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.
Just outside of Naples, Italy in a town called Dugenta, Salvatore Diliberto's family crafts its own wine each year and stores it in the cellar of the castle next door. Though miles away from the vineyard and the old stone building, Diliberto carries on the Old World techniques at his Jamesport winery, where he tends to several acres of vines including franc and chardonnay. He presses the grapes, barrel ages the wine, and bottles it with Diliberto labels?some of which bear an artistic rendering of the castle in Dugenta.
In his tasting room, Diliberto presents his specialty wines to guests during a tasting experience designed to transport them to his ancestral home. He forgoes the bar experience in favor of the small table settings that one finds staggered outside an Italian caf?. A mural on one end of the room further heightens the sense of travel, trading the North Fork for the bustling streets and sentient traffic lights of a Tuscan mountain town.
Established in 1997, the vines at Jason's Vineyard are now a fully mature 17 years of age, producing a wide variety of wines that includes two chardonnays, two merlots, sauvignon blanc, and many others. Their perfected roster of wines also includes a Golden Fleece blend, a clean, fruity wine whose grapes are guarded by dragons. Each wine can be sampled at the winery, built in 2009, where visitors may also purchase bottles, snack on cheeses, or enjoy time at a main bar shaped like a Greek trireme.
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.
Cars whizzing down the North Wading River road could easily miss Michael Anthony's Food Bar, a handsome restaurant nestled amid leafy trees and residential homes at the threshold of wine country. The lucky patrons who do find the eatery, however, are rewarded with the dazzling site of pristine white tablecloths set with sapphire glasses, colorful hot-air balloons dangling from lofty white rafters, and bright walls speckled with vivid decor. Diners can then take a seat upon one of the soft cushions to nibble on oysters and toast their great discovery with a glass of fine wine.
Meanwhile, in the restaurant's kitchen, Chef Michael Anthony is hard at work folding fresh seafood, premium meats, and imaginative sauces into a variety of small plates, pastas, and seasonal specialties such as the pumpkin chicken with balsamic-rosemary butter or the duck breast with apricot-apple chutney. Michael has spent the last 25 years perfecting his signature "New American Cuisine" recipes, favoring inventive ingredients such as toasted-sage olive oil.
A true micro-brewery, Port Jeff Brewing Company's brewers create high-quality beers in super small batches--each batch yields just 220 gallons of beer. As a result, the beer is ultra-fresh, and brewers are allowed the freedom to create a wide variety of interesting and unique batches. At the tasting room, visitors can try the brewery's flagship Schooner Ale or the summer seasonal, White Beach Wit. They can also fill up a growler to take home for later.