Croteaux Vineyards reopens for 2017: North Fork Spring Watch

Croteaux Vineyards' outdoor tasting lounge. (Credit: Michael Croteau, courtesy)

Croteaux Vineyards’ outdoor tasting lounge. (Credit: Michael Croteau, courtesy)

Here is a sign that North Fork spring is near.

Croteaux Vineyards in Southold, the nation’s only all-rosé producer, will reopen for the 2017 season today, Feb. 24, at noon.

The South Harbor Road vineyard will be open Friday, Feb. 24 through Monday, Feb. 27 from noon to 6 p.m. Five 2016 still rosés, including wines made from cabernet franc, sauvignon blanc and merlot, will be available. A bottle of 2015 sparkling rosé will also be poured in the tasting room this weekend.

The winery, which sells out of its stock every year, had been closed since the end of 2016.

Croteaux bottled a record 6,300 cases this year, according to owner Michael Croteau. Compare that to 2,600 cases in 2014, 4,000 in 2015 and 4,500 in 2016.

Croteau attributed that production increase to a fruitful harvest as well as a growing demand for his product.

“We had a lot of fruit that we didn’t expect last year. And we weren’t alone in that,” he said. The increase in demand has been in both retail and direct sales to consumers on the South Fork and New York City, Croteau said.

While many North Fork vineyards hold a special place in our hearts, there is something undeniably unique about sipping the pink drink of summer in Croteaux’s exquisite tasting garden.

And oenophiles can expect tasty offerings from 2016, the second vintage made with Croteaux’s consulting winemaker Alie Shaper.

“The weather is so beautiful. We had a lot of people interested [in Croteaux opening],” Croteau said adding that the outdoor barn lounge will be open with heaters on the patio.

In other news, Croteaux’s 1977 Citroen H van will also be available to rent for private events this summer, so be on the lookout for that.

Croteaux Vineyards is located at 1450 South Harbor Road in Southold. Call (631) 765-6099 for more information.