Written by: Tim Edison

Updated: July 13, 2023

12 Best North Fork Wineries [Ultimate North Fork Wine Guide]

North Fork Winery guide

Planning a wine tasting trip to the North Fork? I recommend the North Fork wineries you must visit in this ultimate guide.

What's So Special About North Fork?

I've had the pleasure of visiting many vineyards and tasting rooms across the globe. Yet, there's something undeniably special about North Fork, a gem nestled on the eastern end of Long Island, New York.

North Fork is not your typical wine region. It's a place where tradition meets innovation, where the old-world charm of winemaking is infused with a new-world spirit.

The region's unique terroir, shaped by its maritime climate and glacial soil, gives birth to wines that are as diverse as they are delightful.

The North Fork wine trail, with over 35 wineries, offers a wine-tasting experience that is as varied as it is vibrant.

From the elegant Chardonnays of Bedell Cellars to the robust Cabernet Francs of Paumanok Vineyards, the wines of North Fork are a testament to the region's rich viticultural heritage and innovative winemaking techniques.

North Fork vineyard

But what truly sets North Fork apart is its sense of community. The wineries here are not just businesses; they are family-owned and operated establishments that have been passed down through generations.

When you visit a winery in North Fork, you're not just a customer, you're a guest. You're welcomed with open arms and treated to a personal and intimate wine-tasting experience that's hard to find elsewhere.

Moreover, North Fork is not just about wine. It's about the entire experience. The region is dotted with quaint towns, farm-to-table restaurants, and artisanal shops that add to the charm of your wine-tasting journey.

As you sip on a glass of Merlot overlooking the vineyards, you can't help but fall in love with the serene beauty of North Fork.

North Fork is a wine lover's paradise. It's a place where you can immerse yourself in the world of wine, learn about the art of winemaking, and discover new favorites along the way. Whether you're a novice wine enthusiast or a seasoned sommelier, North Fork has something to offer you.

Orient Point Lighthouse, Long Island

Orient Point Lighthouse, Long Island

How to Get to North Fork

There are several ways to get to North Fork, Long Island, and it's a particularly easy journey if you're coming from New York City. Here are some of the most common travel options:

  1. By Car: If you're driving from New York City, take the Long Island Expressway (I-495 East) and continue until you reach exit 73 in Riverhead. From there, follow Route 58 to Route 25 and continue east towards North Fork. The journey typically takes about 2 hours without traffic.
  2. By Train: The Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) offers service to the North Fork. You can take the Ronkonkoma line from Penn Station in New York City to Mattituck, which is located in North Fork. The journey takes approximately 3 hours.
  3. By Bus: The Hampton Jitney provides bus service from Manhattan to several stops in North Fork. The journey takes about 2.5 to 3 hours.
  4. By Ferry: If you're coming from Connecticut, the Cross Sound Ferry operates from New London to Orient Point on the North Fork. The ferry ride takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes.
  5. By Plane: The nearest airport to North Fork is Long Island MacArthur Airport in Ronkonkoma. From there, you can rent a car or take a taxi to North Fork.
Yachats Bridge

Yachats Bridge


The 12 Best Wineries in North Fork

North Fork is home to many great wineries. In my opinion, these are the pick of the grape bunch.

I've pinned all of the wineries and vineyards in the North Fork area on a map that you can find down below.

Bedell Cellars

Bedell Cellars, a renowned winery in North Fork, has a rich history that dates back to 1980 when Kip and Susan Bedell planted their first grapevines.

Kip Bedell earned the moniker "Mr. Merlot" in Wine Spectator Magazine, and in 2000, the winery was sold to the Lynne family.

Today, Bedell Cellars is recognized as a leader in creativity and excellence in the American wine industry and is considered the benchmark winery in the Eastern U.S.

The winery offers a variety of wines, including red, white, rosé, and sparkling wines, as well as small-batch wines. Their winemaking process is sustainable, and they are committed to maintaining the health and vitality of their vineyards.

Bedell Cellars has received numerous accolades and recognition from key publications. Their 2009 Merlot was poured at the 2013 Presidential Inauguration celebration, making it the first New York State wine to be showcased at such a historic event.

The winery's wines have also received high scores from major publications like Wine Enthusiast and Vinepair, placing them in the "Outstanding" and "Excellent" tier.

In addition to its wines, Bedell Cellars is also known for its beautiful tasting room, which has been listed among the top 25 tasting rooms in America by Wine Enthusiast.

