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Surely you’ve heard of wineries being rated for the quality of their wines, but what about for their winery tours?

That’s the aim of a contest from, a travel division of USA Today, which recently nominated one North Fork winery for offering the “Best Winery Tour.”

Sannino Bella Vita Vineyard in Peconic is among 20 wineries from around the country readers can vote for based on their tour experience. Being the only local winery surprised even the winery owners themselves. 

“There’s one winery in Virginia and the rest seem to be out on the west coast,” co-owner Lisa Sannino said.

The contest is between wineries that specialize in educating visitors about the winemaking process. USA Today’s organized a panel of wine and travel experts to select 20 American wineries they think offer the best tours and wine education experience. Readers can vote for their favorite once a day from now until the polls close on Monday, August 15 at noon ET.

Click here to vote in the contest

Saninno Bella Vita Vineyard was chosen to compete for their “commitment to educating novices and aficionados alike through its wide assortment of tours,” the website says.

“My husband Anthony gives tours on the weekends and we do a lot of educational classes,” Sannino said. “Pretty much everything we do is all hands on.”

Saninno Bella Vita’s tours range from a look at its processing facility to barrel cellar tours and the more comprehensive Vine to Wine Tour, which explores the vineyard and facilities.

Visitors can also join Sannino Bella Vita’s Vine to Wine Program which teaches them to make their own wine.

“It’s an annual membership in which they come out for the harvest, take the grapes and go through the entire winemaking process,” Sannino said. “There’s about six classes and at the end of the year they have their own wine they made.”

For now Sannino Bella Vita Vineyard is hoping to acquire a few votes in order make a respectable showing in the contest.

“Why not?” Sannino asked. “It’s all based around education, which is what we’re all about, so that’s a good thing.”

Sannino Bella Vita Vineyard is located at 1375 Peconic Lane in Peconic. For more information about its educational tours and classes, call (631) 734-8282 or visit

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