Long Island Wineries
I did a word search on this board and nothing turned up although there were lots of great restaurant suggestions so I'll refrain from asking about that. We will be in the Plainview, NY area for a wedding Oct. 10 - 12 and have heard there are some wineries around. The ones suggested to hit are Duckwalk,Wolffer Estate,Channing Daughters. Can anyone offer comments on these or any others worthy of a stop? Our group will be mostly strangers to the area, but given the correct info ahead of time we can mapquest and will have cars available. We are looking for tasting places, but if there are good restaurants connected with any of them a mention of these would be appreciated. The wedding is on Sunday so we will have Sat. to hit the wineries.
I don't think any wineries on Long Island have restaurants connected, probably against some law. Lots of great restaurants nearby though. The three you name are on the South Fork in the Hamptons, and that's about all there are. If you want to go to the North Fork you have 30 or 40 to choose from (never actually counted). Wolffer is really nice but you couldn't spend a whole day there. Duckwalk maybe 15 minutes. Channing is very tiny and I think you need reservations. If you want to do a whole day thing, how about the North Fork?
Duckwalk now has a branch on the North Fork, but I know nothing about their tastings. Pindar (same owners as Duckwalk) does have free tastings. Many of the wineries now charge for a flight of wines for tasting.
We like Martha Clara and Palmer for picnics, where we bring our lunch and buy a glass or bottle of wine. Coll is correct, it is against the law for a NY State winery to also be a restaurant, although some wineries skirt around that by having a special event where a flat rate is charged and wine and food is served.
Near the winery are many restaurants, scattered through the North Fork. We like the Cooperage Inn, which is on the west end of the winery region. Legends in New Suffolk, is slightly off the beaten track but has good food. There are a couple of high end places such as North Fork Table and Jedidiah Hawkins, but they are too rich for my blood, in spite of their reputation.
You may want to think about pooling your resources and returning your car rentals and hiring a limo, since there are a lot of wineries out there.
Do not forget to try some of the fine farm stands. Briermere's sells a high priced, but decent pie and there are some fresh berries in season.
Just a cautionary note: we toured the North Fork wineries one Saturday last fall & were very disappointed. Loutish & drunken "tasters" were brought in by the busload. They were loud & obnoxious, overwhelmed the staff and serious tasting was impossible. We were told later that's typical of the weekend scene at the wineries. (weekdays are calmer & saner & some of the wine is very good indeed) So be forewarned...
I agree with Fred19 that the farm stands are superb & 2nd the rec for Briermere's.
Briermere pies are known throught the Island, and I would say more than "decent". Not sure where the OP is coming from, but you should know that although Long Island's North Fork is known as a wine growing region, it is not like California. Not anywhere near the quality. The leaves will probably be starting to turn at that point, so it should be lovely out there anyway.
A co-worker just told me that he went to Diliberto Winery in Jamesport on Manor Lane and loved it. Said it was just like being in Italy. At dinnertime, you can bring your meal and buy some wine to drink, and the owner sings opera and Italian songs for you as the sun goes down.
Also finally tried Old Field, the wine was great and I loved the chickens running around. If you're looking to avoid the tourista crowd, this is a great place to go.
We go to the North Fork twice a year and you cannot make the blanket statement that all wineries are filled with drunks on the weekends although week days are obviously quiter. Of course if you go to Pindar, Duckwalk and Osprey Dominion (some of the time) you will find many bus loads of drunks. However, if you go to Shinn, Sherwood House, Roanoke, Raphael you will not find any of that. I would also disagree that "no winery is all good" - you might not like a certain varietal but that doesn't mean it isn't good. There is not one wine at Shinn I would not drink - or Roanoke for that matter. You just need to know where to go and you'll have a great experience. If you are limited to the South Fork I would recommend trying to get to Channing Daughters - we are in their wine club and love everything we get. Just be warned many of their wines sell out so sometimes there isn't much to taste. Also, last time I went to Wolfer they were serving cheese platters and would not let us bring our own picnic food in. Wolfer wines can be tasted at Roanoke as well.
Its been several years since we spent summers on the North Fork, and I recall that a number of the wineries changed hands around 2006 - 07 (top of the market, naturally), but Pellegrini, Lenz, Bedell and Bidwell generally turned out good to very good wines, albeit a bit overpirced IMHO. Chime in anyone if they're under new ownership and/or new names. The vagaries of Long Island weather,such as hurricanes during the harvest, make vintage years more important than for places like California, but the good years can be pretty good.
Shame to hear about the tour buses. I saw an article awhile back about this that indicated these boozathons are particularly popular for "bachelorette" parties. Ick.
Briermere's pies are consistently excellent as are their corn and blueberry muffins and Wickham's has outstanding fruit -- they're supposedly the oldest continually operating farm in the country.