Planning a trip to the North Fork? Whether you’re going for the day or a weekend getaway, don’t to miss out on the famous wines that make the North Fork a unique destination. Below are just some of the best places to check out as you make your way east.
When visiting wine country along the North Fork, Baiting Hollow Farm Vineyard (BHFV) is the first vineyard you will see on Sound Avenue. The warm atmosphere and bucolic setting makes BHFV an ideal place for quick day trips, parties and events with family and friends. Among their most award-winning wines are Cabernet Sauvignon, Savannah Rosé, Reserve Merlot, Riesling and Red Velvet. You can enjoy great live music each weekend, and, in season, take a vineyard or horse–rescue tour. 631-369-0100, baitinghollowfarmvineyard.com
The house and vineyard at Sherwood House Vineyards are both proudly displayed on the front of each bottle of Sherwood House wine. Sherwood House began by planting Chardonnay vines, but have since added Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. The Sherwood House tasting room in Jamesport is quaint and comfortable with outdoor seating. Choose wines from their full collection and sample the wines from Hound’s Tree in Mattituck. Hound’s Tree is a relatively new vineyard and brings two decades of West Coast winemaking experience to the North Fork. Why not try two different winemakers at the same tranquil spot? 631-779-2817, sherwoodhousevineyards.com
Head east on Route 25 to Peconic and you’ll find Lenz Winery, which is celebrating its 39th anniversary as a vineyard this summer. Stop by to say congratulations and raise a glass to the Lenz winemaking team in their tasting room or at courtyard tastings. Some of their most popular wines include Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Gris and their Firefly Rosé. Merlot was one of the first grapes planted at Lenz, and in September, Lenz will host the 29th Annual Merlot World Classic highlighting more than 60 merlots from all over the world, including many from North Fork vineyards. 631-734-6010, lenzwine.com
Across the road from Lenz is Raphael Winery. The design of Raphael’s winery was inspired by the Italian monasteries in the ancestral home of owner John Petrocelli. By building the winery 12 feet underground, Raphael is able to make their wines using a gentle gravity-flow method, and also have a very energy-efficient, geothermal building by using Earth’s natural 55° temperature to cool the winery in summer and warm it in winter. On the surface, you can enjoy a glass of some of their finest wines and take in a beautiful view of the vineyard. Raphael’s expansive tasting room, outdoor deck and vineyard adjacent to the lawn provide ample seating and tables for your tasting enjoyment, which is complemented by their extensive assortment of gourmet snacks, cheeses and cured meats. 631-765-1100, raphaelwine.com
Just a minute down the road is Sannino Bella Vita Vineyard. Sannino’s tasting room is a casual and cozy environment within a rustic, historic barn. An outside seating area nestled among the vines provides visitors with unforgettable sunset views as they enjoy Sannino’s quality–crafted wines like Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Syrah and Spotlight Petit Verdot. Besides making a great product, Sannino prioritizes wine education. They offer a variety of wine tour experiences, for everyone from the novice to the aficionado. For an extended stay, check out their bed & breakfast in Cutchogue. A full hot breakfast is delivered to you each morning and you can enjoy it on a balcony overlooking their other vineyard. 631-734-8282 Ext-2, sanninovineyard.com
After a long day exploring the wineries, you’ll probably want to unwind. Fortunately, North Fork Taps and Corks is a Southold bar with a laid-back vibe and great music, all of which makes for a warm and friendly ambience. They offer local wine from the North Fork, so if you missed a vineyard, you might be able to sample a glass. If you’re tired of wine, they serve great craft beer. They say they have the best pint of Guinness on tap on this side of the Atlantic, and they have a certificate to back it up. Taps and Corks is the perfect place to kick back with some buddies and have some laughs, and the staff is incredibly friendly. 631-876-5246