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Long Island Wine Region Basics

As the stereotype goes, great wine is made in glamorous locations (e.g., Napa or Tuscany) synonymous with money and prestige. And then there’s the contradiction that is Long Island: It’s the target of jokes (and the inspiration of many Billy Joel songs), but it’s also the home of the glamorous Hamptons, and lately, the source of some very good wines. They have been making wine on Long Island for much less time than they have in the Finger Lakes; just over three decades—which is either a very long time (to winemakers in places like the Sonoma Coast) or no time at all (to winemakers in Europe). The first vineyard was planted in 1973 by Louisa and Alex Hargrave as a bit of a lark.

Five top bottles

  • 2005 Jamesport Sarah’s Hill North Fork Pinot Noir
  • 2004 Martha Clara Vineyards Five-O North Fork
  • 2004 Palmer Vineyards Proprietor’s Reserve North Fork Cabernet Franc
  • 2005 Lieb North Fork Pinot Blanc
  • 2006 Paumanok Semi-Dry North Fork Riesling

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