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The quiet, shaded picnic tables by the vines at McCall Wines make for a peaceful setting. (Photo Credit: David Benthal)

Have friends in town? Want to bring your dog? Or is it all about the wine? Like your matchmaker of the vines, we’ve found the right winery to visit for every mood and situation. Read on for our editors’ personal suggestions for where to drink wine when…

When you have friends in town

Corey Creek Tap Room This Southold tasting room, sister to Bedell Cellars, is my favorite spot for sipping wine when we have friends in town. The tasting room is rustic yet chic and has a gorgeous view of the vines from the back deck. The wine is vibrant and approachable, and the scene is laid-back and welcoming. Bring a picnic blanket, set up on the spacious back lawn as you taste wine, listen to live tunes and wait your turn at cornhole. You can really feel that you’re in the heart of wine country when you’re there. — Michelina Da Fonte

Friends gather at Corey Creek Tap Room. (Photo Credit: David Benthal)

When you want a lively crowd

Palmer Vineyards This Aquebogue winery strikes a perfect balance of fun and fulfillment. The wine, made from vines planted four decades ago, is produced by one of the region’s top winemakers. Yet the experience is anything but stuffy. The location checks off a lot of the boxes on this list, with food options that include a rotation of food trucks and oysters, craft beer and a sprawling backyard area where you can relax and sip among the vines. Weekends are a great time to check them out, especially Friday evenings when they stay open later. This all adds up to a recipe for a good crowd of people looking to have a good time without crossing over into the obnoxious. Its location on the western edge of Long Island Wine Country makes it a great first or final stop on your visit. — Grant Parpan

When you don’t want a crowd at all

McCall Wines and One Woman Wines and Vineyard When I tell people my favorite spots to taste wine are McCall and One Woman, they have one of two reactions. Group A is confused: These two vineyards barely have tasting rooms at all! But as for Group B, if you know, you know. McCall and One Woman make world-class wine and leave you to drink it in bucolic peace and quiet. At McCall, you can have the best pinot noir in the state (according to the 2021 New York Wine Classic) while sitting at a picnic table under a cherry blossom tree and maybe munching on a burger made from the vineyard’s own herd of grass-fed Charolais. At One Woman, the reserve chardonnay is a luscious Burgundian dream, which you can enjoy at the bar in the tiny tasting shack or at a table overlooking the vines with a few friends — no parties larger than six are allowed. No buses, no limos, no problem. — Sara Austin

The tiny tasting shack at One Woman Winery and Vineyards in Southold. (Photo Credit: David Benthal)

When you’re celebrating 

Sparkling Pointe If you’ve got something to celebrate, is there anything more fitting than some bubbly? And if any winery knows their sparkles, it’s Sparkling Pointe. Their classic Méthode Champenoise goes into every bottle. At the tasting room in Southold, your glass (or two or three…) of bubbly will be paired with endless views of the vines from the outdoor patio and a charcuterie and caviar board. They’ve also got a private tasting package for those extra celebrations for six to 20 of your closest friends and family. My fave to pop open is their 2018 Topaz Impérial Brut Rosé. It has a pretty pink hue with notes of strawberries, cherries and melon with a savory touch of biscotti. — Felicia LaLomia

When you want to bring your own food

Bridge Lane Tasting Room Tucked beneath the trees at Bridge Lane Wine’s tasting room in Mattituck are the perfect little tables just waiting for you to sip wine while you enjoy a picnic … with the selection of food totally up to you. While the tasting room may feel at first like it’s not near much, it’s actually in super-close proximity to Love Lane, with to-go options like Lombardi’s Love Lane Market, Goodfood and the Village Cheese Shop. However, I suggest doing even less: Walk just across the street to Pizza Rita and grab a few pies to go. The pizza is some of the best you’ll have on the North Fork (maybe ever?!) and you can never go wrong with pizza and wine. — Michelina Da Fonte

A picnic at Bridge Lane Tasting Room. (Photo Credit: David Benthal)

When you want to bring your dog

Jason’s Vineyard Even if you’ve only passed by Jason’s Vineyard in Jamesport it’s easy to see the winery is animal-friendly. The sheep and alpacas that live on the property are visible from the road and signal that this is a fun place to taste wine. So it probably comes as little surprise that Jason’s Vineyard not only welcomes dogs on the property, they encourage you to bring your four-legged friends. Sip cabernet sauvignon, merlot, malbec, chardonnay, cabernet franc and petit verdot as your dog enjoys the fresh air at this vibrant vineyard. — Grant Parpan

