Best Long Island Wineries to Visit

Wölffer Estate
Photo: © Katharine Schroeder

The best Long Island wineries to visit feature gorgeous tasting rooms, special events like live music and plenty of perfect picnic spots. Vineyards have dotted the north and south forks since 1973, when Louisa and Alex Hargrave founded their eponymous winery, which would become Castello di Borghese. Today, the region is home to large producers with multiple locations as well as promising upstarts that make excellent wines in small quantities.—Richard Nalley

01 of 21

Baiting Hollow Farm Vineyard

Baiting Hollow Farm Vineyard
Courtesy of Baiting Hollow Farm Vineyard

The Rubin family’s well-appointed tasting room in a 19th-century farmhouse in Calverton draws visitors for a variety of attractions, including wines like the Red Velvet Bordeaux–style blend (tastings start at $4), but also for live music on summer weekends and visits to the corral to see Baiting Hollow’s rescue horses—including retired thoroughbred race horses (the Horse Rescue label wines contribute to the cause). baitinghollowfarmvineyard.com

02 of 21

Bedell

Bedell
Courtesy of Bedell Cellars

Film producer Michael Lynne (Lord of the Rings) purchased this pioneering Cutchogue winery in 2000 and has led it to new heights—and new price levels. His contemporary art collection (including pieces commissioned for the Artist Label series) grace the walls of the beautiful white-frame tasting room, which offers various flights (from $15) and by-the-glass (from $3) tasting options. Most famous are the Merlots, but don’t miss the Viogniers and Gallery Whites. bedellcellars.com

03 of 21

Castello di Borghese

Castello di Borghese
Courtesy of Castello di Borghese

There is no actual “castle” here, but the owners, the Borghese family, do claim Italian noble roots. Their stylish and welcoming tasting room in an antique potato barn in Cutchogue features impressive, rotating art exhibits and many special events, like the fall Saturday oyster and Sauvignon Blanc pairings. Be sure to try the Reserve level reds, and check the website for vineyard walks and guided tasting tours ($20). castellodiborghese.com

04 of 21

Channing Daughters

Channing Daughters
© Daniel Gonzalez

A benchmark winery for Long Island, and a relatively rare vinous outpost amid the high-priced South Fork acres of Bridgehampton, Channing’s home vineyards date to 1982. Visitors to the spruce, terra cotta–floored tasting room have the chance to sip six wines (for $12), a surprisingly tough choice given that the winery produces bottlings from over two dozen varieties, including notable outliers like Tocai Friulano and Blaufränkisch. channingdaughters.com

05 of 21

Duck Walk

Duck Walk
Courtesy of Duck Walk Vineyards

This is a substantial, well-funded operation from the Damianos family that also owns Pindar and Jason’s Vineyard. Duck Walk has two locations, the flagship (and winery) in Water Mill, and a tasting room in Southold. Both offer live music on the weekends, and numerous special events (including wine country bicycle tours from Water Mill). Best known for its Merlots and Chardonnays, Duck Walk also produces a rare blueberry port. duckwalk.com

06 of 21

Jamesport

Jamesport
Courtesy of Jamesport Vineyards

This high-quality small winery founded by the father-son team of Ron Goerler Sr. and Jr. is a destination both for its fine Merlots, Syrahs and Rieslings, and for the laid-back atmosphere of its back-lawn tasting area in good weather and indoors in the 165-year-old barn. Check the website for live music on the weekends, and, in the season, opt for the 45-minute ($25) winery and vineyard tour with a tasting as the finale. jamesportwines.com

07 of 21

Lenz

Lenz
Courtesy of Lenz Winery

An all-estate-produced winery, Lenz boasts some of the oldest vines on Long Island and one of the North Fork’s top reputations, in no small thanks to exacting winemaker Eric Fry’s touch with wines ranging from Cabernet to sparkling. Its Peconic tasting room offers two levels of tasting flights ($12–$15), including a Premium Level with sips of old vine bottlings otherwise available only to Lenz members. Check the website—and book well ahead for the February and March barrel tastings and tours ($30) conducted by Fry. lenzwine.com

08 of 21

Lieb Cellars

Lieb Cellars
Courtesy of Lieb Cellars

One of the region’s premier wineries, Lieb offers visitors an array of choices, including two tasting rooms: the “rustic chic” stop at the Lieb facility in Cutchogue, and the other, more “urban chic,” in Mattituck, devoted to Lieb’s more affordable Bridge Lane line. Both host a plethora of events, including frequent live music, and private tastings by appointment. Be sure to check out Lieb’s Reserve bottlings, including the Pinot Blanc and Meritage red. liebcellars.com

09 of 21

Macari

Macari
© Carl Timpone - Courtesy of Macari Vineyards

The Macari family has owned their 500 acres of Mattituck waterfront for over half a century, and its vineyard rows share the farm with Texas longhorns, Sicilian donkeys and a menagerie of other animals. Visitors to the tasting room, or its satellite in Cutchogue (open weekends), can choose from a number of flights or wines by the glass and can accompany them with artisanal cheese and charcuterie. The top-end red blends like the Bergen Road, have developed a following. macariwines.com

10 of 21

Martha Clara

Martha Clara
© Anthony Caccamo

Founded as a thoroughbred horse farm by an heir to the Entenmann’s baked goods company, this has evolved into a fine winery noted especially for its top reds, Rieslings and Chardonnays. Though prices remain reasonable, there is an entry-level Island Series line worth checking out. Reserve ahead for a private VIP tasting for up to six people ($99). marthaclaravineyards.com