The winery continues to innovate and push the boundaries of traditional winemaking, making it a must-visit destination in North Fork.


Paumanok Vineyards

Founded in 1983, Paumanok Vineyards is a family-owned estate located on the North Fork of Long Island. 

The Massoud family, who has owned and operated the vineyard since its inception, is dedicated to producing high-quality wines that showcase the potential of New York winemaking.

The vineyard grows a variety of grapes, including Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Riesling, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Petit Verdot. These grapes are used to produce a range of wines, including red, white, rosé, sparkling, and dessert wines.

Paumanok Vineyards is known for its commitment to excellence and elegance in winemaking. The winery combines traditional methods with innovative technology to craft its wines. It has a modern production facility equipped with state-of-the-art machines and technology.

The vineyard has received numerous accolades over the years. It has won the "Winery of the Year" award at the New York Wine & Food Classic twice and has been recognized for its wine service at the White House. In 2015, it received the highest score ever for an east coast winery from Wine Advocate.


Macari Vineyards

Macari Vineyards, located in Mattituck, NY, is a family-owned winery with a rich history dating back to the 1930s. The Macari family has been leaders in sustainable farming, using biodynamic practices long before they became trendy.

The vineyard spans 500 acres, offering a diverse selection of wines, including Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Chardonnay.

The winery is known for its commitment to quality and innovation, offering unique experiences like wine tastings and vineyard tours. 

Their wines have been recognized for their excellence, with the Macari Vineyards 'Bergen Road' 2010 winning the 'Wine of the Year' award at the New York Wine and Food Classic.


Pindar Vineyards

Pindar Vineyards, established in 1979 by Dr. Herodotus "Dan" Damianos, is one of Long Island's oldest and most well-known wineries. Situated in the heart of the region's wine country, it spans over 500 acres of beautiful, cultivated vineyards.

The vineyard grows 17 varieties of grapes, producing a diverse range of wines. Notable among them are the popular Winter White and the award-winning Pythagoras, a red blend that embodies the vineyard's Greek heritage.

Pindar's offerings go beyond wine. The vineyard hosts events, offers wine tastings, and has a wine club for enthusiasts. Visitors can enjoy the scenic views of the vineyards, making it a popular destination for wine lovers.

Pindar Vineyards has received numerous accolades for its wines. The vineyard's commitment to quality and innovation has earned it a place among the top wine producers in the region.


Clovis Point Vineyards

Clovis Point Vineyards is a boutique winery known for its small production of high-quality wines. Established in 2001, it spans 10 acres of vineyards, growing primarily Merlot and Cabernet Franc grapes.

The winery produces a variety of wines, including Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and blends, with a focus on Bordeaux-style wines.

The vineyard offers a unique tasting experience in its charming barn-style tasting room, where visitors can enjoy the scenic vineyard views. It also hosts events like wine and food pairings, live music, and art shows.

Clovis Point has received numerous accolades for its wines. Notably, its 2007 Vintner's Select Merlot won the "Best Merlot in New York" at the New York Wine & Food Classic.

Its commitment to quality and the unique terroir of Long Island contribute to its reputation as a premier wine destination.


Mattebella Vineyards

Mattebella Vineyards, nestled in Long Island, New York, is a family-owned winery with a rich history dating back to the early 20th century.

The vineyard is known for its sustainable farming practices, producing a diverse range of grapes including Chardonnay, Riesling, and a variety of reds such as Cabernet Franc and Merlot.

The vineyard's wines are crafted with a focus on traditional methods, resulting in a portfolio of wines that express the unique terroir of the region. Mattebella's Old World Blend and Famiglia Chardonnay are particularly popular.

The vineyard offers a charming tasting room, wine club memberships, and hosts events throughout the year. Mattebella has been recognized for its quality wines, receiving accolades from critics and wine enthusiasts alike. 


Jamesport Vineyards

Jamesport Vineyards, nestled in the North Fork of Long Island, is a family-owned winery with a rich history dating back to 1986.

The vineyard, spanning 60 acres, is home to a variety of grapes including Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Riesling, and Merlot, among others. 

The winery produces a diverse range of wines, from crisp whites to robust reds, and has a reputation for its Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc.

A key feature of Jamesport Vineyards is its commitment to sustainable farming practices, ensuring the preservation of the land for future generations. The vineyard also offers a unique experience with its wine tasting room housed in a 165-year-old barn, providing a rustic and authentic atmosphere.

