Overview: The Long Island Wine Region
The first Long Island vineyard was planted in 1973 in the small town of Cutchogue by Alex and Louisa Hargrave, and the area now boasts over 40 wineries. The island may seem small but it actually is home to three viticultural areas on Long Island: the Long Island A.V.A, the Hamptons A.V.A, and the North Fork A.V.A.
The Long Island A.V.A is the largest and spans across the Nassau and Suffolk Counties, including the smaller offshore islands of both. The Hamptons A.V.A includes the eastern part of Suffolk County, specifically the Hamptons and all areas of the South Fork, which is a 209 square mile region. The North Fork A.V.A. is only in Suffolk County and is regulated by the State of New York and includes Shelter Island and Robins Island.
Being surrounded by the Long Island Sound and the Atlantic Ocean provides the Island with cool breezes that balance out the warm summers, creating a beautiful climate. This natural characteristic, combined with the moderate summer rains, gives the area excellent terroir for wine making.
There is no limit to the varietals that can be made on Long Island but there are a few grapes that do exceptionally well. In the reds, Cabernet Franc and Merlot are two of the Island’s featured wines. As for whites, you’ll find delicious Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Gewurztraminer.
The true claim to fame for the Long Island Wine Region is the rosé, which pair well with an extravagant weekend in the Hamptons. These pink beauties are always in season and range from pale and mineral, to boldly colored and fruity.
Long Island offers fabulous restaurants to go along with their wineries, and there are plenty of tours and attractions you can check out during your stay. Contact the Long Island Wine Council for more information.