It’s been a long time since I’ve written a post for Open Air Life. After a very busy spring season I finally got a chance to get away for a few days. I always love exploring wine country, and had thought about heading to California or Oregon for vacation, but with a limited amount of time, a visit to the North Fork of Long Island provided a perfect break.
You can get to the North Fork by way of a quick ferry ride from New London (1 hour 20 min). It’s worth bringing a car over so you can get around and explore the area. There are a couple of towns along the peninsula, and lots of space for vineyards, wine tasting rooms, and farm stands.
Here were some of my favorite stops, which (I think) make up a pretty perfect 2 day itinerary.
The first winery you encounter when you get off the ferry is also the North Fork’s newest tasting room (it opened last week). The building and grounds at Kontokosta are gorgeous. A beautiful barn serves as the tasting room, with expansive views over vineyards and down to Long Island Sound. It also happens to be one of the few LEED Gold Certified wineries in North America.
Once you hit the town of Greenport, a great place to stop for a bite to eat is Noah’s. They offer dinner nightly and lunch Friday-Sunday. I’m a big fan of tapas style eating, and this place was a great find for sharing a few small plates (the beet salad, calamari and pulled duck were particularly good).
A bit further down the fork, one of my favorite wineries was Corey Creek. Part of the Bedell Cellars brand, the Corey Creek tasting room has some great outdoor space to relax and enjoy a glass of wine. Their Cabernet Franc and 2010 Merlot were probably my two favorite wines of the weekend.
|Corey Creek Tasting Room|
|View over the vineyards at Corey Creek|
After a bit of wine tasting (and a nap), the most amazing place for dinner is the North Fork Table. With a few comfortable rooms in their inn upstairs, and a central location in Southold, it’s also a great place to stay. For dinner you can choose a 5 course tasting menu, or a three course a la carte option. Whichever you choose, the food is fantastic!
|North Fork Table and Inn|
On day two, a must visit restaurant is the Love Lane Kitchen in Mattituck. You can head there for brunch or lunch and work your way back to the ferry (visiting a few more vineyards on the way). While I’m sure everything there is great, I had the lobster roll, and it was undoubtedly the very best lobster roll I’ve ever had!
Working your way east, McCall Vineyards is a fantastic stop. Their tasting room is a relaxed but comfortable barn and picnic tables and benches out front let you enjoy the view. I loved their Rose, Pinot Noir and a wine called Ben’s Blend (a bottle of each made it back with me to Boston).
|McCall Vineyard’s Tasting Room|
And to round out the short wine tasting itinerary, Lenz Winery was another great stop. I didn’t get any pictures (I was a bit too busy dodging a huge thunderstorm) but the grounds were beautiful. A great tasting room (also a barn like structure) anchored one end of a charming gravel courtyard. I loved a number of their wines, but came home with a gorgeous Chardonnay and their Cuvee (sparking wine).
After a short, but great trip, it’s clear you don’t have to go all the way to the west coast for a great wine destination. The North Fork has it all!