Just because it’s winter does not mean we have to drink wine cooped up indoors.
Across the North Fork, wineries and vineyards are helping their visitors beat the cold while enjoying their wine outdoors. The winter wind chill is no match for heated tents, cozy igloos and fire pit experiences.
Here are five of our favorite spots to enjoy wine outside this winter season:
Macari Vineyards, Mattituck
What began as a contingency has become a welcoming experience for Macari Vineyards visitors. Behind the tasting room stand two massive heated tents the vineyard dubbed their Bergen Road Bungalows.
“We’re shocked with the response and the demand for outdoor experiences,” Gabriella Macari, the vineyard’s director of operations, said. “It started in 2020 as a way to make sure the team kept working. We worked with local makers and designers to make them, and ultimately we’re very shocked that they’re still here and standing because of the demand.”
Inside, fuzzy seating invites groups of four to eight to sit down, enjoy their wine and even savor the warmth of the vinyl records waiting for a spin. For $125 per person, guests taste a selection of wines and nosh on locally-inspired mezze offerings.
Lenz Winery, Peconic
Available for two-hour time slots, Lenz lawn igloos provide warm blankets and mood lighting for those looking for a unique tasting experience.
Each reservation ($100 for the igloo) includes a bottle of Lenz Estate Selection wine chosen upon arrival. Guests are welcome to order additional bottles, glasses and snacks to enjoy their stay.
One Woman Wines & Vineyards, Southold
While no reservations are necessary, fans of One Woman Wines & Vineyards may want to arrive early.
The vineyard has a sole yurt up for grabs, which offers an intimate wine tasting experience, not unlike the one visitors enjoy inside the cozy tasting room. The tented experience is great for those looking to try the vineyard’s recently released 2020 Grüner Veltliner or the 2015 Merlot.
Mattebella Vineyards, Southold
Mattebella offers two unique options for enjoying wine outdoors this winter.
The first is a series of three heated igloos: two designed for groups up to eight, the third for couples or groups of four.
The other experience, “the deck,” boasts a fire pit that warms the cozy cabin atmosphere suitable for up to 12 people.
For either setup, open Fridays through Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., guests may make reservations or walk in and can order up winter cocktails and charcuterie to accompany their wine.
At RG|NY, guests can rent out one of four greenhouses any day of the week.
With comfortable seating and tables boasting Bluetooth speakers and games, each greenhouse is suitable for a private party. The cost is $100 a head, plus tax and gratuity.
“When you come in, you get a welcome glass of sparkling wine,” assistant tasting room manager Olivia Cunningham said. “You get a cheese board for your group, a selection of our dips fresh made, soup, a dessert and two glasses of wine of your choice. You also get a server so you don’t have to come inside.”