East End Wine Country Highlights: Vineyards & Wineries

Wine Country grapes vineyard
Photo: Deyan Georgiev/iStock/Thinkstock

A summer on Long Island wouldn’t be complete without making at least a few stops in East End Wine Country. But with more than 60 wineries and vineyards to choose from, you’d be hard-pressed to visit them all. With that in mind, here are some highlights you definitely do not want to miss.

Wineries that appear underlined are featured at Dan’s Harvest East End, the can’t–miss food and wine classic on August 22 at McCall Vineyard in Cutchogue. For more information, including tickets and VIP packages, visit DansTaste.com.

Anthony Nappa Wines combines new world technology and old world traditions to focus on the full expression of their creations. The winery was established in 2007 by winemaker Anthony Nappa and chef Sarah Evans Nappa with the production of 200 cases of Long Island Pinot Noir. Crafting premium wines and representing New York’s unique climates and soils, they also work with upstate growers to highlight the best of the Finger Lakes region. The wines are currently available for tasting and purchase at the Nappa tasting room at The Winemaker Studio. 2885 Peconic Lane, Peconic, 774-641-7488, anthonynappawines.com

Baiting Hollow Farm Vineyard grows cabernet sauvignon, merlot and riesling grapes. Since 2007, Baiting Hollow has also worked to rescue horses and nurture them back to health. A selection of the vineyard’s wines is devoted to their horse rescue efforts, so visiting oenophiles can indulge while also helping a worthy cause. Stop by and enjoy live music from 2 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. 2114 Sound Avenue, Calverton 631-369-0100 baitinghollowfarmvineyard.com

Bedell Cellars is a family owned estate vineyard that uses entirely indigenous yeasts as part of its holistic winemaking program. This 30-year-old winery produced the first New York wine ever served at the inauguration of a U.S. president (it was poured at Barack Obama’s in 2013) and specializes in aromatic, acidic wines, as is typical of grapes grown in a maritime climate. Bedell focuses on sustainability in its winemaking, avoiding synthetic fertilizers and encouraging natural ecological processes to nurture its grapes. 36225 Main Road, Route 25, Cutchogue, 631-734-7537 bedellcellars.com 

Brooklyn Oenology Winery (BOE) is a locally focused winery based in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The winery purchases grapes directly from New York State vineyards, and then manages the entire winemaking process, from harvest through press to fermentation, storage and bottling. Though there are plans to bring much of the process into Brooklyn, the grapes are currently fermenting at the Premium Wine group in Mattituck. BOE wines can be found in over 150 stores and restaurants in and around New York City! 209 Wythe Avenue #106, Brooklyn, 718-599-1259, brooklynoenology.com

One of the mantras at Castello di Borghese is “good wine is first made in the field,” and at Borghese they tend to their vines with great care. They also host many events through the Terra Cotta Art Gallery. Route 48 and Alvah’s Lane, Cutchogue 631-734-5111 castellodiborghese.com

Channing Daughters Winery isn’t afraid to push boundaries. A small and unique vineyard where distinct lots of grapes are fermented and bottled separately, bearing a Vineyard Designation and Appellation of Origin. Channing Daughters is proud to produce wines bearing all three Long Island American Viticulture Areas (AVAs). The winery’s white grapes include chardonnay, pinot grigio, tocai friulano, sauvignon blanc, muscat ottonel, malvasia, gewurztraminer, ribolla gialla and pinot bianco. Their red varieties include merlot, blaufränkisch, dornfelder, syrah, cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon, teroldego, refosco and lagrein. All are hand-picked. Check out the weekly wine-tasting class. 1927 Scuttlehole Road, Bridgehampton, 631-537-7224, channingdaughters.com

The name Clovis Point refers to the sculpted tools found near what is now the vineyard, tools that were used by the inhabitants of Long Island’s North Fork more than 10,000 years ago. According to this vineyard’s website, “The same fertile land that once supported those ancient peoples now nurtures our vines. It’s what makes Clovis Point wines sure to pass the test of time.” Enjoy live music and other activities on the weekends. 1935 Main Road, Jamesport, 631-722-4222, clovispointwines.com

If you’re looking for something new this year, then you’re looking for Coffee Pot Cellars. Named for the iconic lighthouse at Orient Point, Coffee Pot Cellars has been producing small-batch, ultra-premium wine since 2008. Join them throughout the summer at the newly renovated tasting room in Cutchogue. 17150 Middle Road, Cutchogue, 631-765-8929 coffeepotcellars.com

