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The Best Long Island Wineries to Visit Right Now

New York State is full of surprises. You know you’ve hit the rural bits of Long Island’s North Fork—and, therefore, wine country—when you see a giant inflatable strawberry jiggling in the wind, like the one outside Bayview Market & Farms in Riverhead. The hamlet of Flanders’s Big Duck, whose innards house a poultry store, serves as a similar landmark at the mouth of Long Island’s South Fork. They’re not official markers, of course, but there’s something delightful about a conspicuously oversized roadside attraction letting you know you’ve left the city far behind.

Comprising 1,400 square miles, Long Island is the nation’s largest and longest contiguous island. It consists, in large part, of sprawling suburbs and strip malls, but its East End, as it is known, is far more bucolic. Divided into the North Fork and South Fork by the Peconic Bay, this sliver of land birthed the region’s wine industry half a century ago.

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Fifty years may be a heartbeat in a global wine context, but it’s a profound milestone for a region like Long Island, which is, in many ways, just hitting its stride. Wine grape farming is improving. As some vines come of age, others are being dug up and replaced with more climate-suitable clones and varieties. Meanwhile, second-generation producers—alongside new, internationally experienced winemakers—are getting their hands dirty in Long Island’s sandy loam soils.

Combine that with a multitude of new post-pandemic tasting room experiences and high-end restaurant openings, plus a summer of 50th anniversary celebrations, and there’s no better time to acquaint—or reacquaint—yourself with New York’s second-largest wine-producing region.

As Wine Enthusiast’s reviewer of wines from New York State, Long Island is near and dear to my heart. Below you’ll find my picks of some of Long Island’s top wineries, along with recent releases bound to delight even more than inflatable fruit and giant poultry.

The North Fork

Paumanok Vineyards
Image Courtesy of Christopher Fenimore

Paumanok Vineyards


One of Long Island’s westernmost wineries, Paumanok Vineyards is also one of its most longstanding. Founded in 1983 by Ursula and Charles Massoud, who emigrated from Germany and Lebanon, respectively, Paumanok is now run by sons Kareem, Nabeel and Salim. A true family business, Kareem is winemaker and president, Nabeel vineyard manager and Salim the operation’s administrative manager. Charles and Ursula are still very involved in the winery’s day to day.

Paumanok’s winery and tasting room are housed in a renovated, turn-of-the-century barn clad in weatherboards. The interior is airy and calm, while the large deck provides expansive views of the vineyards, which parade over one of the few hills on the notoriously flat island. Paumanok hosts a sunset special of raw oysters, a Greek snack bar and $8 glasses every Friday in the summer. But it’s also worth snagging a seat at one of the Grand Vintage tasting dinners. Like other long-established Long Island producers, Paumanok is known for holding back stocks of their highly cellar-worthy Merlot and Bordeaux blends.

In 2018, the Massouds purchased nearby Palmer Vineyards, where they operate a second tasting room and hold various events, including live music performances and dinners featuring wood-fired pizzas made by Nabeel.

Be sure to taste:

2022 Paumanok Vineyards Chenin Blanc

Fresh, fruity, lemonade-like, from the oldest Chenin vines in New York State.

2021 Paumanok Minimalist Cabernet Franc

Savory and al dente, in a lightweight style. Drink slightly chilled.

2022 Palmer Albariño

A lemony, salty, seafood-friendly island wine.

2021 Palmer Aromatico

Floral and spicy, clean and crisp, bone dry. Drink with spicy Thai or Mexican food.

Macari Tasting
Image Courtesy of Christopher Fenimore



Like Paumanok, Macari is a family affair. The winery began in 1995 when Joseph Macari Jr. and his father first planted vines on the 500 acres of fallow land—formerly a potato farm—that Joseph Sr. had purchased in the 1960s. Today, Joseph Jr. and his wife Alexandra still helm the ship, but daughter Gabriella and son Joseph M. are also intimately involved, the former as Director of Operations and the latter as Head of Viticulture.

Macari has long been a leader on the viticulture front, employing organic and biodynamic techniques and omitting herbicides. In 2020, Macari brought in a new winemaker, Byron Elmendorf, who has taken its operation in an exciting direction, one that sees more wild ferments, lees aging and a general uptick in experimentation and creativity.

Despite having to navigate the notoriously strict regulations surrounding food service from both New York State and Southold township (where around 75% of the North Fork’s wineries are located), Macari offers a multitude of events that feature visiting chefs like Lauren Lombardi, whose beautifully prepared and ultra fresh seasonal dishes are worth the trip alone.

In 2022, Macari renovated and re-launched its tasting room in nearby Cutchogue as Meadowlark. With a beautifully designed wine bar, events space and a range of wines, Meadowlark seems set to become one of the North Fork’s top wine and wedding destinations.

Be sure to taste:

2021 Macari Cabernet Franc

Aged in concrete egg, this is bright, succulent and savory. It’s from one of the first Cab Franc producers in New York State.

2022 Meadowlark Sauvignon Blanc

This wild ferment is Sancerre-like, vibrant, textural and flinty.

