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CAROLYN IANNONE PHOTO | Kareem Massoud sampling sauvignon blanc from a tank.

Charles and Ursula Massoud, owners of Paumanok Vineyards, are among the original wine pioneers of the North Fork.

With the help of their sons, they planted their first vines in 1983. Almost 30 years later, they have earned a reputation of producing some of Long Island’s finest wines.

When their oldest son, Kareem Massoud, took over his father’s position as winemaker, he continued the tradition of making fine wines with his family. His two brothers Nabeel and Salim manage the vineyard, the tasting room, and the wholesale business. With Ursula’s hospitality, she coordinates events, weddings, and tours. It’s truly a family owned and operated vineyard and winery.

The simple, uncluttered tasting room is built above the wine cellar, which you can peak into from a glass-covered island that serves as a place to hold their collections of awards and metals.

Don’t miss a taste of Paumanok’s Chenin Blanc. They are the only producers of Chenin Blanc on the North Fork, which remains perplexing because its bright acidity and crispness lends to the idea it grows well here. Those features also help the wine sell out every year.

Also look for a their “Grand Vintage” wines — a label reserved only for exceptional growing seasons. These wines are among those that have ensured recognition for the North Fork as a region producing world class wines.

Paumanok was also one of the first vineyards to invest in a bottling line, allowing them to bottle wines under both cork and screw cap. They were also one of the first local vineyards to put their wine in a keg.

Tours, limos and groups are by appointment only, so you can be pretty sure not to be overwhelmed by too many big crowds at Paumanok. Their spacious deck invites tasters to admire the very vines that supplied them with what they are sipping on.

With a portfolio of consistently pleasing wine, Paumanok continues to be one of the favorites on the North Fork for visitors and locals alike.

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