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

One of the first — and to be honest, one of our favorite — signs of spring on the North Fork is the annual opening of Croteaux Vineyards in Southold, the country’s only all-rosé producing vineyard.

And we are happy to report the South Harbor Road vineyard opened for the season on Tuesday, March 1, and will be open daily from noon to 5 p.m. through spring.

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.

“The gallery room and the tasting garden is open, weather permitting,” said co-owner Paula Croteau. “We have Adirondack chairs and blankets.”

This year, Croteaux bottled 4,500 cases of the 2015 vintage — a record for the vineyard — and released six still rosés, including three merlot rosés, a sauvignon blanc rosé, a cabernet franc rosé and a merlot rosé fermented with wild yeast.

“They are soft, they have amazing long finishes and they smell like the salty sea air,” Croteau said. “The wines are amazing. We think they are the best ever. The response has been great already; we’ve been shipping all day.”

Expect three sparkling rosés to be released in April.

“They’re being sparkled as we speak,” Croteau said.

The winery, which sells out of its stock every year, had been closed since fall 2015.

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

Introducing Croteaux's 2015 rosés. (Credit: Michael Croteau)
Introducing Croteaux’s 2015 rosés. (Credit: Michael Croteau)