2021 Meadowlark Pinot Meunier Rosé

With notes of tangerine, pomegranate and botanicals, this skinsy, briny bottling is hugely characterful.

Lieb Winery
Image Courtesy of Christopher Fenimore

Lieb Cellars


With broader distribution than most Long Island wines, Lieb Cellars is a label you might find in a trendy urban wine bar or cutting-edge shop in New York City. Perched less than a mile from the Long Island Sound, the winery makes remarkably saline wines that speak of their maritime surroundings. This is thanks both to the careful farming of longtime vineyard manager Ildo Vasquez, and to Lieb’s Aussie-born winemaker Russell Hearn.

As if in subtle homage to Hearn’s homeland, the tasting room at Lieb nods to an outback station with corrugated iron on the bar and walls. It’s a cozy, classy space, especially during wintertime when live music accompanies tasting flights and cheese and charcuterie boards.

Be sure to taste:

2021 Lieb Pinot Blanc

Super saline and subtle, this bottling is food friendly. It’s Hearn’s favorite variety and from some of the oldest vines on LI.

2020 Lieb Teroldego-Lagrein

This bottling delivers notes of grape jelly and white pepper, with a succulent, mid-weight style. It’s made with fruit from the former Southold Farm and Winery, one of Long Island’s most interesting plantings, which Lieb now leases.

Bedell Vineyard
Image Courtesy of W Studios NY

Bedell Cellars


The tasting room at Bedell Cellars has a bright and airy modern appeal that pairs with its clean, textural, food-friendly wines. This is one of Long Island’s longest-standing wineries, dating back to 1980 (with a change in ownership in 2000). It also boasts a winemaker with arguably more regional experience than any other, Richard Olsen-Harbich. With 40 years of winemaking on Long Island under his belt, Olsen-Harbich is a creative champion of the region in search of purity and site expression. All fermentations are spontaneous, or kickstarted with self-foraged botanicals to capture the essence of Long Island terroir.

Corey Creek is Bedell’s second label. The wine is made by Bedell’s assistant winemaker, Marin Brennan. At Corey Creek’s Tap Room, the vibe is more artisanal, with a chic beach hut feel and live music on the front porch overlooking the vineyards.

Be sure to taste:

2022 Bedell Melon de Bourgogne

Delivers notes of seashell and lemon with chalky texture and crunchy acidity. Not a typical Muscadet, but its own Long Island expression.

2020 Bedell Malbec

Expect notes of soft spice, plump red and blue fruit, as well as salty tannins. This mid-weight style offers excellent acidity and tucked-away oak.

2022 Corey Creek White Cabernet Franc

With tropical, peach, floral and fruity notes, this bottling remains bone dry and chalky, almost austere. Food-friendly, it’s quirky but clean.

Image Courtesy of Christopher Fenimore



Wedged between Bedell and Corey Creek is Lenz, Long Island’s second-oldest winery. Founded in 1978, the winery has been owned by Peter and Deborah Carroll since 1988. In that time, Lenz has had just one vineyard manager, Sam McCullough, and two winemakers, Eric Fry, who retired after 30 years in 2018, and Thomas Spotteck, who was Fry’s assistant winemaker. Lenz is best known for holding back its reds for at least four to five years before release, and for its aromatic Alsatian varieties like Gewürztraminer and Pinot Gris.

The tasting room, housed in an old barn surrounded by some of the region’s oldest vines, is quintessential North Fork. There’s a range of pre-prepared food and non-wine drink options, including sandwiches, salads, cold brew and local beer. Events throughout the year include educational comparative tastings like “Taste of Italy” and “Dinner in the Vines.”

Be sure to taste:

2016 Lenz Gewürztraminer

Golden-hued and showing some honeyed, mushroom-y bottle age, this bottling is dry, slippery and balanced.

2017 Lenz Merlot

This is a classic Long Island Merlot without the bulk, with notes of tart cherry, ground spice and mint. It’s mid-weight with savory tannins.

The South Fork

A 75-minute drive (or 90 minutes via car ferry, which is highly recommended) from Greenport on the North Fork, Long Island’s South Fork may be equally beautiful, but it’s otherwise an entirely different scene. This part of Long Island is home to the Hamptons, the famed coastal playground for New York’s wealthiest inhabitants. There are just three wineries here, each with its own vibe.

Wölffer Estate
Image Courtesy of Christopher Fenimore



Perhaps nowhere embodies the Hamptons more than Wölffer Estate, one of Long Island’s busiest, buzziest tasting rooms. High-end SUVs regularly drop gaggles of young, well-groomed guests outside the steps of the Provençal chateau-inspired estate, where they sip dry rosé beside sweeping vineyard vistas.

Wölffer’s Summer in a Bottle rosé, which helped popularize the dry, southern French style now ubiquitous in America—and of which the winery makes a staggering 125,000 cases a year—now comes in two cuvées, one made on Long Island and the other in the Côtes de Provence. But look beyond the aspirational lifestyle branding and what you’ll find is a vast range of high-quality wines that range from $16 to 125 a bottle. The ability to juggle all ends of the quality spectrum is a tribute to Wölffer’s German-born winemaker, Roman Roth, who has clocked 31 vintages at the company and is a business partner.