Sal and Maryann Diliberto, of Diliberto Winery, are passionate about their Italian heritage and their wines. Their tasting room in Jamesport is the ultimate expression of these lifelong passions. with a magnificent interior mural that replicates a Tuscan outdoor café. On the weekends, listen to live music while you sip on their award-winning wines and try their homemade pizza. 250 Manor Lane, Jamesport, 631-722-3416, dilibertowinery.com

Duck Walk Vineyards founder Dr. Herodotus “Dan” Damianos helped kick-start the winemaking industry on Long Island in the early 1980s. In 1994, he and his son Alexander founded Duck Walk Vineyards. From their Vidal Ice Wine made with grapes frozen on the vine to Blueberry Port crafted from wild Maine blueberries to their unique pinot meunier, Duck Walk’s wines are both distinctive and exceptional. Enjoy wine and cheese pairings throughout the season and live music on select weekends. 44535 Main Road, Southold, 631-765-3500, duckwalk.com

Ed and Monica Harbes of Harbes Vineyard were married in 1978 and decided to try life on the farm. Of course, Ed had 13 generations’ worth of farming know-how behind him. In 2003, Bordeaux vines were planted on a stony south-facing hill on the Harbes’ land, which are now producing the fine and subtle wines that the North Fork is famous for. The Harbes’ 100-year old Cherry Barn at the Mattituck farm provides a simple country retreat for wine tasting, which is offered daily through the season to November. 715 Sound Avenue, Mattituck, 631-298-9463, harbesfamilyfarm.com/family-vineyard

Jason’s Vineyard is famous for its Meritage blend, featuring an oak-aged blend of cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc and merlot grapes. Its 20-acre space is devoted to a number of specialized grapes, including chardonnay, merlot and cabernet. The winery is open seven days a week and offers tastings for curious wine aficionados. 1785 Main Road Route 25, Jamesport 631-238-5801, jasonsvineyard.com

Estate winery Jamesport Vineyards was first planted in 1981, with its first production debuting in 1986. A family collaboration of Ron Goerler and his son, Ron Jr., Jamesport Vineyards has great events and tastings year-round. Their grape varieties include chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, merlot, cabernet sauvignon, pinot noir, riesling, cabernet franc, semillon and syrah. There also have specialty wines such as semi glace (ice wine). 1216 Main Road, Jamesport, 631-722-5256, jamesportwines.com

As the only winery in Greenport and one of the few wineries in North America designed to be LEED gold-certified, Kontokosta Winery is an exciting destination for wine lovers and visitors to the East End of Long Island. Situated on 62 acres, the winery occupies over a quarter-mile of Long Island Sound waterfront. Visit their beautiful location and sample their gold medal-awarded wines. Enjoy the delicious 2014 Rosé, a blend of syrah, cabernet franc and cabernet sauvignon, as well as a 2014 vintage of their award-winning sauvignon blanc. 825 North Road (Route 25), Greenport, 631-477-6977, kontokostawinery.com

The Lenz Winery in Peconic has become known for its rustic, “Old World”-style wines and its dedication to aging since they planted their first vines on an old potato farm in 1978. 38355 Route 25, Peconic, 631-734-6010, lenzwine.com

Lieb Cellars has two tasting rooms. Tucked away on one of the North Fork’s most rural back roads, Lieb Cellars’ Oregon Road tasting room in Cutchogue is a vision of rustic chic nestled in 62 acres of vines. Head there on Saturday afternoons for live music. 13050 Oregon Road, Cutchogue 631-734-1100/Bridge Lane Tasting Room, 35 Cox Neck Road, Mattituck 631-298-1942 liebcellars.com

The 200-acre Macari Vineyard is a family owned winery that has been producing award-winning wines with a careful eye on the environment and sustainability since 1995. The 2013 rosé marks the first time that Macari has done a rosé with mainly cabernet franc. The Mattituck tasting room is open daily, and offers three different flights, as well as wine by the glass or bottle. 150 Bergen Avenue, Mattituck, 631-298-0100, macariwines.com

Martha Clara Vineyards is the brainchild of Robert Entenmann, who created the vineyard from the family farm. As it says on the their Facebook page: “In 1995 Robert Entenmann caught the grape bug and planted 18 acres of vines. Over the next four years his vineyard acreage grew to over 100 acres as he anxiously waited for the grapes to come of age.” Martha Clara Vineyards is open year-round and is named after Entenmann’s mother. Martha Clara released three new vintages this summer, including two of their 2014 Northern Solstice Blends and a new vintage of Northville Blanc. 6025 Sound Avenue, Riverhead, 631-298-0075, marthaclaravineyards.com

