‘I Love New York Bus’ to bring visitors to the North Fork

The I Love New York Tour Bus outside Jamesport Vineyards in Jamesport. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

The I Love New York Tour Bus outside Jamesport Vineyards in Jamesport. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

Manhattanites can soon tour Long Island Wine Country by boarding a bus right from midtown thanks to a new partnership between the I Love New York Campaign and Hampton Jitney.

The tour, dubbed the I Love New York Bus, will offer bus transportation from New York City to tourist destinations across the state.

“This bus service will help more people discover and enjoy all that New York State has to offer – supporting jobs and creating economic growth in the process,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a statement.

Long Island tourism advocates hope the promotion will offer New York foodies and wine lovers easier access to North Fork culinary destinations and vineyards.

“We’ve been working on getting people out from the city without the use of their own car,” said Steve Bate, executive director of the Long Island Wine Council. “It’s safer and it’s more environmentally friendly.”

Food tourism directly accounts for 75,000 jobs on Long Island and brings in more than $1.5 billion in annual revenue, noted Long Island Convention and Visitors Bureau president Yan Baczkowski.

“We now have a simpler solution to offer day travelers from New York City to come visit our world-renowned wine industry,” he said. “I can honestly say from personal experience with our amazing cépage, or grape variety, we have nothing to be shy about.”

The bus will offer itineraries along the North Fork Wine Trail on Oct. 18, 25, Nov. 1 and for the wine council-sponsored Taste North Fork event Nov. 8 and Nov. 9. The campaign will add more tours to its schedule, including ski destinations like Hunter Mountain, depending on demand.

The pick-up and drop-off locations are at Third Ave. and 44th St. On-board sales are available, though advance reservations are recommended. Reservations can be made by clicking here.

Guests can choose from a wine tour or a beer and spirits tour. The winery tour makes stops at Jamesport Vineyards, Diliberto Winery, Pugliese Vineyards and Harbes Farm & Vineyard. The brewery and spirits tour stops at Long Ireland Beer Co., Joe’s Garage & Grill, Greenport Harbor Brewing Company and Long Island Spirits.

Bookings include lunch, tastings and keepsake items.

To kick off the partnership, which was officially announced on Wednesday, the campaign hosted a media tour with stops along the wine trail.

To give media members a taste of the region, Chef Noah Schwartz of Noah’s in Greenport provided a multi-course lunch at Jamesport Vineyards featuring items like clam pesto flatbread and warm lobster rolls.

Lunch during the media tour was provided by Noah's at Jamesport Vineyards. (Credit: vera Chinese)

Lunch during the media tour was provided by Noah’s at Jamesport Vineyards. (Credit: Vera Chinese)