Over the next month, I will take Pulse readers on a digital version of the ultimate wine tour. I’ll highlight some of the unique, sometimes missed attributes that Long Island’s public wineries and vineyards possess. Being placed in one category doesn’t mean a winery doesn’t fit the bill for another. A word of warning: Don’t take the labels too seriously. A winery with live music may also have great food. Like wine, it’s all in good fun and a matter of personal taste. Here’s to that and all Long Island wineries. For a look at part 1, click here.
Long Island Wineries With Intimate Vibes
Many Long Island wineries have developed a lively scene—think boisterous, standing-room-only tasting rooms. When your mood calls for a quieter but high-quality place to sip and savor, consider a day at a more intimate establishment.
Diliberto Winery, Riverhead
Sitting and staying a while is a house rule at this Italian-inspired winery. Guests won’t find a bar at the tasting room, just tables, chairs and a mural of an Italian café. Olives, lupini beans or taralle come complementary with a tasting, an idea co-owners Maryann and Sal Diliberto picked up on a trip to Torino. Phone: 631-722-3416 | Address: 250 Manor Ln. Click to sip
One Woman Wines, Southold
The name isn’t a euphemism—Claudia Perita, who grew up on a farm in Calabria Italy, plants her own vines and makes the wine that’s served in this red-shingled shed. About a dozen people at a time can fit inside the tasting room, and Perita tends to have guests at “Merlot.” The 2012 Reserve Merlot, aged 32 months in New French Oak, is full-bodied with notes of bittersweet chocolate, plum, blueberry and ripe mission fig. Even Wine Enthusiast was colored impressed—the magazine featured it as one of its Top 100 Buys of 2016. Phone: 631-765-1200 | Address: 5195 Old North Rd. Click to sip
Pugliese Vineyards, Cutchogue
The ambiance at Pugliese is always warm, regardless of whether it’s a Riesling or Merlot kind of day. Perhaps it’s because over the last three decades, this hidden gem has stayed under the Pugliese family. Pat Pugliese, who founded the vineyard with her late husband Ralph 34 years ago, still frequents the intimate tasting room. Toast to good vibes, the Pugliese family and your own by opting for a champagne flight. The hand-painted Blanc de Blanc is the most popular sparkling option. It’s light and crisp with ample complexity. The Sparkling Merlot offers something different—think aromas of black cherry with lively bubbles and a persistent finish. Phone: 631-734-4057 | Address: 34515 Main Rd. Click to sip
Sherwood House Vineyards, Jamesport
The tasting room is set in a converted 1870s farmhouse and much of the reclaimed wood material used for the tables and walls comes from local sources. The space open, cozy and exudes rustic elegance. The wines are known to follow suit. Phone: 631-779-2817 | Address: 1291 Main Rd. Click to sip
Coffee Pot Cellars, Cutchogue
Resident pug Beasley has developed a cult following of Internet reviewers, as has local beekeeper Laura Klahre of Blossom Meadow, who makes beeswax candles, crayons and lip balm sold on-site. Guests rave about the wine, too. The 2014 Beasley’s Blend is a Merlot-Cabernet Franc Blend filled with black cherry, spice and licorice flavors. Like the pug, it’s relaxed and can warm a person up on a cool evening. When winter sets in, it’s made for sipping on the couch with your own pup resting on your lap. Phone: 631-765-8929 | Address: 31855 Main Rd. Click to sip
Long Island Wineries for Pinot Noir Enthusiasts
Pinot Noir is like a good, chunky cardigan—perfect for transitioning from warm weather to cool and vise versa. Long Island wineries are always ready to raise a glass to the season.
McCall Wines, Cutchogue
McCall has three different bottles of Pinot Noir available for purchase. The Pinot Noir 2013 is barrel aged in French oak, giving it notes of vanilla and a well-structured, elegant finish. The late harvested Pinot Noir Hillside 2013, barrel aged for 16 months, has balanced aromas of black cherry, strawberry and spice. But the grandaddy of them all is the Pinot Noir Reserve 2010. Named the Best Pinot Noir in New York at the 2013 New York Wine & Food Classic, it’s a vino that only comes around once in a five to eight year weather cycle. Expect a gold, intense fruit and nuanced earth and mineral notes with a hint of French oak. Phone: 631-734-5764 | Address: 22600 NY-25 Click to sip
Castello di Borghese Vineyard and Winery, Cutchogue
A truck sits on the front lawn of Castello di Borghese with barrels that read “Pinot Noir.” It’s an unofficial landmark along the trail and a portent of what’s to come should a visitor come inside. But guests are still in for a surprise if they sip the 2014 Select Pinot Noir. It’s rich in color and has a fuller mouth feel than most Pinots. The flavor profile, which boasts muddled, dark cherry, spiced orange and traces of bitter, is like an Old-Fashioned in a wine bottle. It pairs nicely with soft chèvre or a salami board. Phone: 631-734-5111 | Address: 17150 County Rd. 48 Click to sip
Long Island Wineries for Animal Lovers
Many Long Island wineries are dog-friendly, but at some establishments, other types of four-legged friends share the stage with wine as part of the “mane” event.
