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It’s fitting that one year after our cover story about the evolution of Long Island winemaking, our latest issue marks several more changes within the local wine industry. In the above podcast, our staff discusses some of the bigger changes.

In the past year, two of the North Fork’s most popular winery operations have changed hands, two more opened up in western Suffolk County, another is moving to a new tasting room in Cutchogue and one more has plans to open an on-site bistro.

For an industry approaching age 50, these changes are natural progressions. We’re seeing more second-generation owners than in the past and wineries continue to shape their identities both individually and as a region.

It is our belief that the local industry  is evolving in a healthy way. The one operation that cast Long Island vineyards in a negative light has been shut down and much of the conversation about change from the wineries these days concerns  how to improve the customer and community experience.

To that end, we should see fewer limos on the road in the coming years, more immersive tasting experiences and a wider variety of grapes planted than ever before. 

For this year’s issue, we’ve updated each of our tasting room profiles to share the most up to date information. While the articles will begin popping up online in the near future, it is our hope that as you pick our magazine up at one tasting room, the facts inside it prove valuable enough that you’ll use it to guide the rest of your journey on the North Fork. Of course, food will likely be a part of your experience,  so we’ve reconfigured our dining guide to organize it by type of cuisine. We hope this change, along with added information about prices, helps to better inform your visit to the North Fork.

Our 2019 issue also offers  a pair of features, including one on an issue that will impact the local wine industry for the long term: climate. To date, climate change has, oddly enough, benefited Long Island’s grape growers by giving them a longer season with which to work. But in the not-too-distant future it will surely create its share of challenges and force winemakers and vineyard managers to adjust along with changing conditions.

On the lighter side, this issue also includes photographs and information on vineyards where you can spend the night. While not entirely new, these options are expanding, giving guests of the North Fork the opportunity for a truly perfect wine vacation.

In 2019, we wish all of our readers a safe, fun and informative trip to the vineyards. And to our friends in the industry, we wish continued success. We’re truly grateful to continue publication of the Wine Press into its 27th year.

Grant Parpan, Content Director