The friendly enophiles at Sannino Bella Vita Vineyard take an interactive approach to wine education, guiding visitors through the ins and outs of the vintner process and offering sips of rich estate wines crafted onsite. Sojourners can venture to the winery to tipple glasses of chardonnay and merlot inside a rustic tasting room situated in a barn built in the early 1900s, or extend their stays with an annual membership to the vineyard’s unique Vine to Wine program. During the course of the year, program members take a hand in every part of the winemaking process, raising grapes from infancy before crushing and pressing them into adulthood at the vineyard’s custom-winemaker center.
The scenic North Fork vineyard is also home to Sannino's bed-and-breakfast, a single Tuscan-style suite that overlooks rows of growing vines and houses numerous amenities including a marble bathtub, 42-inch flat-screen TV, king-size bed, and spacious private living quarters. Complimentary beach passes and tasting tours await overnight guests, as does a full breakfast every morning. Remote wine-lovers can also peruse Sannino's wares online as they envision themselves traversing the verdant property and testing each bottle’s bouquet by closing their eyes and sniffing their computer monitor deeply.
During your tasting for two ($5 value per person), you'll sample five different red and whites from Osprey's superb selection. The award-winning grapen goodness is culled from lively vinifera vines creeping across the 90-acre grape growery. Spend time sipping in Osprey's comfortable tasting room and scouring the sky above the sun-bathed rows of green for soaring ospreys, who guard grapes from liquor-loving kobolds. The take-home bottle of 2006 reserve chardonnay ($15 value), a full-bodied sip that's ripe with aromas of tropical fruit, toasted oak, and vanilla, has a well-balanced acidity that pairs well with seafood and sea-smoothed stones. Check Osprey's Dominion's schedule of events to see when there's live music.
The same mansion that once hosted prosperous whaler Benjamin Huntting II and his family in 1845 has become the doomed dwelling of the ghosts of drunken pirates and sailors. In one room, cannibals menace passersby. In another, ghoulish doctors perform an autopsy. Meanwhile, the widow who has wandered the house’s rooms since 1868 seethes at these spirits who have invaded her home. For a few weeks each fall, the Sag Harbor Whaling Museum transforms into the haunted attraction, filled with actors in ghostly costumes and makeup, filling in for the real ghosts who forgot to renew their SAG memberships. Currently doubling as the museum and a Masonic temple, the house was designated an official project of the Save America’s Treasures program by then–First Lady Hillary Clinton.
Museum staffers usher guests through an entrance marked by corinthian columns and a temple-style portico, both of which were designed by American architect Minard Lafever. Once inside, visitors navigate the horror-filled rooms, where figures lurk in shadows behind carved wooden doorframes and under intricate plaster ceilings. The haunted museum provides a sharp contrast to the museum’s other yearly events, which include rotating exhibitions featuring art and colonial artifacts.
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.
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.
North Fork Horseradish Festival celebrates the uniquely bitter taste of horseradish with everything from recipe contests to cooking demonstrations. Exhibitors and enthusiasts will fill the rolling landscape of Hallockville Museum Farm to join seminars teaching patrons how to use their own horseradish, from harvesting to gardening to cooking. Grinding-horseradish demonstrations show how to manipulate your roots into a more manageable form for cooking, and recipe contests will give you new ideas on how to surprise your family with a spicy kick in their everyday meals.