Sunday, July 1, 2012

north fork wine tour

Hooray for wine country! Kurt and I had such a blast visiting the North Fork of Long Island last weekend. We've been to Montauk before but have never explored the north side of the island known for its awesome string of wineries.

Since it was a surprise trip for our anniversary, I only told Kurt what to pack and where to meet me so we could catch the train together. Once he knew we were taking the Long Island Railroad, he sort of pieced some things together, but I still think he was pretty surprised! Inspired by Jenn, I packed some Strawberry Grilled Cheese Sandwiches for our breakfast. My recipe could use a little tweaking but I'm in love with the concept. We rode out to the town of Mattituck, about two and a half hours outside the city. I wanted to be able to get around once we were out there, so we brought our bikes. It's a little bit of a hassle taking them on the train and we had to transfer twice but all in all it was a pretty easy and quick trip.

I found a great house on Airbnb where Kurt and I could rent a room for the night. It was a short ride away from the train station and our hosts could not have been nicer.

The house is awesome too! It's this huge old Victorian mansion with tons of rooms and crazy staircases. Our host family lives there, so I didn't want to poke around too much, but it seems like a great place. We never even needed to get keys. It was refreshing to just come and go as we pleased and not worry about locking anything.

After dropping off our bags and chatting with our host for a moment, we were hungry for lunch and ready to hit the wine trail!

The main street through town is called Love Lane. There are a few cute shops along it and we landed at Love Lane Kitchen for lunch.

Kurt and I both got the Fish Tacos and they were amazing. When you're at the beach, its pretty much a requirement to have some seafood, right? We thought about asking but just assumed it was local :)

After refueling, we decided to ride our bikes to the farthest winery we wanted to stop at and work our way back towards our home base. I was a little worried about a 7+ mile ride but it was actually super easy and we had the most fabulous weather you could wish for.

Our first stop was Croteaux Vineyards, known for their rosé.

Our host said this is her favorite because the courtyard is so pretty. She wasn't lying!

I've never actually done a wine tasting before, so Kurt and I tried all 6 of their rosé varieties. It was nice and fun but I realized I'm a "full glass to myself" kind of girl.

Our next stop was Corey Creek just down the road. I love that you could see the grapes right from the tasting room at all the places we went.

Kurt was happy to see they have a German wine called Gewürztraminer. I think I had a rosé. It all blurred together in the end :)

The view from the deck was gorgeous. I've decided one if these vineyards is the most perfect place to have a wedding. They must make a killing.

Those two people in the chairs are our "bike friends". Kurt and I ran into them at the first place and they were so excited to see other people riding bikes. We didn't chat a whole lot but then proceeded to see them 3 or 4 times throughout the day. I swear they thought we were stalking them :)

Our third stop was Osprey's Dominion

I'm a sucker for sangria, so we tried both their red and white varieties.

This place had such a great atmosphere. We sat at a shaded table in a big grassy area. People brought picnics and were spread out in the grass. There was a band playing. They had an outdoor bar, so we never even went inside the building. There was a pretty lively volleyball game going on as well. It was just great to see everyone outside enjoying some delicious wine and soaking up all the gorgeous weather.

Next, Kurt wanted to try one of the places off the beaten path, so we biked to the Sannino Bella Vita Vineyard. We sampled a few chardonnays and then decided to get a bottle because the prices were so reasonable everywhere we went.

Our stomachs were a little empty, so we got a cheese plate here to accompany our lovely wine.

More musical entertainment. For a while, we were the only patrons there and got a private concert.

Most of the tasting rooms close around 6pm, so even though there was still tons of daylight left, we couldn't find any more places to stop to we headed back to the house to freshen up and get ready for dinner.

Kurt wanted to eat near the water, so we decided on the Old Mill Inn.

While waiting for a table, we had a beer at the bar and met some friendly ex-Marines. One is a local and owns one of the vineyards while the other guy is from Cincinnati and is planning on starting a brewery. They were super nice and Kurt was thrilled to talk about Ohio and beer. He was sad when our table to ready and we had to leave them!

Our seats on the dock were pretty stellar though.

We were hoping for some mussels, but sadly they were out, so we split some clams and a crab cake. Unfortunately we were fighting off mosquito swarms throughout dinner and rushed back inside as soon as we  finished eating. The food was great though!

The restaurant was a little outside of town and when we left it was pitch black. My dinky little bike light did nothing and we could barely see a few feet in front of us. It was incredible to see all the stars and the moon so bright, but it makes for a bit of a terrifying bike ride. Thankfully we made it back to the town safely and stopped for one last drink at the Broken Down Valise.

The next morning, we got up and our lovely hosts had breakfast and coffee waiting for us downstairs. Then we headed to the beach!

I was so excited to finally see some sand and water and we practically had the place to ourselves.  

We were on the Long Island Sound side so the sand was pretty rocky but I was thrilled to find a soft enough spot and just lay out in the sun for a bit. Of course I didn't wear much sunscreen and got burned, but that is just me being a dummy, as per usual. I don't know if I will ever learn my lesson.

The water still doesn't meet my temperature standards but my toes took a little dip to say I "got in" the water.

Biking was amazing. When planning the trip I wasn't sure how distant things would be from each other but everything was totally accessible. Having the bikes made getting around a breeze.

The beach was a little boring, so we decided to squeeze in one last wine tasting before heading home.

Our last stop was the Shinn Estate Vineyards. We were going to need something to drink on the train, so we opted for a whole bottle here too :)

I made friends with the farm dog. He was super cute.

Then it was time to catch the train and head home. I miss it already.

I don't like to toot my own horn or anything but this was such a fun trip! I highly recommend it if you are looking to get out the city for a short weekend getaway. If you are trying to plan a wedding, it seems like a lovely place to get hitched too. Please invite me. I love wine and weddings. And next time anyone visits me here in Brooklyn, I am taking you out to the North Fork. I don't care if you want to see Times Square. You'll thank me later.


  1. This trip looks like so much fun. Lots of wine and a beach looks like my sort of weekend! Happy 3!

  2. Well planned trip! I thoroughly enjoyed it. Looking forward to the next surprise trip!!!

    For the record I was wearing a swimming suit on the beach.

  3. this is awesome - I've done a wine tasting trip on the south side and lived it - gotta try the north fork next time. love it when people make the most of the region they live in - you definitely seem to be one of those people!


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