Those pioneer winemakers who broke ground on Long Island in the 1970s couldn’t predict what the area would become some 40 years later. Today, Long Island has become one of the fastest growing wine regions in the US, and wine lovers travel far and wide to visit the Long Island trail.
On Long Island, winemakers produce varietals like Cabernet Sauvignon, Cab Franc, and Riesling, and they continue to expand their portfolio of offerings each season. You’ll discover more than 50 wine producers between the North Fork and Hamptons (also referred to as the South Fork), but for some of the best Long Island wineries, head to these vineyards and tasting rooms.
Paumonok proudly showcases its elegant, old world style, which includes a diverse collection ranging from a dry rosé to the refined Assemblage, crafted from 46% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot and 18% Petit Verdot. The team focuses on dense planting or more vines per acre, which, in turn, produces higher quality wines. While the tasting room is small and unfussy, the staff is knowledgeable, and the outdoor deck boasts incredible views of their vineyards. Owned and operated by the Massoud family, Paumonok produces fewer than 12,000 cases annually, all made from estate-grown grapes.
1074 Main Rd, Aquebogue
Housed in a 1919 barn, this award-winning winery began its journey in 1980. Bedell Cellar is known for its modern farmhouse interior and spacious grounds, perfect for sipping a glass alone or sharing a bottle with friends. Wines range from the Taste Rosé to a more complex Syrah, to the oak-aged Museé. Don’t miss Bedell Cellar’s sister winery, the Tap Room at Corey Creek in nearby Southold, which specializes in sustainable, small-batch wines on-tap.
36225 NY-25, Cutchogue
Located on the South Fork of Long Island, this winery and tasting room produces crisp whites, a Provence-style rosé, earthy reds, as well as ciders. With live music on the weekends and a picturesque Sagaponack setting, Wôlffer remains a favorite on the Long Island wine scene for both locals and those summering in the Hamptons.
139 Sagg Rd, Sagaponack
Robert Palmer cultivated his vineyard in 1983, and it’s become one of the most celebrated estate wineries (meaning, they grow, harvest and crush the fruit, then ferment the juice and bottle the wines themselves) on the North Fork of Long Island. Palmer Vineyards produces more than 20 varietals annually, including Viognier, Gewurztraminer, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon. A rustic tasting room that feels like it’s been plucked out of the old West – Palmer’s property provides a porch with sweeping views of the vineyards.
5120 Sound Ave, Riverhead
A warm, friendly team at both locations makes trying wines at Macari enjoyable even if you’re a novice drinker. Start with a red or white tasting flight before you order a glass or bottle. Besides a sprawling property with space for groups both inside and out, the grounds house horses, rabbits, goats, and other four-legged creatures. While the Cutchogue location is more intimate, the Mattituck outpost is ideal for picnics and celebrations. Reservations are required for parties of six or more.
24385 Main Rd, Cutchogue and 150 Bergen Ave, Mattituck
Over the past decade or so, rosé has been trending not only as a warm-weather wine but also as a drinkable option at any time of year. This blush-colored beverage can range from a thirst-quenching sip to a crisp bubbly for a special occasion, and that’s what you’ll find at Croteaux Vineyards. As the island’s and the country’s only all rosé winery, their portfolio ranges from a Sauvignon Blanc to a Cuveé Merlot to a Cab Franc Sparkling Rosé. The tasting barn and garden are open spring through fall, after which you’ll need to wait until the following season for a fresh batch of Croteaux’s French-style rosés.
1450 S Harbor Rd, Southold
By Tracy Kaler