Although wine tasting is an adult activity, several North Fork vineyards not only allow patrons to bring kids—they encourage it. Vineyards can be a great place to take children, especially when there are kid-friendly food options and spacious grounds. Here are tasting spots that have a wide variety of activities for children and for the young-at-heart.
Martha Clara Vineyards
This vineyard has it all. Live music? Yes. Wide open, lush field for activities? Yes. Dogs allowed? Yes. Picnic-style seating? Yes. Farm animals? Yes. Horse-drawn wagon rides? Yes. Corn hole? Yes. Martha Clara has a spacious tasting barn and a smaller tasting barn for members only. It has rows of outdoor tables shaded by green umbrellas and even more rows of picnic tables where families can lounge in between outdoor games or rounds of catch. Children can be seen running toward (or away from) the animal pens or waiting for a wagon ride. There are even organized dog walks through the vineyard. All that is required is a can of non-perishable dog or cat food that will be donated to local shelters. Martha Clara (6025 Sound Ave, Riverhead; 631-298-0075) is backyard fun for everyone, just with a larger supply of wine than your home.
One of the most family-friendly features of Palmer Vineyards is that they allow you to bring your own food. This can be vital, especially for finicky eaters who might turn their tiny-noses at the more adult menu options provided by some wineries. There is also a selection of meats and cheeses for more mature palates. Lawn chairs are perfect for lazily sipping away and listening to the live music while giddy children get a fun view of the vineyards from hayrides. Palmer (5120 Sound Ave, Riverhead; 631-722-9463) is also another dog-friendly winery.
Food and space are key elements of any family-friendly winery. Jamesport has both. While the vineyard doesn’t allow coolers or picnic baskets, guests don’t need to bring outside food or drinks. Jamesport Vineyards (1216 Main Rd, Jamesport; 631-722-5256) has cheese, crackers, cured meats, and non-alcoholic beverages. It has is a raw bar serving fresh local oysters and clams. Jamesport also offers wood-fired flatbreads made by Noah’s of Greenport. Live music starts at 1p.m. every Saturday and Sunday.
Baiting Hollow Farm Vineyard
The bucolic setting, the outdoor music and the barbecue make Baiting Hollow the perfect spot for all ages. Outside food and drinks are allowed. What makes Baiting Hollow (2114 Sound Ave, Calverton; 631-369-0100) a unique family-friendly spot is the horse rescue tour. The farm is home to horses whose lives were at risk and tours are a way to educate the public about horse protection. Tour goers will meet former racehorses that come from famous racing lineages or beautiful Arabian horses, all of whom have been rescued. There is also a selection of Baiting Hollow wines that help fund the farm’s rescue efforts