When you have a hot date

Kontokosta Winery If you’re looking to impress someone, Kontokosta Winery in Greenport is an embarrassment of riches. A set of double doors opens to high ceilings and clean lines that accent the modern décor. You’ve left the rural North Fork setting behind and are now immersed in the bright lights of a cosmopolitan gallery. Floor-to-ceiling windows give you a nearly 360° view of your surroundings. It’s chic without being ostentatious. And on a warm summer day, the long walk through the field out back leads you to arguably the single best view on all of the North Fork. From high atop the cliff, and with just the faintest hint of a saltwater breeze, the stunning beauty of Long Island Sound comes into full panoramic view. This is an oasis for any starry-eyed romantic. — Michael Versandi

Kontokosta transports you right to the edge of the Long Island Sound in Greenport. (Credit: Eric Striffler)

When you want to hear live music

Osprey’s Dominion Live music at the wineries is the epitome of summer for me. I wait all year for it and plan my weekend schedules accordingly. But just as the ambience of a restaurant adds to the enjoyment of your meal, the setting of a concert matters — which is why my all-time favorite winery to hear live music is Osprey’s Dominion in Peconic. The stage is set in front of a vast open field, with rows of grapevines as a backdrop, adding a festival atmosphere to every performance. A conveniently placed outdoor gazebo bar means you can grab your next glass of wine without missing a beat. With plenty of room to move or dance, you never feel boxed in, even when the crowd size swells. And while you might not be as excited to see a steady stream of limousines and tour buses arrive at other wineries, at Osprey’s Dominion the near-constant parade of new faces only adds fresh energy to the audience and, by extension, the performances. It’s a good time, guaranteed. — Michael Versandi

When you want to meet your winemaker

Chronicle Wines at Peconic Cellar Door and the Winemaker Studio hosted by Anthony Nappa Wines These two intimate tasting rooms, located next door to each other in converted storefronts in Peconic, make for a special experience. On any given weekend, there’s a high probability the person pouring your wine will also be the person who made it. In the case of Chronicle Wines, that means Robin Epperson-McCarthy, founder of Saltbird Cellars, and Alie Shaper, founder of As If Wines, Brooklyn Oenology and Haywater Cove. Next door, you might come across Anthony Nappa, who is head winemaker at Raphael but here serves his more personal, experimental wines — think white pinot noir, refosco or ice wine — under the Anthony Nappa Wines and Shared Table Farm labels. This is not a place for wine snobs to show off; it’s a rare chance to ask questions and learn from winemakers (or knowledgeable staff) who have studied their craft across the globe and love nothing more than talking about it. I’d call a visit here educational, but it’s way too much fun to feel like school. — Sara Austin

A selection of Chronicle Wines. (Photo Credit: David Benthal)

When the weather outside is frightful

Sherwood House Vineyards For me, a trip to the wineries is an outdoor activity — a sunny, warm weather, daytime, outdoor activity. So, what does someone such as myself do when the weather is less than desirable, but the allure of some afternoon wine is too great to ignore? I grab my coat, my gloves and my umbrella, and I head over to Sherwood House in Jamesport. From the second you open the doors, you are completely enveloped by the coziness of this intimate tasting room. You don’t feel like you’re out. You feel like you’re home — that is, if you lived in Hallmark Christmas movie, surrounded by leather couches, roaring fireplaces and private nooks. Grab a glass of white merlot, cozy up next to the fireplace and settle in. — Michael Versandi

The Sherwood House Vineyards tasting room was designed for maximum coziness. (Photo Credit: David Benthal)

When it’s all about the wine

Paumanok Vineyards The Paumanok tasting room in Aquebogue has an unflashy vibe, housed in a renovated barn with an expansive deck and Adirondack chairs overlooking the vines. Who needs razzle-dazzle when your wine is this good? Founded in the spring of 1983, Paumanok has been a longtime ambassador for Long Island Wine Country and an exemplar for what it can be. It was named the top winery in the state in 2004, 2015 and again in 2021 — winning prizes for red, white and sparkling varieties. This is serious wine served with zero pretensions, and a must-visit for any wine lover visiting the North Fork. — Sara Austin