One of the best parts about living in New York is the sheer number of day trips you can take. I’ve been hiking in Minnewaska State Park and explored the sculptures at Storm King Art Center, but my favorite place to visit has to be the Long Island wine country. While Wölffer Estate Vineyard in Southampton will always have a special place in my heart (it’s where Zach proposed!), we decided to visit the North Fork with our friends Stephanie and Henry.
If you’re looking to take a tour of the East Coast’s very own Napa Valley, read on for the ideal day itinerary.
Our first stop was at Bedell Cellars, where the best feature is not just the house rosé but also the historic building that houses the tasting room. A tasting flight will only set you back $20 and offers five tastings, which depending on the time of year, ranges from a sparking rosé to a fruity Cabernet Franc.
After our flight, we all ordered a full glass of the Taste Rosé—it’s honestly too good for just one taste!
The best part about going in April is it’s fairly early in the season so there weren’t any crowds. To visit during the most picturesque season when the vines are full, make your trip in the hot summer months—just make sure you have reservations in advance.
Lunch @ North Fork Shack
The North Fork Shack might have an unassuming exterior, but the inside is aptly nautical-themed, and their fish sandwich is a must-order. Don’t skip the shallot-dusted fries with garlic aioli…there’s a reason why they’re listed under the “Why Knot?” section of the menu.
Farmer’s Market Visit
I can never pass up a farmer’s market, so we decided to break up our tastings with a stop at the Garden of Eve Organic Farm & Market. Zach and I keep talking about putting planters in on our balcony, but since I can barely keep succulents alive I skipped out on buying any plants. But if you have more of a green thumb than me, Garden of Eve had just about every herb and flower you could want.
I did come home with B.E.A.R (that’s blackberry, elderberry, apple and red raspberry) jam, some sharp but sweet raspberry vinaigrette and a tin of natural mosquito repellent. I’m a mosquito magnet, so I’m hoping this herbal mix will save me this summer without smelling like Off! all season long.
Our last stop for the day trip was Macari Vineyards. If you’re looking for a one-stop-shop winery, this is it—they had a pizza food truck on property when we visited that looked delicious. However, don’t get roped into paying for the tasting. At $30 per person, the waiters had a super light pour (barely even 3 ounces, versus Bedell’s hefty pours), especially when the average bottle will run you less than $30. The best strategy here is to order a few bottles for the table. You’ll get a lot more wine for your buck and have the ability to completely customize your tasting.