The North Fork is a standout in the Long Island wine region. With 90-point wines and the shear number of vineyards to visit — more than 40 — it is a clear go-to destination for a day of hitting wineries. But it is not the only option.
But there are a handful of wineries on the South Fork farther west worth checking out. This guide features all you need to know for planning a trip to Long Island tasting rooms that are off the North Fork.
Tucked in the woods off a trail at John Ellis Roosevelt’s historical Meadow Croft Estate in Sayville is a hidden vineyard that features some of Long Island’s finest wines.
Loughlin Vineyard is the closest Long Island winery to New York City but its rustic tasting room is more akin to the North Fork than the bustling metro. An old wood stove is located inside the small tasting room and there’s an outdoor seating area during the warmer months.
Visitors are welcome to bring their own food and leashed dogs to the family-friendly establishment. The vineyard is open year round Saturdays and Sundays from 1 to 4:30 p.m.
Meadowcroft Estate, Sayville; 631-589-0027; loughlinvineyardny.com
CHANNING DAUGHTERS WINERY
Channing Daughters produces local wines from more than two dozen varieties of grapes — more than any other winery on the East End. The Bridgehampton vineyard is a founding member of Long Island Sustainable Winegrowing, an independent, third party-certified sustainable viticulture program. Its commitment to quality is evident in its award-winning bottles.
The quaint tasting room offers samplings of at least six different wines, and provides informative notes about the wines and the winemaking process. Owner/sculptor Walter Channing’s artwork is also on view almost anywhere you look around the estate. The winery is open daily from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
927 Scuttle Hole Road, Bridgehampton; 631-537-7224; channingdaughters.com
This award-winning winery in St. James will delight serious wine drinkers and those who simply like to sip from time-to-time. Family owned and operated by Steve and Laura Gallagher and Barbara Perrotta of neighboring Borellas Farms, Whisper’s vintages are carefully crafted with grapes that are sustainably farmed and hand harvested.
The boutique, café-like tasting room offers table service. Stop in for a flight or wines by the glass before stopping off at the Borellas Farm stand to pick up local produce — it is almost like being on the North Fork.
The vineyard is open Thursdays from 3 to 7 p.m.; Fridays 3 to 8 p.m.; Saturdays noon to 8 p.m. and Sundays noon to 6 p.m.
485 Edgewood Avenue, St. James, NY 11780; (631) 257-5222; whispervineyards.com
WÖLFFER ESTATE VINEYARD
Wölffer Estate’s rustic-modern tasting room overlooks the lush vineyards to the east and the gently rolling Hamptons landscape to the west.
The Sagaponack vineyard is known for its rosé, but its hard ciders, rich reds and crisp whites are all top-notch. Mulled wine and gin cocktails are also available. Guests can enjoy table service to learn about and sample Wölffer’s award-winning wines both inside and outside on the terrace, with live music every Friday from 5 to 8 p.m. Winery tours are held on weekends.
It is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
139 Sagg Road, Sagaponack; 631-537-5106; wolffer.com
Harmony Vineyards in Saint James is unlike any on the East End. There is a year round fun factor that goes far beyond traditional tastings. It regularly offers live entertainment during the season and serves an organic farm-to-table brunch year-round. There are also a variety of tasty, small plates and snacks along with local Long Island beers for non-wine drinkers.
A major standout is that Harmony Vineyards has a nightlife scene — rare at L.I. wineries. The vineyard is opened to midnight on Saturdays year round, and is open until at least 11 p.m. on Fridays.
169 Harbor Road, Saint James; 631-291-9900; harmonyvineyards.com