Wineries and vineyards span across the North Fork in rich profusion, offering a vast variety of opportunities for a tasting adventure. With summer upon us, the search for new and exciting indoor and outdoor activities is in full swing. So what could be better than to sample a few of the wines made from grapes grown right in our backyards!
North Fork wineries offer many different experiences in terms of their tasting room events, from the different types of wines they offer to the atmosphere they each set out to achieve. Several friends and I selected four wineries for my first wine tasting experience: Peconic Bay Winery, Sherwood House Vineyard, The Lenz Winery and Vineyard 48, all of which offer tasting opportunities seven days a week.
Setting off on our great wine-tasting excursion, our first stop was The Lenz Winery, located in Peconic. It was founded in 1978 and is one of the longest-standing vineyards on the North Fork. The tasting room and the beautiful grounds offer a relaxed and comfortable vibe. Lenz employee Thomas made the experience that much better. Lenz offers 13 different kinds of wines for the public’s pleasure. After going through the tasting list we agreed that the Gewurztraminer is a must-try, a white wine that is not found in abundance in many of the wineries. For all the red wine lovers out there, Merlot-Malbec is the way to go. Malbec is a grape that is becoming increasingly popular and after tasting it, it is easy to see why.
The second stop was Vineyard 48, located in Cutchogue. This vineyard was established in 1982. With their widespread selection of fruity wines and laid-back style, it was the perfect place to spend a sunny summer day with friends and family. As with Lenz, Vineyard 48 also offers 13 different types of wine with something for everyone’s taste buds. The best-selling wine on the weekends is 48’s NoFo peach wine, a fact that completely understandable. The peach taste was neither subtle nor over-powering. A perfect balance for the warm weather.
Next, we made our way to Peconic Bay Winery in Cutchogue. It was founded in 1979 and is the third-oldest winery on Long Island. Peconic Bay offers between 10 and 12 wines for tasting. With the beautiful tasting rooms and vineyard, as well as the friendly staff, the experience was nothing short of enjoyable. Peconic Bay staff member Jeff was more than helpful and had answers to all the questions fired his way. The 2009 Riesling was a must-try from my experience. With its fruity taste, it was fresh and light and I found it to be just what I was looking for in a white wine.
The final stop on this great journey was Sherwood House Vineyard, located in Jamesport. They offer about 12 different wines to the public. The new tasting room was opened about a year ago; originally an 1870 farmhouse it is beautiful inside and out. It is warm and welcoming, just like the staff, especially winery manager Ami. She was more than knowledgeable, not just about wine, but anything that was a need-to-know about the North Fork. My favorite from Sherwood was their summer bestseller, the white Merlot. It is a great summer wine not at all sweet or heavy. The wines at Sherwood House speak for themselves and it’s easy to taste how they have achieved so many major awards.
My first wine-tasting adventure was a complete success. It’s a great activity to be shared with friends, family, and whoever is looking for a special day on the North Fork.