Long Island is blessed with the ideal climate and soil conditions for growing some memorable wines, and in the past few decades, a number of excellent wineries have sprung up in the delightful North Fork area.
If you are planning a trip there and are partial to a glass of wine or two, you shouldn’t pass up on the chance to visit at least a couple of the tasting rooms to sample the local produce. And for anyone who’s interested, here’s our guide to the best North Fork wineries.
Best North Fork Wineries
1. Kontokosta Winery
A modern family winery with a beautiful waterfront setting that boasts stunning views out over Long Island Sound, Kontokosta Winery is one that no wine-loving visitor to the area should miss.
Several Kontokosta wines have been recognized with awards at wine competitions, and highlights to look out for include a leafy, chocolatey merlot and the cabernet franc reserve with notes of leather, tobacco and melted caramel.
For those who prefer whites, look out for the 2019 semi-sweet Riesling that displays floral notes of gardenia and honeysuckle as well as apricot or the fruity 2019 sauvignon blanc.
They also offer a menu of snacks like charcuterie and cheese that match perfectly with the wines they produce.
Kontokosta Winery also can host events, whether larger outdoor tented events or more intimate indoor gatherings, making it a great place to hold weddings, birthday celebrations, reunions, corporate events and more.
Address: 825 North Rd, Greenport, NY 11944
2. Macari Vineyards
Macari Vineyards offers several different seated tasting packages, either for parties of up to six on the Tasting Deck, for larger groups in the Private Tasting Suite or in the exclusive Private Barrel Cellar.
The winery is situated in a gorgeous location, making it the ideal place to sit and relax as you sample the wines that are made there.
Each guest is given a selection of wines to sample, which are paired with cheeses, charcuterie and sourdough bread to complete the experience.
This winery has been open since 1995, but the family that owns it emigrated to the US from Italy long before that, and winemaking is in their blood. Even before they invested in vineyards, generations of Macaris had been making wine at home as a hobby.
You’ll find a wide selection of wines to taste and buy, but some of the ones not to miss include the chardonnay reserve and the Macari Rosé. Their merlot, pinot noir and cabernet franc will also appeal to fans of red.
Note that the winery recommends booking ahead since if you turn up without a reservation, they may well not be able to accommodate you on the day.
Address: 150 Bergen Ave, Mattituck, NY 11952
3. Paumanok Vineyards
Paumanok Vineyards is an award-winning winery that has been named the best in New York State on three separate occasions. Their wines have also been recognized with awards, and this family-owned and run business prides itself on its exceptional produce.
The 127-acre site has been in operation since 1983 and now offers the chance to sample wines grown there in a new tasting room located directly above the barrel cellars. The deck provides a stunning view over the vineyards, making it the perfect spot to appreciate good wine.
If you go to a tasting at the winery, you can choose from the pre-selected tasting lists that allow you to enjoy and compare some of their recommended wines.
You can buy bottles of wine directly from the shop, and if you join the wine club, you can even receive a special discount.
They also offer a menu of light bites and snacks to accompany your wine, including treats such as lavender and fennel goat cheese or whipped chicken and pork liver mousse with truffles.
Paumanok accepts walk-ins – but reservations are advisable if you want to avoid disappointment.
Address: 1074 Main Rd, Aquebogue, NY 11931
4. Palmer Vineyards
Palmer Vineyards is one of the more fun wineries to visit, and the atmosphere there is usually bustling and lively.
As with all the best wineries in the area, you’ll get to sample several varieties of wine against a suitably picturesque backdrop – and while the setting is undeniably lovely, the wines themselves won’t let you down either, whichever style you’re drinking.
Palmer Vineyards accepts walk-ins, and most of the time, you won’t have any problem without a reservation. However, wine club members with reservations are given priority, and bookings for larger groups are required.
Address: 5120 Sound Ave, Riverhead, NY 11901
5. Sparkling Pointe
This winery is slightly different from most of the others in the area since, as you may guess from the name, they specialize in producing champagne-style sparkling wines using the traditional méthode champenoise.
The winery offers tours of the facility, showing you all the steps involved in making their delightful wines.
You’ll get to learn about the traditional champagne method and, of course, to finish the tour, you’ll have the chance to enjoy four different examples of Sparkling Pointe wine in the luxurious Sparkling Pointe Tasting House.
Sparkling Pointe also accepts bookings for weddings and other events, so it could be the ideal option for hosting your guests in chic and classy surroundings.
Note that due to the covid pandemic, the tours have currently been suspended – but hopefully should be back sometime soon.
Address: 39750 County Rd 48, Southold, NY 11971
6. Raphael Winery
The Raphael Winery represents a centuries-old winemaking tradition that started in Italy, and the modern operation owes a lot to its Italian roots.
The buildings are inspired by Mediterranean architecture, and although the methods used to produce wine are modern, they also incorporate many of the time-honored techniques that have always been followed.
For example, this winery is a rare example of one that harvests grapes entirely by hand.
