours that these vineyards allow groups to book (between 11 and 2), our schedule was a bit tight.
I would recommend planning to spend at least an hour and a half, if not two hours, at each place (if you have a smaller group, you’ll have a bit more flexibility on arrival times, which will make it easier to visit more vineyards).
Oh, and be sure to pick up some bottles for later.