It’s the perfect time of year for a self-guided wine tour of the East End. There’s a chill in the air, and a nice glass of Long Island Cabernet Franc is the remedy. Or perhaps a Pinot Noir — cue Titus Andromedon!
Here, I’ve selected a few of my favorites.
The Lieb family purchased a 12-acre vineyard in Cutchogue in 1992. It’s since grown to 85 acres, including a large tasting room within a converted barn on the vineyard’s property. The wines — my favorite is the Reserve Pinot Blanc — are made from estate-grown fruit, are farmed sustainably, and the vines are tended to by hand. On Fridays and Saturdays, you can catch live music, with performers this month including Jeff LeBlanc, Rob Europe, John Divello, The Second Hands, Julia King, and Robin Sidor.
It doesn’t get much cozier than the Wölffer Estate Tasting Room in Sagaponack during the colder months. Candlelight Fridays, complete with live music and a beautiful cheese plate, could quite possibly be the perfect way to spend an evening. It doesn’t hurt that Wölffer is one of the most picturesque venues on the East End. Sample wines from award-winning winemaker Roman Roth. Candlelight Fridays performers coming up include Garrett & Tamara and Charles Certain.
This 40-acre vineyard’s sparkling wines are produced in the traditional Méthode Champenoise. The Southold vineyard is planted with only the classic champagne grape varietals: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunière. Each week you can “Eat, Drink, & Be Sparkling” as part of the vineyard’s series. On Saturday, November 16, it’s doughnuts for grownups — $25 includes a wine tasting flight trio paired with three mini North Fork Doughnut Co. doughnuts. On Saturday, November 30, for $35, it’s a tasting flight of three wines paired with mac & cheese and fried chicken. See the website for a full schedule of weekly events.
Raphael Wines in Peconic boasts “new world wines at an old-world vineyard.” Created by owner John Petrocelli, the winery was named to honor his father and continue the centuries-old family tradition of winemaking. Don’t miss live music at the tasting room like the T Bird Buzzards on Sunday, November 17, and East End Trio on November 24.
Art and wine come alive in Jamesport. Established in 1996 by owner Barbara Smithen, along with her late husband Dr. Charles Smithen, the vineyard produces world-class wines. Wines are hand-crafted using traditional as well as the latest scientific methods. Try the blanc de blancs that really shine at this boutique vineyard. Its tasting room is a converted 1870s farmhouse, adding to the charm. There is also live music every Friday November through April along with Fireside Friday sessions, where the vineyard partners with various local restaurants. While you’re there, take a look at the William Ris East Gallery, also located on the property.
Check out Zachary Weiss’s Passport To Long Island Wine Country for more.