36225 Main Road
Cutchogue, NY 11935
Telephone: (631) 734-7537
Open: Sun-Thurs, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.; Fri-Sat, 11 a.m.–7 p.m.; Tours, Sat-Sun, 11 a.m.–1 p.m., by appointment only
Tasting Fee: $15
Bedell has changed quite a bit since the days when founder Kip Bedell sold his wine from a picnic table next to Route 25. The wines, especially the reds, however, are still some of the best on Long Island. The current owner, former New Line Cinema president Michael Lynne, also bought Corey Creek Vineyards and Wells Road Vineyard, giving Bedell nearly 80 acres of vines to work with for a total production of 12,000 to 15,000 cases a year. Winemaker Richard Olsen-Harbich, who joined in 2010, has been working in Long Island since 1983; he wrote the North Fork of Long Island and Hamptons AVA applications, while he and vineyard manager Dave Thompson helped develop the region's sustainable winegrowing guidelines. In the modern tasting room, guests can peruse Lynne's contemporary art collection and try a sampling of current releases, including Merlot, Chardonnay, rosé and blends. There's also a large covered pavilion overlooking the vineyards, where guests can listen to live music most weekends while sipping their wine or picnicking.
Castello di Borghese Vineyard & Winery
Route 48 (Sound Ave.) and Alvah's Lane
Cutchogue, NY 11935
Telephone: (631) 734-5111; (800) 734-5158
Open: Mon-Fri, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.; Sat-Sun, 11 a.m.–6 p.m.; Tours, by appointment only
Tasting Fee: $10
Castello di Borghese occupies the former site of Alex and Louisa Hargrave Vineyards, the birthplace of Long Island wine. In 1973, after consulting with a local farmer who was growing vinifera grapes to sell at a farm stand, the Hargraves planted the vineyard and established the North Fork's first winery, leading many others to follow in their footsteps. Upon their divorce, they sold the winery and vineyards to Marco Borghese, an Italian prince, and his wife, Ann Marie, an American, for approximately $4 million. The couple, who became deeply involved in the local wine scene, produced a range of wines, including Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux-style blends. Tragically, the two died days apart from each other in 2014, but the winery continues on in the Borghese family's hands.
5120 Sound Ave.
Riverhead, NY 11901
Telephone: (631) 722-9463
Open: Mon-Thurs, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.; Fri-Sat, 11 a.m.–7 p.m.; Sun, 11-6; Tours, by appointment only
Tasting Fee: $12
Advertising executive Robert Palmer founded this winery in 1983. The beautiful estate overlooking 100 acres of vineyards is now one of North Fork's largest wineries, and the property frequently hosts special events and weddings. For visitors, the winery offers an informative self-guided tour and ideal grounds for picnicking. In the tasting room, you'll discover a range of current releases to sample, including Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Gewürztraminer and Merlot.
23005 Main Road
Cutchogue, NY 11935
Telephone: (631) 734-4111
Open: Mon-Fri, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.; Sat-Sun, 11 a.m.–6 p.m.; Guided tours by appointment only
Tasting Fee: $4
In 1991, Bob Pellegrini hired Russell Hearn, an Australian winemaker who would go on to build an excellent track record for Pellegrini. The wines are sourced from their 30-acre home vineyard, first planted in 1982, and two other nearby sites totaling 42 acres. Chardonnay has been the star here but you can also try good and very good Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Gewürztraminer at tableside tastings or in the courtyard. Private tastings, by appointment, cover current and library wines.
1074 Main Road
Aquebogue, NY 11931
Telephone: (631) 722-8800
Open: April-Oct, daily, 11 a.m.–6 p.m.; Nov-March, daily, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.; Guided tours, by appointment only
Tasting Fee: $5
The vibe at the family-run Paumanok (the Native American name for Long Island) is cozy and intimate. Founders Charles and Ursula Massoud and their three sons own 72 acres of vines, growing eight different varieties and making 9,000 cases of wine a year. Their popular Chenin Blanc is a crisp, citrusy wine that makes a perfect match for the local bay scallops. You'll also discover Chardonnay, Riesling, rosé and a variety of reds—including Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and a blend called Assemblage—which you can enjoy with a regional cheese or charcuterie platter on the deck in good weather.