Roth also has a private label, Grapes of Roth. Both labels can be tasted with small plate snacks at the tasting room or at Wölffer’s Wine Stand, just around the corner from the estate, on Montauk Highway.

Be sure to taste:

2021 Grandioso Rosé

Mostly made with Merlot, all from the Hamptons, this bottling delivers peach and spice notes with excellent acidity and texture. It’s age-worthy and food-friendly.

2019 White Horse Fatalis Tatum

This Merlot-dominant Bordeaux blend offers brambly red fruit, mint, white pepper and olive brine notes. It’s silky and age-worthy.

2020 Grapes of Roth Virgin Berry Riesling

With notes of wild yeast, honey, lamp oil and preserved lemon, this bottling is characterized by saline acidity and is round with a slight phenolic grip.

Channing Daughters
Image Courtesy of Channing Daughters

Channing Daughters


Despite being less than 10 minutes’ drive from Wölffer, the understated and idiosyncratic Channing Daughters couldn’t be any more different. Here the focus is not on the small tasting room—charming though it may be—or on the simple outdoor set up of vine-side picnic tables and tents. Here, the wines themselves are the main attraction. They are among the best on Long Island. James Christopher Tracy, who has been the winemaker since the early 2000s and is now a business partner, is restlessly creative, crafting a dizzying range (over three dozen separate bottlings) of minimal-intervention, textural wines from a huge array of grape varieties, including some not seen anywhere else in New York. Each of the seven different rosés expresses varietal, place and the winemaker’s intention, and can pair with a range of cuisines. There’s almost as many orange wines, too.

Be sure to taste:

2022 Rosato

This big blend is the best of all the rosés rolled up into one. Expect notes of watermelon and blossoms. It’s salty, succulent with a tiny bit of residual sugar and goes down frighteningly fast.

2021 Ramato

This skin-contact Pinot Gris has a wonderful orange-hue. It delivers notes of salted grapefruit rind and finds a balance between skinsy tannins, freshness and great length. It’s a tough style to get right and Tracy nails it.

2020 Rosso Fresco

Another big blend, this one is characterized by bright red fruit, olives, roast meaty spice and dried herbs. It’s juicy and savory like a Cru Beaujolais, but with a Long Island personality. It’s versatile, making it great for a range of food pairings.

Where to Eat:

Because of strict state and local licensing laws, Long Island’s wineries can’t have full-fledged restaurants, or even food trucks if the produce doesn’t come directly from the farm. McCall Wines in Cutchogue makes the latter happen with its delicious burger nights, every Thursday and Friday, since the organic beef comes straight from its own cows, which graze a stone’s throw from the historic tasting room.

Beyond wineries, try brunch at Main Road Biscuit Co. in Jamesport; tuck into seafood and ocean views at The Halyard; enjoy slow-fired chicken at new local hot spot, Leon 1909 on Shelter Island; enjoy farm-to-table fare at Almond in Bridgehampton; and check out the epic wine list—from a cellar dating back to the 1970s—that includes four pages dedicated to Long Island wines, at The American Hotel in Sag Harbor.

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Where to Stay:

Again, due to strict zoning regulations, Long Island wineries can’t have accommodation on their properties. Paumanok Vineyards in Aquebogue has a three bedroom guest house on a separate property next door to the tasting room that’s suitable for large families or groups of friends. Beyond that, try boutique hotels Indigo in Riverhead or The Menhaden in Greenport; and historic inn, The Chequit Hotel on Shelter Island.


Are Long Island Wineries Open Year-Round?

Yes, although some tasting rooms limit hours during winter months. In the summer, some wineries close for weddings and other events. While a few still require reservations, most accept walk-ins. It’s always best to check a winery’s website or social media pages if you have your heart set on visiting. If you prefer to wing it, North Fork wineries in particular are close enough together that if one is shut, you’ll likely find another open nearby.

How Many Wineries Are on Long Island?

Long Island is home to 57 wineries across 3,041 acres of vineyards.

What Wine is Long Island Known For?

Traditionally, Merlot, Bordeaux blends (known in the U.S. as “Meritage”) and Chardonnay, along with dry Rosé. But these days, Long Island’s varietal palette is broad.

The moderate-to-cool maritime climate makes low-alcohol wines that are naturally high in acidity with a distinctive saline thread. There are excellent examples of Alsatian and German whites like Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer, with some Sauvignon Blanc (the most interesting spend time in old oak and on lees) and Albariño, the current “it” variety. For reds, Cabernet Franc is particularly exciting and ripens more consistently than northern New York regions. Northern Italian grapes like Teroldego and Lagrein also find a happy home on the East End.

What Is the Largest Winery on Long Island?

Pindar claims Long Island’s largest production, with 70,000 cases, of wines made in Long Island, but if Wölffer’s Summer in a Bottle Côtes de Provence label is included in the tally, it puts the South Fork winery in the lead.

Which Part of Long Island Has the Most Vineyards?

Most producers are located in the North Fork, between the towns of Riverhead and Greenport. There are just three wineries on the South Fork.

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