11 of 21

McCall

McCall
© Bridget Elkin

This boutique family operation in Cutchogue has been producing wine only since 2007, but it’s made its mark with one of the wine world’s most elusive grapes: Pinot Noir. French winemaker Gilles Martin and California cult icon Bob Cabral (ex of Williams–Selyem) produce Pinots unlike any others on Long Island, and notable Bordeaux-style reds as well. The bucolic but stylish tasting room is in a former horse stable. mccallwines.com

12 of 21

The Old Field

The Old Field
© Perry Bliss

They do mean old—this land in Southold was farmed for hundreds of years by Native Americans, then by European settlers, before coming under the proprietorship of the family of current owner Christian Baiz three generations back. The sparkling blanc de noirs is a big draw here at the cozy tasting barn (check the web for seasonal hours), as are the Chardonnays and Pinots. Book ahead for the summer tastings by the bay ($30), when Baiz leads small, seated tastings on weekends. theoldfield.com

13 of 21

Osprey’s Dominion

One of Long Island’s most laid-back tasting experiences—and one of the few wineries to still allow visitors to bring picnics—Osprey’s Dominion features a large, generous indoor tasting room, and a lawn party in the summer with an outdoor wine bar and games. There is live music most weekends, too. Check for seasonal hours. One specialty: Alsatian-style wines like Edelzwicker, Pinot Gris and Gewürztraminer. ospreysdominion.com

14 of 21

Palmer

Palmer
© Kerri Ann Smith

Riverhead’s Palmer is a pillar of the North Fork wine establishment, with a handsome, buttoned-down tasting facility and a well-earned reputation for fine wine in an array of styles, but the place is anything but stodgy. There is live music on the weekends, hay rides in the fall, and Friday nights with wine and oysters. The tasting room offers wine by the glass or themed flights of wine (“Aromatic,” for example) from $13. palmervineyards.com

15 of 21

Paumanok

Paumanok
Courtesy of Paumanok Vineyards

Paumanok—a Native American word for “Long Island”—was founded by the Massoud family back in 1983, and has become something of a wine critics’ darling, including winning New York Winery of the Year for 2015 at the NY Wine & Food Classic. The Aquebogue tasting room is open all year, offering flights of wine from $6, and a slate of guided tours ranging up to a VIP tour ($50) and tasting with a Massoud family member. paumanok.com

16 of 21

Pellegrini

Surely one of the most manicured wineries and vineyards in New York, Pellegrini was founded by a graphic designer, whose touch is evident everywhere from the showplace Hampton’s shingle-style winery to the grounds. The year-round Cutchogue tasting room offers tastings from $6–$16, and while the top bottlings are expensive by Long Island standards ($50–$70), there are plenty of selections under $20 to purchase as well. pellegrinivineyards.com

17 of 21

Pindar

Pindar
Courtesy of Pinar Vineyards

Long Island’s largest winery has grown from the Damianos family’s backyard project in the early 1980s to over 500 acres of vines and 23 different wines (not to mention the family’s other wine projects). The impressive tasting room at the wind turbine­–powered main winery in Peconic and the Port Jefferson location are sources for some of the state’s best sparkling wines and high-end red blends, among much else. pindar.net

18 of 21

Pugliese

Pugliese
Courtesy of Pugliese Vineyard

The third generation is at work in this homey winery now, but cofounder Pat Pugliese is still in the tasting room on many days, and still decorating the trademark hand-painted wine glasses for sale in the well-stocked Cutchogue tasting room. There are unusual—for the North Fork—wines to try, including Niagara and Zinfandel, but sparkling wines are a specialty here. pugliesevineyards.com

19 of 21

Raphael

Raphael
Courtesy of Raphael Vineyard and Winery

This ambitious, well-funded winery is a familiar sight to Peconic wine tourists, with its impressive, white-and-terra cotta, Mediterranean-style building. Its large, comfortable tasting facilities offer a variety of cheese and charcuterie accompaniments, a strong schedule of events and plenty of seating—an often-overlooked amenity. But fans come for the high-quality wines themselves, including the highly regarded red Bordeaux blends. raphaelwine.com

20 of 21

Shinn Estate

Shinn Estate
Courtesy of Shinn Estate and Farmhouse

Barbara Shinn and David Page are true believers, coming out of the farm-to-table movement (they opened Home in New York City), and their alternatively powered, biodynamically farmed winery has garnered a following among drinkers who appreciate natural winemaking and the sensibility that surrounds it. Relax on the tasting patio and enjoy their stellar Sauvignon Blancs and red Bordeaux blends (and Page’s brandies). The winery’s Farmhouse Inn is one of the region’s top B&Bs. shinnestatevineyards.com

21 of 21

Wölffer Estate

Wölffer Estate
© Katharine Schroeder

Arguably the most Hamptons-y of Long Island’s wineries, not just because of its Sagaponack location, but because of its chic, terra cotta–tiled tasting room, manicured thoroughbreds, and European-referencing style. Though its rosé is ubiquitous on the East End, winemaker Roman Roth’s reds and sparkling wines (not to mention ciders) are well worth sampling too. In the warm months, the outdoor Wine Stand is a fine sunset-watching spot on weekends, often with live music—bring your own beach blanket. wolffer.com

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles