On Memorial Day, I took advantage of the wonderful weather to visit a couple of vineyards on Long Island’s North Fork. I went to Macari Vineyards and Shinn Estate Vineyards in Mattituck to taste wines and explore the vines. These wineries produce elegant, award-winning wines in different styles using environmentally responsible practices, and they offer a beautiful contrast to the hustle and bustle of the City.
While I'm not in the business of reviewing wines (no delusions of grandeur here), I do highly recommend that wine drinkers give Macari, Shinn, and other New York State wines a try. Also, get to know the winemakers! Of course, buying a Barolo is exciting, but few of us will ever meet the vignaiolo. With more than 400 wineries in New York State—some producing wines that easily compete with international favorites—New Yorkers have many options.
David Page of Shinn Estate was nice enough to give me an impromptu tour of the winery even though I showed up late in the day. We chatted about his experience and the history of Long Island viticulture. Now when I open a bottle of wine from Shinn Estate, I get a lot more than red berries or honeysuckle or French oak. I get memories of whispy clouds in a perfect blue sky, buzzing bees, a crowing rooster, Panda the winery dog, and my conversation with Dave. It may seem counterintuitive, but many of us can broaden our horizons by exploring a little closer to home. I hope the slideshows below inspire you to find out what winemakers in your area are doing.