The result of this dedication to tradition is a selection of wines that encapsulate the terroir perfectly, ensuring that every bottle is full of character.
The winery offers tasting sessions – it’s highly advisable to book ahead, but they may be able to accommodate you as a walk-in if you’re lucky. They often organize live music for weekends too, making the whole experience even more enjoyable.
Raphael Winery can also host events such as weddings. Check their website for details.
Address: 39390 NY-25, Peconic, NY 11958
Telephone: 631-765-1100 x105 (tasting room reservations and general information)
7. Pindar Vineyards
Pindar Vineyards was one of the first to begin operations on Long Island, and they now boast over four decades of winemaking experience.
Their business now encompasses around 500 acres and produces 70,000 cases a year, making it one of the largest in the area too – but at heart, it is still a family-run business that takes pride in their personal touch and attention to detail.
You can visit the winery for tastings every day between 11am and 6pm – you can then choose five wines from their tasting menu to sample. Another option is to book a guided tour, which includes visiting the different parts of the facility to see how their wine is lovingly produced.
Visiting during the warmer months is recommended since this will allow you to enjoy the beautiful outdoor setting as a backdrop for tasting the wine – although the attractive and homely indoor tasting room is a great option too.
This winery also runs a wine club, and as well as receiving scheduled shipments of wine four times a year, membership also entitles you to discounts on tours, tastings and other events, along with several other wine club perks.
Address: 37645 NY-25, Peconic, NY 11958
8. Jamesport Vineyards/Little Oak Wood Fired Kitchen
Jamesport Vineyards is another of the oldest wineries in the area, having first started operations in 1986. Back then, it was a father-and-son endeavor, and the son continues to run the business to this day.
However, since then, the winery has seen plenty of changes, and they now rely on much more modern winemaking equipment and techniques. The tasting room has also been updated to accommodate more of those who want to sample the winery’s produce.
While you’re there, you can also enjoy snacks or light meals from the Little Oak Wood Fired Kitchen. Their specialty is Naples-inspired pizza made fresh and cooked in the wood oven in the center of the kitchen, the perfect accompaniment to a delicious glass of Jamesport wine.
Address: 1216 Main Rd, NY-25, Jamesport, NY 11947
Email: Bookings available through the website
9. McCall Wines
The land around the McCall Wines winery has plenty of history, and until only about 300 years ago, it was occupied by an Algonquin tribe.
After that, it passed into the hands of a man named Russell Simeon Walker, and it has remained in his family right down to the present owners who began growing wine and turned it into a vineyard in 2007. Three years later, they also began rearing cattle on the land.
This means that now, not only can you go there and sample their delicious, award-winning wines but you can also enjoy a burger made from the grass-fed beef from the farm.
If you want to visit, you have the choice of the standard tasting package, the tour and reserve package or the reserve tasting with cheese.
For those who prefer to avoid the crowds and would rather enjoy their wine in a tranquil, bucolic setting, this is just the kind of place that should appeal.
Walk-ins are accepted but reservations are recommended.
Address: 22600 NY-25, Cutchogue, NY 11935
Email: Contact via the website
10. Bedell Cellars
With the first vine having been planted in 1980, Bedell Cellars has been there since the very earliest days of viticulture on Long Island.
Although the Bedell family sold their business in 2000, the new owners have continued their traditions of producing high-quality, lovingly crafted wines.
It’s possible to visit the winery to taste some of their delicious wines while looking out over the gorgeous scenery. They can also cater to weddings and other events, for which further details can be found on their website.
This winery doesn’t accept reservations – it’s walk-ins only. Maximum group size is six.
Address: 36225 Main Rd, Cutchogue, NY 11935
Email: Contact via the website
11. Mattebella Vineyards
Mattebella is a small-scale operation with just a single 22-acre vineyard that is lovingly cared for to produce wines perfectly reflect the terroir as well as the profile of the grape varietals grown there.
They take pride in using time-honored techniques and painstakingly care for their vines, even down to hand-picking the fruit rather than relying on machines, which helps them guarantee the quality of the final product.
The winery is open for tastings seven days a week, and they offer several different packages, including wine and food pairings and a VIP barrel tasting for the true wine connoisseur.
Reservations are possible for smaller groups, although walk-ins are possible. For larger groups, you should contact the winery before your visit.
They have plenty of outdoor seating capacity, providing a relaxing atmosphere for you to sample their wines while soaking in the beauty of Long Island’s North Fork scenery.
Address: 46005 NY-25, Southold, NY 11971
Several lovely options for any wine lover visiting North Fork
As you can see, whether you prefer a more bustling and lively venue or somewhere a bit more intimate, North Fork has wineries to suit all tastes. Many offer guided tours and tastings, and most of them also provide food to accompany the wines.
All of the wineries on our list are well worth checking out, so perhaps the hardest part will be deciding which to go to. However, if you have a few days to spare, the best option is to head out to a few, which will allow you to compare the wines and see which is your favourite.