With two locations and 140 acres of picturesque land, Duck Walk Vineyard remains a popular presence on the Long Island Wine Trail, having been voted in 2013 as one of the top wineries in Long Island by "Best of Long Island". Tastings of the winery's many vintages, including reds, whites, ice wines, and fruity dessert wines, draw crowds of visitors to both of Duck Walk's spacious facilities, where live music dramatically shatters listeners' emptied glasses. The festive atmosphere here also makes it a prime setting for weddings, rehearsal dinners, and other private events.
Southampton's cup currently runneth over with awards, so grab a menu and cleverly place your mouth beneath its cornucopic outflux. Start lunch, dinner, or High Beer with an appetizing cup of New England clam chowder or potato ale soup with bacon and cheddar ($5 each), before hitting the pub favorites. Wrap your lips around a tall, frosty mug full of the brewer's burger and french fries ($9, add cheese, sautéed onions, bacon, or mushrooms for $0.75 each) or a crispy order of lager-dipped fish and chips ($14 lunch, $18 for a dinner portion). For a hearty pub dinner, pair a flounder stuffed with crabmeat ($22) and side of sweet potato fries ($6), crushing your appetite beneath the sheer weight of flavor. Check the on tap menu for a saliva-stimulating selection of micro-brewed beers, ales, and Olympian ambrosias, or ask your server to recommend the best pairing for your entree, your complexion, or the beer you just had 12 seconds ago.
Castello di Borghese Vineyard & Winery cultivates its grapes in Long Island soil, but its culture can be traced back to ancient Italy. In addition to Italian-inspired and wine-centric events, owners Marco and Ann Marie Borghese use old-fashioned growing and fermentation techniques to create their red and white wines. A fruity pinot noir and crisp sauvignon blanc are among their most popular varietals, but they also produce cabernet franc, meritage, and chardonnay. These wines?and the care that goes into them?have earned praise and awards from the New York Wine & Food Classic and the New York Times.
Voted the No. 2 best winery on Long Island by the Long Island Press, Pindar Vineyards pours out 70,000 cases of wine each year. Fortunately, this popular spot can accommodate droves of drinkers—the tasting room can host as many as 3,000 guests at any given time. Run by the same family behind Duck Walk and Jason Vineyard, Pindar has also become known for its field of cheery yellow sunflowers, which blossom in the summer months and frequently save Christmas in the winter months. These blooms inspired the name of the 2010 Sunflower chardonnay, an oak-aged limited reserve that pairs well with the crunch of a summer salad.
Waters Crest owners Jim and Linda Waters reap the benefits of east Long Island’s rich terroir to develop and proffer a variety of small-batch boutique wines. The wine-tasting class, conducted by winemaker Jim Waters, will introduce vintner apprentices to a selection of seven wines that cover a spectrum of reds and whites, paired with a specially selected artisan cheese platter that counterpoints complex drink bouquets with solid textures and an earthy sense of humor. Seated at the marble bar in the tasting room, sippers will explore the topography of Waters Crest’s offerings, which may include the punchy and focused 2007 merlot or the oak-barrel fermented 2008 Private Reserve chardonnay. Jim imparts students with vine-ripened truisms, from the fine points of tasting a full flavor range to the differences between drinking from crystal or glass. After the tasting, brain palates will savor morsels of wine-crafting knowledge on a tour of the winery itself. Run a hand over the wood slats of wine-holding barrels in the private cellar as Jim and sommelier Adam Slater convey the intricacies of wine production, from hand-selecting locally grown grapes to blowing and shaping glass bottles around a cork stopper.
Nestled in the fertile New York countryside, Lenz Winery grows a variety of vinifera grapes that include chardonnay, cabernet franc, merlot, and malbec to compose a fine symphony of wines. Wines from Lenz Winery's 70 acres are culled to fruition through meticulous means, bringing the vine to full ripeness and fermentation and allowing each grape to express itself in a fine wine rather than a cheesy poem. Guests of Lenz Winery can bask in the smooth sipping ambience of the premium six-wine tasting flight as they are surrounded by quaint farms and thriving crop fields.