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.
Hampton Luxury Liner transports its passengers around in a lavish motorcoach that boasts five flat-screen TVs, complimentary WiFi, and an on-bus library. The luxury buses travel to destinations ranging from the Hamptons to Atlantic City, with specific stops at wineries, resorts, and casinos. Reclining leather seats with space for laptops and maximum leg extension typify the cushy interior, and each road cruiser also comes equipped with a library and refrigerator, useful for storing steaks to distract the thousands of chasing dogs such a luxurious bus usually attracts.
Windows on the Lake blurs the boundaries between indoors and outdoors, lending a serene, pastoral air to everything from Thanksgiving dinners to weddings. Two stories of floor-to-ceiling windows overlook Lake Ronkonkoma and the grounds that hug it. Manicured gardens beckon diners for a post-prandial stroll among colorful foliage and babbling brooks.
Those grounds also usher brides and grooms to the outdoor gazebo, where they say their vows and wrestle for the title of "Head of Household." In the Rainbow Room, however, the line between indoors and outdoors seems to vanish altogether. A ceiling painted like the sky looms over a hardwood dance floor ringed with white-clothed tables?and the illusion extends to the pastoral murals that alternate with the room's floor-to-ceiling windows.