Located on a small family farm, Mattebella Vineyards specializes in European clones of grape varietals. The tight spacing keep the grapes in close quarters, and everything is done by hand. Mattebella is committed to using sustainable viticultural practices while finding solutions to old problems by maximizing the health of their vineyard. 46005 Route 25, Southold 631-655-9554 mattebellavineyards.com

McCall Vineyard and Ranch sits on storied ground. Until about 300 years ago, Downs Woods and the adjacent McCall vineyards were the cultural center of an Algonquin tribe. The McCalls have been growing and selling pinot noir and merlot on the North Fork since the mid-1990s. Following a French-influenced model, they make high-quality, low-yield wines. The tasting room is open daily. 22600 Main Road, Cutchogue, 631-734-5764, mccallwines.com

The Old Field Vineyards started in 1996, when Christian Phelps and his wife Rosamond purchased the Old Field from Christian’s family. They planted merlot, cabernet franc, and pinot noir grapes. Rosamond and daughter Perry now craft some of the best wines as the only mother-daughter winery/vineyard team on the island. Discuss growing techniques in the fields, winemaking, and history of the nearly century-old family farm with the winemaker and owner, Chris Phelps, during a Tasting by the Bay event on this bayfront vineyard in July and August. Or attend a tour, available throughout the season. 59600 Main Road, Southold, 631-765-0004, theoldfield.com

One Woman Winery is the brainchild of Claudia Purita, who grew up on a farm in Calabria, Italy, where she helped grow vegetables and wine grapes. Purita meticulously tends to the vineyard personally and it shows in the final product. Among its special events, One Woman Winery hosts Tastings Under the Stars every Saturday until Columbus Day. 5195 Old North Road, Southold 631-765-1200, onewomanwines.com

Ninety acres of vinifera grapes grow under the watchful eye of the Osprey, the vineyard’s namesake. Osprey’s Dominion Vineyard started with its first vines planted on 24 acres in 1983. Now they boast the most varietals on Long Island: thirteen. They also offer a few exclusives such as Carmenere, Edelzwicker and Spice Wine. In May and June, enjoy live music on the weekends with your picnic lunches. The outside wine bar is open from April to October. 44075 Main Road, Peconic, 631-765-6188, ospreysdominion.com

Palmer Vineyards was founded in 1983 and is one of the oldest wineries on the North Fork. Palmer makes merlot, chardonnay, pinot blanc, sauvignon blanc and more. They host many events throughout the summer season, and the lovely courtyard at Palmer Vineyards is available for private groups of up to 30 for gatherings. 5120 Sound Avenue, Riverhead, 631-722-9463, palmervineyards.com

Priding themselves in new vintages and award-winning new favorites, Pellegrini Vineyards are a superior winery to look out for. Two properties approximately five miles east of Pellegrini Vineyards were purchased in 1998, which allowed the family to plant more cabernet sauvignon, merlot and cabernet franc. The properties have enabled Pellegrini to Estate Bottle all of their reds as well as their “Finale” dessert wine. The tasting room is open year-round. 23005 Main Road, Cutchogue, 631-734-4111, pellegrinivineyards.com

Taking its name after the Greek poet, Pindar Vineyards is the renowned sister vineyard of Duck Walk Vineyards. Enjoy live music every weekend and indulge in gifts available at the shop. Visit the delicious winery, a keepsake in itself (besides the unmistakable marquee). 37645 Main Road (Rte 25), Peconic, 631-734-6200, pindar.net

Enjoy live music every Sunday at Raphael Vineyard as you taste one of their four new wines. Their new label, Bel Rosso, is remade from a discontinued blend. It incorporates merlot, cabernet franc and cabernet sauvignon, seamlessly bringing bright fruit, a soft hue and a medium body. Notes of blackberry and licorice on the palette turn into a long earthy finish. Bel Rosso is made in both stainless steel and French oak for 16 months before blending, and is bottled unfiltered and un-fined. A second new label, Rosé of Pinot Noir, is cool fermented in stainless steel. Raphael Vineyard is also releasing two new vintages this summer. 2014 First Label Sauvignon Blanc is hand-selected from the vineyard’s oldest vines, which produces balanced and structured wines. 39390 Route 25, Peconic, 631-765-1100, raphaelwine.com

Roanoke Vineyards are masters of cabernet. Their limited-production wines are highly sought after for their quality. Their Sound Avenue vineyard was planted in 2000 on a 10-acre parcel of Riverhead Sandy Loam soil. They have one acre of merlot, with the balance of the vineyard divided equally between cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc. Roanoke Vineayards, 3543 Sound Avenue, Riverhead, 631-727-5602, roanokevineyards.net; Love Lane Wine Bar, 165 Love Lane, Mattituck, 631-298-7677

