New York’s Long Island is well-known for its fine beaches, delicious duck, the wealth and celebrity of the Hamptons, and for the last few decades its fine wine. The soil has been described as some of the finest wine-growing soil in the world.
Native Americans consumed the wild grapes that once grew all over the island. In the 17th century, Dutch settlers cultivated grapes for their own wine consumption. But it wasn’t until the late 18th century that European wine grapes were introduced and vines were cultivated.
The first commercial vineyard was planted in 1973 in the Suffolk County town of Cutchogue; and by the 1990s Long Island wines were garnering more than just a little buzz.
Today there are over 3,000 acres under cultivation, as well as 60 producers and vineyards that produce more than half a million cases of wine per year.
You’ll find wineries throughout North Fork and South Fork in Suffolk County, and in the southern part of Nassau County.
Photo: Chris Goldberg via Flickr