Jamesport Vineyards has received numerous accolades for its wines. Notably, it won a Connectli.com Award for Winery on Long Island, a testament to its exceptional wines and the unforgettable experience it offers to visitors.

The vineyard continues to be a must-visit destination for wine enthusiasts, offering a blend of history, quality wines, and a serene environment.


The Old Field Vineyards

The Old Field Vineyards, a family-owned winery in Southold, New York, has a rich history dating back to the 1600s. It was transformed into a vineyard in 1974 by Chris Baiz, a marine biologist turned winemaker.

The vineyard is known for its sustainable farming practices and biodiversity, including a variety of birds and farm animals.

The vineyard grows a variety of grapes including Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Chardonnay, producing a range of wines from reds, whites, rosés to sparkling wines. Their wines are noted for their unique flavors, influenced by the maritime climate and the vineyard's unique terroir.

Key features include wine tastings, vineyard tours, and special events. Visitors can enjoy the scenic beauty of the vineyard, learn about sustainable viticulture, and taste their award-winning wines.

The vineyard's offerings extend beyond wine, with honey from their beehives and eggs from their chickens also available for purchase.

The Old Field Vineyards has received numerous accolades for their wines. Their 2014 Blanc de Noir was awarded 90 points by Wine Enthusiast, and their wines have been featured in the New York Times and other publications.


Harbes Vineyard

Harbes Family Farm, a staple in Long Island's North Fork, has a rich history dating back to the 1970s.

Initially a humble potato farm, it transitioned into a vineyard in the 2000s, now boasting 15 acres of grapevines. The farm grows a variety of grapes, including Merlot, Chardonnay, and Cabernet Franc, producing award-winning wines that reflect the unique terroir of the region.

The farm offers more than just wine. It's a family-friendly destination with a barnyard adventure, a corn maze, and pick-your-own pumpkin and apple activities. Wine tastings are a key feature, with the rustic wine barn providing a cozy atmosphere.

Harbes Vineyard has received numerous accolades, including the "Best of the Best" award from Dan's Papers for multiple years. The farm's commitment to quality and community engagement has made it a beloved local institution.


Lenz Winery

Established in 1978, Lenz Winery is one of the pioneers in Long Island wine country. The winery is known for its commitment to creating wines using traditional methods, which has earned it a reputation for quality and consistency.

Lenz grows a variety of grapes including Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Pinot Noir. They produce a range of wines from these grapes, including Old Vines Cabernet and Old Vines Merlot, which are particularly acclaimed.

The winery offers a unique experience with its wine tastings and tours, providing visitors an opportunity to explore the vineyards and winemaking process. They also host events and offer a wine club with exclusive benefits.

Lenz Winery has received numerous accolades for its wines. Their 2001 Old Vines Merlot was rated 91 by Wine Enthusiast, and their 2010 Estate Selection Merlot received a score of 90. The winery continues to be recognized for its contribution to the Long Island wine industry.


McCall Wines

Located in Cutchogue, New York, McCall Wines is a family-owned vineyard established in 1997. The vineyard spans 22 acres, producing wines from Pinot Noir and Merlot grapes. McCall's focus is on quality, not quantity, resulting in limited production of award-winning wines.

Their Pinot Noir is a standout, made in a Burgundian style, and their Merlot has been recognized as one of the best in the region. McCall also produces a Rosé and a Chardonnay, both of which have received high praise.

The vineyard is also known for its sustainable farming practices and commitment to preserving the land. They offer tastings in a rustic tasting room, a converted horse stable, providing a unique experience for visitors.

McCall Wines has received numerous awards and accolades. Their 2010 Pinot Noir Reserve was named the "Best Wine in New York State" in 2013. Their wines consistently score high in Wine Enthusiast ratings, further establishing McCall Wines as a premier winery in the region.


RGNY Wine (Formerly Martha Clara Vineyards)

RGNY Wine, a family-owned winery located in Riverhead, New York, was established by the Rivero González family, who have a long history in winemaking in Mexico. The family took over the former Martha Clara Vineyards in 2018, bringing their passion for wine and unique approach to the North Fork.

RGNY produces a variety of wines from grapes grown on their 205-acre estate. They offer a range of red, white, and rosé wines, including Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Chardonnay. Their Scielo line, a tribute to their Mexican roots, includes a Merlot and a Chardonnay.

The winery offers a unique wine experience with a focus on personal connection. Visitors can enjoy wine tastings, tours, and events in a welcoming environment. The winery also offers a wine club with exclusive benefits for members.