The beautiful and rustic Sannino Bella Vita Vineyard and Bed and Breakfast is a little piece of Tuscany nestled in Peconic. This small-scale winery produces 1,500 cases a year, including some summer favorites like steel-fermented chardonnay, riesling, rosé and their new white merlot. Once a month, Sannino hosts their Winemaker for a Day, where guests can blend their own custom wine. The vineyard will feature live music every Sunday and as part of Late Night Fridays, the tasting barn will be open until 8 p.m. Fridays through September 4. 1375 Peconic Lane, Peconic, 631-734-8282, sanninovineyard.com

Scarola Vineyards is a small vineyard “dedicated to honoring and sustaining a family tradition begun generations ago in Bari, Italy.” In 1947, the Scarola family came to the United States for a better life, and more than 60 years later, Frank Scarola began a vineyard inspired by his family. The winery is small, producing 500 cases a year, and their wines are featured at restaurants and wine shops in New York and on Long Island. 4850 Sound Ave, Mattituck, 631-298-7676, scarolavineyards.com

Sherwood House Vineyards, with locations in Jamesport and Mattituck, is run by Dr. Charles and Barbara Smithen and makes merlot, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, petit verdot and chardonnay. Winemaker Gilles Martin has a Master of Oenology and has directed more than two dozen wineries, including Macari Vineyards, where his 1997 Barrel Fermented Chardonnay was served at the White House. 1291 Main Road, Jamesport/2600 Oregon Road & Elijah’s Lane, Mattituck, 631-779-2817, sherwoodhousevinyards.com

Nothing says celebration like a bottle of bubbly, and Sparkling Pointe, New York’s only sparkling-exclusive winery, certainly has something to celebrate. Their 2003 Brut Seduction and 2008 Blanc de Noirs became New York’s first sparkling wines to receive 90 points from Wine Spectator. Sparkling Pointe offers tastings all week in their luxurious tasting room and on their spacious patio. Join them through October for live music, and don’t miss their Annual Carnivale, which will celebrate new wine releases. 39750 County Road 48, Southold, 631-765-0200, sparklingpointe.com

Suhru Wines, run by Susan and Russell Hearn, distributes wines throughout New York State that can be purchased at various restaurants and retail outlets. Their first vintage was released in 2008. Russell Hearn, who has been making wine for 30 years, creates young, innovative and vibrant wines, and has international experience. Their riesling and pinot grigio are from the Finger Lakes region. The Winemaker Studio, 2885 Peconic Lane, Peconic. 774-641-7488, suhruwines.com

The Shinn Estate Vineyards owners Barbara Shinn and David Page set out to reconnect with nature when in 1998 they purchased the historic Tuthill homestead on Oregon Road in Mattituck. They planted 20 acres of grapevines and built an estate winery and Farmhouse bed and breakfast. 2000 Oregon Road, Mattituck, 631-804-0367, shinnestatevineyards.com

T’Jara Vineyards’ merlot was selected by the Long Island Merlot Association. In 2001, Russell Hearn and Jed Beitler acquired 20 acres of land for their B&H farms, resulting in delicious new vintage wines. Check them out at the Winemaker Studio in Peconic. 35 Cox Neck Road, Mattituck | Studio: 2885 Peconic Lane, Peconic ; 917-497-3073/631-905-7550, tjaravineyards.com

Waters Crest Winery is owned by Jim and Linda Waters. Waters Crest primarily produces cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, merlot and chardonnay grapes, as they feel these are the varietals best suited to their unique terroir. Tours are available, as well as special memberships and tastings. Among their popular vintages are the 2008 Campania Rosso, 2012 Dry riesling and 2012 Rosé. 22355 Route 48, Unit 6, Cutchogue, 631-734-5065, waterscrestwinery.com

Wölffer Estate Vineyard is releasing a new vintage of their extremely popular rosé, Summer in a Bottle, an homage to summertime in the Hamptons. Following the success of Summer in a Bottle, Wölffer Estate has just released Summer in a Bottle White. A new rosé will also make its way to Wölffer Estate this July. Finca Wölffer Rosé 2015 comes from the Wölffer Estate vineyard in Mendoza, Argentina. Visit Wölffer Estate for Sundays on the Terrace, a brunch service featuring rosé mimosas and cider cocktails. Live music and special events will be held throughout the summer. 139 Sagg Road, Sagaponack, 631-537-5106, wolffer.com

For more information about winery touring and tastings, and to read the latest news from East End Wine Country, check out our Grapevine section.

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