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The North Fork Wine Trail
The North Fork Wine Trail, with its cool, Bordeaux-like, marine climate, runs from Riverhead to Greenport on Long Island’s northeastern end. Each winery tasting room along the trail sells flights, glasses and bottles—individual wineries may also provide vineyard or cellar tours, harvest festivals, live music, snacks and/or food truck fare. The route runs along two parallel east-west roads—Rt. 25 and Rt. 48—between 85 and 100 miles east of New York City. Here are nine tasting rooms worth a visit, organized from west to east.Continue to 2 of 10 below.
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Ursula and Charles Massoud founded this 127-acre vineyard in 1983, named it Paumanok—the Native American word for Long Island—and planted it with high quality vinifera grapes. Since then, the couple's son Kareem has cultivated the vineyard into an award winner. Paumanok was named New York Winery of the Year in 2015, recognized for its traditionally crafted, small-production wines (12,000 cases) made only with estate grapes. The vineyard offers tours and tastings daily in the tasting room above the barrel cellar and on a large wrap-around deck overlooking the vines.Continue to 3 of 10 below.
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Macari Vineyards & Winery
Three generations of the Macari family participate in this business, which was named Winery of the Year in 2014 and received the “Best Red” honor for its Cabernet Franc. The spacious Mattituck winery and tasting room boasts a deck facing the vines, where visitors can enjoy wines by the bottle or glass, or test multiple featured wines, flight-style. La Cantina, Macari’s newly launched private barrel cellar is tucked under the tasting room, has a private entry and accommodates up to 40 in a stone-walled room with authentic barn-wood ceilings. The winery also operates a satellite tasting room in Cutchogue, which hosts a rotating schedule of food trucks.Continue to 4 of 10 below.
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Shinn Estate Vineyards and Farmhouse
Barbara Shinn and David Page started planting their 20-acre vineyard in 1990, and together with winemaker Patrick Caserta, they produce high-rated, certified sustainable wines, such as The Estate Merlot 2013. Shinn Estate's quaint tasting room in a 125-year old barn is worth a short detour from the well-blazed route, about 1-mile north of Route 48. The tasting room offers a flagstone-tiled terrace with barrel-top tables for sunny days, and is located behind the estate's farmhouse bed and breakfast, which dates from 1880s and was fully restored in 2007. On weekends year round, weather permitting, Ms. Shinn leads Vineyard Walks at 1:30 p.m. and her husband conducts the Winery and Barrel Cellar Tour at 2:30 p.m.Continue to 5 of 10 below.
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Russ McCall—inspired by the nearby home his grandfather purchased almost a century ago—bought a 110-acre farm and started planting Pinot Noir vines in 1997. Along with five Wine Enthusiast "Editors’ Choice" wines, the winery's 2010 Pinot Noir is a favorite in the intimate tasting room where a stall, farm tools and saddles remind of the buildings horse stable, and later, potato barn history. McCall Ranch also organically raises white, pure-bred Charolais cattle—their beef burgers are available locally, including from the North Fork Table Food Truck.Continue to 6 of 10 below.
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Coffee Pot Cellars
Coffee Pot Cellars is the newest small-production winery on the trail. The intimate tasting room opened in 2013, as one of a cluster located on Main Road in Cutchogue. Veteran vintner Adam Suprenant introduced his first artisanal vintage in 2008. Today, the winemaker continues to produce notable wines for Osprey Dominion, and earned Best Cabernet Sauvignon in 2013 and Best Pinot Noir in 2014. His wife, Laura Klahre, a beekeeper, pours wine daily, and sells some of her beeswax products in the tasting room.Continue to 7 of 10 below.
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Corey Creek Vineyards
This beautifully landscaped, chalet-like tasting-house is located up a short drive that winds towards the vineyard from Main Road. Corey Creek's high-ceilinged main building tops a low ridge above the vineyard, affording magnificent views from an expansive, south-facing deck. Corey Creek Vineyards is the sister label to premier winemaker Bedell Cellars, considered the benchmark for east-coast wineries. The wines are produced at Bedell’s nearby winery (which has a stunning, art-filled tasting room). Walk-ins are welcome daily through October, though reservations are required for group tastings.Continue to 8 of 10 below.
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The Old Field Vineyards
The 22-acre Old Field Vineyards extends to the shores of Peconic Bay and enjoys a terroir enriched by centuries of seaweed and oyster shells. In 1996, Chris and Ros Baiz purchased his great-grandmother’s century-old homestead, which, in 1639, had been the largest Native American village on Long Island. They planted Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Pinot Noir grapes and today, with their children, Perry and Ryan, they farm sustainably and as the only local, mother/daughter winery team, produce red, white and sparkling wines. Fall tastings are in the red-sided barn or by the beach from Thursday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.Continue to 9 of 10 below.
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Sparkling Pointe specializes in the methode champenoise—the vineyard's sparkling wines, blanc de blanc and Brut are in the style of, though not made with grapes from, France’s Champagne region. Medal-draped, award-winning bottles line the mantel under a bright, Carnaval-style, painting. The popular tasting room hosts events for up to 250, with a tent. Tastings can be enjoyed in a very grand tasting room with high ceilings, a lounge where window walls overlook stainless steel production vats or a large outdoor deck.Continue to 10 of 10 below.
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This easternmost winery is perched on bluffs overlooking the Long Island Sound in Greenpoint. The spacious, high ceilinged, tasting room also serves appealing snacks, which guests can carry along with their wine glasses out to the picnic tables scattered near the edge overlooking a pebbly beach. The award-winning wines 2014 Kontokosta Rose and a 2013 Kontocosta Sauvignon Blanc are available at the winery, which will remain open daily until December 31st.