Fodor’s Six Great American Wine Country Harvest Getaways


Northeast: North Fork, Long Island, New York

Think of Long Island’s East End and the Hamptons come to mind, with its celeb mega-manses. But the savviest real estate investment may be vineyards, with high-profile honchos like Robert Entenmann and Leslie Alexander (Houston Rockets owner) buying or building wineries. While the South Fork (where the Hamptons lie) holds four wineries, the charming and less glitzy North Fork has 46. It’s bucolic, with boats bobbing in harbors and roadside stands exploding with fresh produce.

The East End sits at the same latitude as Bordeaux, whose varietals thrive in similar soils and maritime climatic conditions; Peconic Bay slices the land as the Gironde cleaves Bordeaux. No surprise Long Island wines achieve their ultimate expression through the red Bordeaux varietals, especially Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Whites (notably Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, and Gew├╝rztraminer) combine creamy mouth feel with lively acidity and minerality, excelling with food. Indeed, most Long Island wines are produced with an eye to pairing with the region’s famed products, from ducks to oysters; and the region’s dining scene has become increasingly sophisticated.

Where to Stay: Old World ambience and modern amenities combine at Jamesport’s beautifully restored Jedediah Hawkins Inn, an 1863 ornate Italianate sea captain’s home. The six individually decorated rooms pamper with fireplaces to Frette linens; don’t miss the two smashing restaurants, Luce + Hawkins and the more casual Luce’s Landing. Southold’s North Fork Table & Inn is intimate, with four handsome rooms with flat-screen TVs, Wi-Fi, and luxury products. Recent James Beard Award nominee, Chef Gerry Hayden uses local ingredients, from Peconic Bay and Long Island Sound seafood to artisanal Long Island cheeses, in dishes like crispy Peconic Bay sea bass with Peconic Bay clams, saffron-braised fennel, picholine olives, and spicy clam broth.

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