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New York Day Trip: The wine country of North Fork, Long Island

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Vineyards, North Fork, Long Island
Biking among the vineyards in the North Fork. Photos by Suzanne Russo

Your superfluous New York fact of the week, Cheapos: There are more than 130 wine bars in Manhattan. Add the restaurants on every corner, block and alley—each with its own wine list as long as the line at the Empire State Building—and it’s safe to say that, well, New Yorkers are fans of vino.

Croteaux

Croteaux Vineyards

But before you vow to visit every wine bar on the island in a weekend, consider a trip to the wine country of North Fork, Long Island. You’ll taste wine that’s just as good, and it’s only a day (trip) away!

Vines, Trains, and Bicycles

On the train ride from Penn Station to Mattituck ($33.50 round-trip), you’ll watch the buildings of the city fade into wide open spaces and long, luxurious stretches of green. And that’s when the fun really begins.

You see, there are no sidewalks along North Fork’s main road, making walking to wineries somewhat unwise, and while there is always the tour route, these standardize the experience, and are decidedly un-Cheapo. Our preferred means of transportation — friendly to the wallet and to the spirit — is the bike rental. What’s better than stepping off the train in the adorable town of Mattituck and heading to Adventure Cycles and Sports, where you can hop on a bicycle ($25) and pedal off to drink, eat and be merry?

Days of Wine and Rosés

Sherwood House

Sherwood House

We found the family-run Croteaux Vineyards (1450 South Harbor Road, 631-765-6099), with its idyllic courtyard and its deliciously pink wines, to be nothing short of magical. But if you’re visiting at the end of the season, call before you go: Once the small operation runs out of wines, it is done for the year.

Slightly larger, but no less enchanting, is the Sherwood House (2600 Oregon Road, 631-298-1396), where you can taste a wider array of non-pink wines in a vibrant, eclectic outdoor setting. Before leaving, ask for corks to take next door to Shinn Estate Vineyards (2000 Oregon Road, 631-804-0367)—the cork-sharing program grants you discounts or additional free tastings when you bring corks from one winery to taste at the next. Most wineries are supposed to participate, so try it at the various other spots along Main Road, including a few, such as Osprey’s Dominion Vineyard (44075 Main Road, 631-765-6188), that have live music on many a weekend.

Good Eats

Sweet Shoppe

Love Lane Sweet Shoppe

Lest you think we advocate drinking and biking, it’s essential that we point out some spots to soak up some of that wine and give you the energy to keep on pedaling. Since wine wouldn’t be wine without a little cheese, we recommend a stop at The Village Cheese Shop (5 Love Lane, 631-298-8556). Stock up on your own assortment or stop by the café for cheese, small plates or even fondue.

If, for some strange reason, cheese isn’t your thing, head to the Love Lane Kitchen (240 Love Lane, 631-298-8989) just across the road. The place is as adorable as it sounds, and it serves up tasty sandwiches and salads made from locally sourced ingredients. Wherever you eat, be sure to stop into the Love Lane Sweet Shoppe (125 Love Lane, 631-298-2276) for a salted caramel to enjoy on the train ride back to New York City.

About the author

Suzanne Russo

About the author: Suzanne Russo thinks of herself as equal parts California Girl and New Yorker. She moved from San Francisco to New York four years ago to pursue her MA in English, and her obsession with all things New York life and history hasn’t dwindled yet. She is a freelance writer, director of the San Francisco-sponsored, New York literary pub crawl, Lit Crawl, and constant wanderer.

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5 Responses to “New York Day Trip: The wine country of North Fork, Long Island”

Pete Meyers Pete Meyers says:

Loved these tips. I’d also add that the town of Greenport is well worth a visit – right on the water, amazing food, and not (yet) too “Hamptons-y.”

Suzanne Russo Suzanne Russo says:

Thanks Pete! And to tack on a Greenport tip (and keep in the boozy theme) there is a fantastic brewery, Harbor Brewing Co., that has a tiny little “tasting room” in Greenport. Excellent beers, and for $4 you get to sample all six on tap, and keep the glass!

Yeda says:

I´m from Brazil and I´m going to NYC in feb. Do you know if those wineries are open during the winter? Is possible do the same trip now?
I loved the tips…

Suzanne Russo Suzanne says:

Hi Yeda, You could definitely do a similar trip now. Coruteaux closes in the winter but the rest of the wineries should be open, and there are many others as well. Your best bet is to check their websites. You may want to consider renting a car, as it will be rather cold to bike around, but if you do choose to bike, the shop is open in winter, just not on Wednesdays. Hope that helps!

Meredith Webb says:

Hello!

Great article but are you aware the bicycle hire shop you’ve suggested is over an hours drive South of Mattituk (in Farmingdale)? Not that convenient if you’re catching the train and coming back tipsy…

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