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For more than 45 years, vineyards and wineries have dotted the North Fork landscape and helped make the region a destination for visitors. 

Today, there are more than three dozen wineries across Southold and Riverhead towns. They are a major source of employment and an economic boon for the area.

But wineries are also at a bit of a crossroads. Multiple tasting rooms have dealt with zoning issues and concerns over food trucks and limousines have made headlines in recent years as wineries continue to grapple with their growth in popularity and shape their identity.

So what does the future look like for wineries on the North Fork? We’ll aim to find out at our second Times Review Talks at Vineyard Caterers in Aquebogue from noon to 2 p.m. Wednesday, March 27.


Times Review Talks are panel discussions mostly on issues our communities are facing with the people who best understand the concerns and, in some cases, are in a position to make a difference. Future talks are expected to cover the topics of climate change, opioids, school enrollment, ticks and more.

For our panel on the future of wineries, which will be moderated by Times Review Media Group digital content director Grant Parpan, we’ve invited members of the wine community and town officials to discuss the issue. Panelists include: Southold Town Supervisor Scott Russell; Riverhead Town Supervisor Laura Jens-Smith; Long Island Wine Council president Anthony Sannino of Sannino Vineyard; Jamesport Vineyards president Ron Goerler Jr.; Lieb Cellars and Bridge Labe Wines general manager Ami Opisso; and winemakers Rich Olsen-Harbich of Bedell Cellars and Kareem Massoud of Paumanok and Palmer Vineyards.

The two-hour lunchtime events will be held each month. The $30 ticket price ($20 for Times Review subscribers) includes lunch.

This month’s event is sponsored by Suffolk Security, Riverhead Ford Lincoln and Riverhead Buick GMC, Eastern Long Island Hospital and North Fork Chamber of Commerce. If you are interested in learning more about becoming a sponsor of Times Review Talks contact Sonja Reinholt Derr at 631-354-8050 or email [email protected].

Space is limited, so we recommend purchasing your tickets in advance.