Long Island Wine Country A Marriage of Local Food And Local Wine
Long Island wine country is coming into its own. Not so long ago long island was known more for its potato fields than for its grapes. Slowly former (and still) wine lovers are becoming winemakers; and gaining experience and knowledge. Little by little former potato fields are becoming vineyards, to the delight of New Yorkers, and all wine lovers, looking for a wine vacation.
But we need not fear that every farm has become a vineyard. There are plenty of food products being grown. Several gems of restaurants are focusing on local food, and complimenting it with local wines that reflect the region's personality.
Long Island wine country is about 95 miles from New York City, though you might have to brave traffic and frustration in order to get there.
Most of us think of Long Island as this idilic place where the rich go to play. And it is that, for sure. But there is another side to it. Few people realize that the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens are located in Long Island! But it is the eastern side, the one with the small towns and beautiful beaches that we are talking about here, Nassau County and Suffolk County.
Long Island looks a little bit like a squid to me. The body is closest to New York City, while its "tentacles" are the North Fork and the South Fork, with a few small island between the two Forks. The weather is warm in the summer, and the growing season is bout 230 days. The soil has lots of sand and gravel, excellent drainage.
In the beginning many growers focused on Bordeaux type grapes. The thinking was that the climate, heavily influenced by the Atlantic, was not unlike Bordeaux, also enjoying maritime influence. This led to many vineyards being planted with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot.
More recently, winemakers are finding Long Island's personality in its grapes and wines. They are no longer looking to Bordeaux, they are looking within. Merlot, in particular, is gaining in quality and consistency; and some very nice Sauvignon Blancs and Chenin Blancs are being produced.
The South Fork, where the Hamptons are located has a few wineries, but the growth of the wine industry in this area has been curtailed by the price of land.
The North Fork is where the action is as far as wine is concerned. Land being much less pricy, aspiring vineyard owners and winemakers can afford to take a risk. This is area is home to quaint towns and hamlets.
Though most of the wineries are within 20 miles of one another, the traffic can be though, particularly during the summer months.
If you want to take a break from wine tasting, there are plenty of opportunities to play golf, take kiteboarding lessons, or just spend a day at the beach. All and all, a lovely place for wine country travel.
Long Island Wine Country; Its The Wine, And So Much More!