A driving tour of our favorite North Fork, Long Island Wineries.
Fall is the perfect time to get out of the city. In less than 2 hours drive from NYC, you can visit several wineries, spend a few hours tasting local wine varieties and feel as though you are in another state entirely. In essence, North Fork Wineries are the perfect day-trip!
Wines of the region:
Let’s first talk about the region. Long Island happens to be one of the more diverse wine regions. A wide range of grapes grow well in Long Island’s cool maritime climate. The best wines from the region have a style and character all their own. However, all of these wines are an honest reflection of the Long Island Wine Country.
White wines from the region can be crisp and dry; aromatic with highly flavored and exotic notes; or rich, full bodied and deeply scented. North Fork red wines feature “old-world” grapes which grow well in Long Island’s East End’s soil. The reds range from fresh and fruity to full-bodied and powerful. They’re age-worthy and gain beautiful complexity over time.
The drive, where to eat and where stay:
If you are spending the day touring vineyards it’s best to have one person drive your car out, and another drive back. This way each driver gets to have a few tastes and everyone stays sober.
The drive is a direct route from NYC on I-495 (aka the infamous Long Island Expressway). Typically it takes us just under 2 hours from Brooklyn. We leave early in the morning, and we spend a full day getting back around dinner. It is important to plan your departure time. Car traffic on Route 25 gets crazy in the fall; especially during harvest. (Long Island is home to many farms growing everything from wine to lettuce, onions, potatoes, apples, pumpkins and corn).
If you can swing an overnight stay at an AirBnB or a small inn/hotel you will not regret it. A splurge stay would be North Fork Table & Inn. staying overnight will allow you to have a full day at the wineries without getting tired. The next day, get up late, stop by a farm for some local produce and enjoy the cute town of Mattituck before you return home.