Map of North Fork Vineyards and Wineries

Find all the North Fork wineries and vineyards I recommended plus every other I'm aware of on this map.

How to Go Wine Tasting in North Fork

Here are some tips for making the most of a wine tour in North Fork, Long Island.


Plan Your Route

North Fork is home to 36 wineries (at last count anyway!), so it's essential to plan your route ahead of time.

Some popular wineries include Bedell Cellars, Macari Vineyards, and Pellegrini Vineyards. You can use the Long Island Wine Country website to help plan your route.

They've got a great website that has a map filled with wineries, hotels, and places ot visit.


Visit During Off-Peak Times

If possible, try to visit during the off-peak season (spring or fall) or on weekdays to avoid the crowds.

With North Fork's proximity to New York City, the wineries can get quite busy on weekends, especially during the summer.


Take a Wine Tour or Hire a Driver

If you're planning on tasting a lot of wines, consider creating a custom North Fork wine tour or hiring a driver. 

This way, you can enjoy the wines without worrying about driving. There are several companies in the area that offer wine tours.


Try the Local Varieties

North Fork is known for its excellent Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Chardonnay. Be sure to try these when you visit the wineries.


Pair Your Wine with Local Food

Many wineries in North Fork offer food pairings with their wines. This is a great way to experience the local cuisine and see how it complements the wines.

The North Fork region of Long Island is known for its fresh seafood, farm-to-table produce, and artisanal cheeses, which pair wonderfully with the local wines.

Here are some food and wine pairings I recommend trying in while in the North Fork.

  1. Fresh Oysters: The North Fork is famous for its oysters. Pair them with a crisp, local Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay. The acidity and citrus notes in these wines complement the briny, sweet flavor of the oysters.
  2. Long Island Duck: This is a regional specialty, and it pairs well with a local Pinot Noir. The wine's light tannins and fruit-forward flavors complement the rich, gamey flavor of the duck.
  3. Artisanal Cheeses: The North Fork has several creameries that produce excellent cheeses. Try a local goat cheese with a glass of Cabernet Franc. The wine's peppery notes and medium tannins pair well with the tangy, creamy cheese.
  4. Farm Fresh Vegetables: The area is known for its farm-to-table restaurants. Enjoy a fresh, seasonal vegetable dish with a glass of local Rosé. The wine's light, fruity flavors are a great match for a variety of vegetables.
  5. Seafood Pasta: A dish like linguine with clams would go well with a local Chardonnay. The wine's acidity and full body stand up to the rich flavors of the seafood and pasta.


North Fork Winery FAQs

Q: What kind of wines are produced in North Fork?

A: North Fork, Long Island, is known for its diverse wine production. The region's maritime climate, similar to that of Bordeaux, France, allows for the successful cultivation of several grape varieties.

The most common types of wine produced in North Fork include Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc.

There are also smaller plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, and Riesling. Many wineries in the region also produce rosé and sparkling wines.

Q: What are some of the best restaurants in North Fork?

A: North Fork boasts a variety of excellent dining options. Some of the top-rated restaurants in the area include:

  1. The Halyard: Located at the Sound View Greenport, The Halyard offers waterfront dining with a menu focused on locally sourced ingredients.
  2. North Fork Table and Inn: This restaurant is renowned for its farm-to-table cuisine and offers a fine dining experience in an elegant setting.
  3. Caci North Fork: Caci North Fork serves up Italian cuisine with a focus on fresh, local ingredients.
  4. Claudio's Restaurant: Established in 1870, Claudio's is the oldest same-family-run restaurant in the United States. It offers a seafood-centric menu with a great view of Greenport Harbor.

Q: Where can I stay in North Fork?

A: North Fork offers a range of accommodations to suit different preferences. Here are a few options:

  1. Sound View Greenport: This waterfront hotel offers a private beach, a seasonal outdoor pool, and a restaurant.
  2. The Harborfront Inn: Located in the heart of Greenport Village, this inn offers comfortable rooms and is within walking distance of local shops, restaurants, and the marina.
  3. The North Fork Guest House: This bed and breakfast offers a cozy, home-like atmosphere with locally sourced breakfast.
  4. The Menhaden: A boutique hotel located in Greenport, offering modern rooms, a rooftop deck, and a seafood restaurant.

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About the Author Tim Edison

Tim started Wine Turtle way back in 2015.
These days he contributes to Wine Turtle (and other renowned wine publications) while continuing his wine education.
Tim's wine of the month is the Coates & Seely Reserve Brut NV (from Hampshire, England).

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