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.
North Fork Horseradish Festival celebrates the uniquely spicy taste of horseradish with everything from recipe contests to cooking demonstrations. Exhibitors and enthusiasts will fill the ground of Long Ireland Beer Co. to join seminars teaching patrons how to make their own horseradish and use horseradish in cocktails and more. A Bloody Mary Contest will test the creative skills and unique tastes of amateur and professional mixologists, while a Root Lugging Contest will test the strength and speed of competitors. Live bluegrass will be performed by Eastbound Freight.
With over 90 acres of rich soil to cultivate, the oenophiles at Osprey's Dominion Vineyards show off their commitment to fine winemaking by growing the most varietals on Long Island: 13. From chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon to gew?rztraminer and carm?n?re, the vintners put the same amount of care into perfecting each bottle. And it seems the Wine and Food Classic and Tasters Guild International agree, doling out eight gold medals and one double gold to nine wines in 2013 alone.
Visitors are given a gold-standard experience as well, sampling the vineyard's offerings in the elegant tasting room where light streams in through thed large picture windows. Outside they can experience a more relaxed atmosphere with three barbecue pits, a volleyball court, and of course, an outdoor wine bar.
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.
Ralph Pugliese established Pugliese Vineyards with his wife, Patricia, in 1980, planting the seeds of a family business that since has blossomed. The vineyards' reds and whites, sparkling wines, and ports and dessert wines have earned accolades over the years for their appealing notes and impeccable table manners. While at the winery, visitors can sample varietals made with niagara, riesling, and sangiovese grapes, or enjoy a bottle of wine from waterfront seating on the verdant Pugliese estate.
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, and fruity dessert wines, draw crowds of visitors to both of Duck Walk's spacious facilities. The festive atmosphere here also makes it a prime setting for weddings, rehearsal dinners, and other private events.