Wölffer Estate Vineyard
139 Sagg Road
Sagaponack, NY 11962
Telephone: (631) 537-5106
Open: Summer: Sun-Thurs, 11 a.m.–8 p.m. and Fri-Sat, 11 a.m.–10 p.m.; November–April: Sun-Thurs ,11 a.m.–6 p.m. and Fri-Sat, 11 a.m.–8 p.m.; Tours, by appointment only
Tasting Fee: $14
Wölffer offers the closest thing to a Napa Valley tasting room on Long Island. The 175-acre estate, founded by Hungary-born Christian Wölffer in 1988 and now run by his children Marc and Joey and longtime winemaker Roman Roth, comprises 55 acres of vines and produces 37,500 cases a year. The terroir here in the Hamptons is different from that of North Fork; it's slightly cooler because of the Atlantic breezes and the deeper soil is made up of sandy Bridgehampton loam. Try current releases in the tasting room to see if you notice a difference in the wine. You can also purchase a Merlot called Christian's Cuvee ($100), one of Long Island's most expensive wines, along with Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, other reds and whites, sparklers and rosés, the last of which has become a calling card for the winery. Wölffer's annual harvest party, where revelers can stomp and pick grapes, feast on an array of international foods, listen to live music and more, is a must-visit.
Channing Daughters Winery
1927 Scuttlehole Road
Bridgehampton, NY 11932
Telephone: (631) 537-7224
Open: Daily, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.
Tasting Fee: $10
Owned by Walter Channing, Christopher Tracy, Allison Dubin and Larry Perrine, this Hamptons winery produces one of Long Island's most diverse arrays of wines—including Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Tocai Friulano, Muscat, Malvasia, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Blanc and Ribolla Gialla among the whites and Merlot, Blaufränkisch, Dornfelder, Lagrein, Refosco, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon for the reds—as single varietals and in a number of blends. Tracy, who started out as a member of the winery's wine club before becoming winemaker, likes to experiment and has introduced several skin-fermented whites (orange wines), a substantial lineup of vineyard-designated, single-varietal dry roses and a line of vermouths made with seasonal botanicals grown near the winery. He produces his wines using grapes sourced from Channing's vineyard adjacent to the winery, Mudd Vineyard on the North Fork and other sites. As you explore the property, you'll notice Channing's whimsical sculptures, from towering inverted trees to a forty-foot pencil to nude figures on the patio.
Macari Vineyards and Winery
150 Bergen Ave.
Mattituck, NY 11952
Telephone: (631) 298-0100
Open: Mon-Fri, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.; Sat-Sun, 11 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
Tasting Fee: $8
Joe Macari Jr. loves compost: He believes the recycled natural material is restoring vigor to his soil, and if you tour the 500-acre farm, Macari—who uses other biodynamic and sustainable farming techniques—will proudly point out several giant mounds of it towering above the vines. Inside the winery, Joe and his wife, Alexandra, help the tasting room staff pour Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and a few red blends for visitors. The "Early Wine" Chardonnay, served fresh like a nouveau, is a popular option, and the Bergen Road blend is rich in good vintages. Macari has added a second, smaller tasting location in Cutchogue, with a deck overlooking its vineyard there. It's open May through September on weekends, Friday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
39390 Main Road, Route 25
Peconic, NY 11958
Telephone: (631) 765-1100
Open: Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.; Fri-Sat, by appointment only; Tours, by appointment only
Tasting Fee: $2
Driving down Route 25, it's hard to miss Raphael. Its massive winery, designed to resemble a Tuscan villa, stands out in a region where so many wineries are housed in weather-beaten barns. Owner John Petrocelli has poured his resources into building this winery, established in 1996, from the ground up because he believes in Long Island Merlot. Raphael also produces Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, rosé and blends. The tasting room offers pours à la carte, by the taste or the glass, while tours take you through the vineyard, tank room and barrel cellar and include a multi-wine tasting.
Shinn Estate Vineyards
2000 Oregon Road
Mattituck, NY 11952
Telephone: (631) 804-0367
Open: Mon-Thurs, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; Fri-Sat, 10 a.m.–8 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.; Tours, Sat-Sun
Tasting Fee: $3
Barbara Shinn and David Page, who opened the successful restaurant Home in New York's Greenwich Village in 1993, are showing similar promise with their winery, established in 2000. The couple has expanded into a diverse lineup of wines—including a blanc de blancs sparkler, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, white blends, rosé, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Bordeaux-style blends—which you can sample in the cozy tasting room or adjoining patio. Recently, they obtained a distillery license, and David makes grappa, eau de vie, brandy and grape vodka. On weekends, Barbara hosts a vineyard walk, taking you past the chicken coop and compost heaps as she explains their biodynamic and sustainable practices. (Barbara helped develop Long Island's sustainable certification.) Following that is the option for a tour of the solar- and wind-powered winery, set in a 125-year-old barn, and barrel cellar. Other days, with a tasting, you'll receive a map and guidebook to take a self-guided vineyard tour. You can also spend the night here: A century-old farmhouse on the grounds has been renovated into a rustically chic inn, with four cozy guestrooms with farm field views and views of the vines.