01/24/12 7:43pm

SAMANTHA BRIX PHOTO | Marco and Ann Marie Borghese, owners of Castello di Borghese, in their Cutchogue tasting room.

Marco and Ann Marie Borghese visited the North Fork for the first time for a wine tasting on Thanksgiving of 1998.

The longtime wine lovers — Mr. Borghese’s relatives owned a vineyard in Florence for generations and Ms. Borghese studied French wine in Paris — at once fell in love with Long Island’s land of grapevines.

“We came here to taste — not to shop for a vineyard,” Mr. Borghese said. (more…)

01/07/12 7:57pm

SAMANTHA BRIX PHOTO | Sal Diliberto, owner of Diliberto Winery, in his piazza-esque tasting room in Jamesport.

Those hankering for a trip to Italy can surely cure bouts of wanderlust by visiting Diliberto Winery in Jamesport.

It might be the Neopolitan-style thin-crust pizza topped with homemade fresh mozzarella; it could be the mural of a giant piazza covering an entire wall; or perhaps it’s the continuous Italian music filling the space of a tasting room set up like a typical Tuscan terrace.

The place is reminiscent of Italia, and if the tasting room doesn’t take you there, the wine certainly will. (more…)

12/31/11 7:59pm

SAMANTHA BRIX PHOTO | Bud Koehler, co-owner of Osprey’s Dominion Vineyards, in his Peconic tasting room.

Bud Koehler was among the first vintners to settle on the North Fork.

After retiring from a job in construction in 1983, the Farmingdale native headed out east with his wife and 11 children and purchased a 24-acre plot of land in Peconic.

He planted grapes and founded a vineyard that would be in the company of just three others: Hargrave Vineyard, Pindar Vineyards and Paumanok.

“I’ve always been building and making,” he said. “I wanted to make something with my hands.” (more…)

12/21/11 8:01pm

SAMANTHA BRIX PHOTO | Laurel Lake Vineyards co-owner Juan Sepúlveda behind the bar of the tasting room on Main Road in Laurel.

Juan Sepúlveda traveled the world in search of the perfect place to own a vineyard.

The head of production at Gillmore Winery and Vineyards in San Javier, Chile, Mr. Sepúlveda wanted to own a winery away from where he was born and raised.

He looked in the wine regions of France, California, Australia and Canada, but a serendipitous change in plans sent him to Long Island. (more…)

12/19/11 8:02pm

SAMANTHA BRIX PHOTO | Peter DiBernardi, owner of The Hidden Vineyard, uses a tap to pour wine out of wooden barrels.

If you’re driving along Edwards Avenue in Calverton, you might miss a couple small signs leading you down a narrow road framed with tall corn stalks to a small vineyard.

After the herb farm and after the vegetable stand — if you’re driving slow enough and really paying attention — you’ll see it: The Hidden Vineyard.

You may expect to find a rustic farmhouse beyond the rows of grapevines lining a winding gravel driveway, but standing majestically at the foot of the driveway is actually a large, newly-built colonial.

The vineyard and the house belong to 75-year-old Peter DiBernardi. (more…)

11/22/11 8:08pm
Sound Avenue, Riverhead

SAMANTHA BRIX PHOTO | Roanoke Vineyards owner Richard Pisacano with his wife, Soraya, behind the bar of the vineyard’s main tasting room.

Richard Pisacano started working at Mudd Vineyards, a vineyard development and consulting firm in Southold, in the late 1970’s when he was a high school student.

He learned how to graft grapevines and started his own vineyard on Herricks Lane in Jamesport a few years later. Planting Chardonnay and Merlot grapes, he called the land Richard’s Vineyard. (more…)