Jason’s Vineyard, Jamesport
The late Jason Damianos, who grew up working on his family’s vineyards Pindar and Duck Walk, is remembered as an animal lover. It should come as no surprise that Damianos decided to share his vineyard with sheep and alpacas, who greet guests (from behind the fence) upon arrival. Even some of the wines’ names are inspired by the property’s residents. Take the Golden Fleece, a fruit-driven white blend that would make Pindar founder Dr. Herodotus “Dan” Damianos proud. Click to visit Phone: 631-238-5801 | Address: 1785 Main Rd. Click to sip
Baiting Hollow Farm Vineyard, Baiting Hollow
More than a haven for oenophiles, Baiting Hollow Farm Vineyard doubles as a horse rescue. Sharon Rubin Levine and Richard Rubin founded Baiting Hollow Farm Vineyard Horse Rescue in 2007 after falling hoof-over-heel for an 18-month-old filly who was to be slaughtered that day. They named her Angel, took her back to the vineyard and have continued to rescue horses ever since. Inside the tasting room, guests can sample several Horse Rescue wines, a series of vinos that benefit the equine residents. The 2014 Angel is a full-bodied oak blended Chardonnay, the Mirage is a smooth and sumptuous red blend and the 2014 Savannah Rose is an off-dry with aromas of bright strawberry, raspberry, rhubarb and vanilla. Phone: 631-369-0100 | Address: 2114 Sound Ave. Click to sip
Long Island Wineries That are the Epitome of Chill
No Long Island winery has the Ocean Beach-style distinction of being called “The Land of No,” but some vineyards are as relaxed as a semi-dry rosé on a lazy Sunday.
Bridge Lane Wines, Mattituck
Some may turn their noses up at the canned wine movement, but Bridge Lane embraced it full-on when it became the first North Fork winery to can wine. Perfect for Long Island’s summer beach crowd, the wines are dry, fruit-forward and made for sipping young. The tasting room boasts similar laid-back vibes. There are sofas and cushions for guests to sink into as they sip. Phone: 631-298-1942 | Address: 35 Cox Neck Rd. Click to sip
Osprey’s Dominion, Peconic
Lawn games, check. Live music, check. Picnic tables, check. Dogs? Bring ‘em. Outside food? Sure, grab a picnic table on the spacious lawn and enjoy! Osprey’s Dominion is as chill as they come—it’s no surprise the spacious lawn is packed every weekend. Inside the tasting room, visitors aren’t limited to set flights of wine—they can mix and match as they please. The Reserve Blanc de Noir is perfect for celebrating something special and come winter, the spiced wine warms the body and soul. Phone: 631-765-6188 | Address: 44075 Main Rd. Click to sip
Long Island Wineries With Beautiful Tasting Rooms
A day at the vineyards calls for an Instagram photo or five. Some tasting rooms provide the perfect backdrop.
The tasting room at Macari is rustic, spacious and lovely. A trio of wooden chandeliers hang from the ceilings, a fireplace warms guests on cooler days and the pale yellow accent wall behind the tasting room bar gives a sunny vibe. Guests can choose between standing at the bar or table service. Whichever you choose, sample the 2012 Merlot Estate. It’s light in body and has a bouquet of plum, strawberry, cherry and a hint of vanilla. The staff raves it’s perfect for a pizza night. Phone: 631-298-0100 | Address: 150 Bergen Ave. Click to sip
Pellegrini Vineyards, Cutochgue
This spot is so gorgeous, even Royal Pains used it as a set. The white cathedral ceilings, accented by wooden beams, add touches of rustic elegance to the space. For something different, sip the 2015 gewürztraminer. It’s “spicy” with a rich mouth feel and a smooth, lingering finish. It’s an ideal aperitif and pairs well with foods that match its spicy profile. Think Indian, Asian and barbecue. Phone: 631-734-4111 | Address: 23005 Main Rd. Click to sip