LI Wineries – Oh how they’ve grown!

I’ve been visiting the wineries out on the North Fork for over 15 years, which while not as long as some other folks is still long enough to note the evolution of the area. I’ve done tasting outside on lawn chairs and folding tables because the winery was still building the tasting room. I remember the big fat cat they had at Pindar (but his name escapes me). I remember when it was Hargrave.

It’s been a few years since our group last visited, so it’s time for another look. Last weekend my friend and I went out there to do a reconnaissance mission for our wine club to see what new places the group should visit. We went to three places we’d never been before, and they were all winners and will be on the itinerary. A very (very!) brief overview:

Sparkling Pointe – they currently have only 4 wines, but each one is very well crafted, and they have a lovely tasting room.

Roanoke – high quality here! The wines are not cheap but since they are so well made you feel like the price is worth it.

Water’s Crest – a tiny tasting room in a strip mall, for a tiny producer. Small but mighty!

I surprised myself by really enjoying the two merlots I tasted, which is very unusual for me. Water’s Crest had a killer cab franc (which I adore), and everything at Roanoke was excellent. The one thing that surprised us was how at Roanoke there were groups of people sitting down with a bottle of wine and some small plates of food and just enjoying themselves… which we’d never seen at a LI winery. Napa, sure, but on LI? Boy how times have changed. Good for them!

I’m thrilled that the wineries out there are fulfilling their potential and are turning out some really excellent wines. The only downside I can see is more traffic to contend with when we next visit.

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