Thursday, May 15, 2014

Long Island Wine Country Tour

Last week, I had the privilege of going on a trip to Long Island's North Fork Wine Country with a group of fellow writers. The trip ranked somewhere between super awesome and totally amazing. Now let's not kid ourselves - any overnight trip kid free with friends is bound to be good, right? But this trip was great from start to finish.

First up, my blogging bud, Lollie, picked me up and we headed to New London, CT to catch the Cross Sound Ferry. We drove and easily parked our car at the dock but there is also direct Amtrak rail service there as well. My forever partner in crime, Annie, was supposed to go on the trip but sadly she broke her foot a few days before. No need to fear though she was there in spirit with Flat Annie who you will see in several of the photos!

Here we are about to catch the Ferry
We hopped on the Ferry for an 80 minute ride to Orient Point. If you leave your car behind you can also take the passenger only ferry which gets you there in just 40 minutes. Although the 80 minutes went by fast for us anyway. You could enjoy the sites (even in the rain!), grab a snack or a drink from the concession stand, and they even had video games and coloring books for children. The best part though is that you never have to worry about traffic with the ferry!

Once we docked at Orient Point we were picked up by Vintage Tours to begin our adventure. Our first stop was a quick lunch at The Loft Restaurant in Greenport, NY.

After lunch, we headed to Bedell Cellars for our first vineyard tour and tasting. The tour was given by Richard, the winemaker, who was so informative yet so casual. You could tell how much he believed in and loved his work. 

Almost time for the grapes to appear!
 Fun Fact: Bedell's Merlot was served at President Obama's Inauguration
I almost tried to steal a barrel
After sampling the delicious Bedell wines, we made a quick stop at Wooden Boatworks where they restore and repair wooden boats.

Next up on the tour was a visit to the Greenport Carousel. Although the weather was dreary while we were there, I could just imagine the park bustling with people, music, and sunshine on a nice warm day!
Flat Annie wanted to ride that horse all day
After a full day, I had just a small chunk of time to head to the beautiful Harborfront Inn where I was staying. I actually wish I had more time to just stay and relax there since the room was great - large, modern, and with a private balcony with a great view of the harbor. They also have a fitness center which I would have loved to have checked out but my bud, Janet, kept me out way too late. I was totally innocent - it was all her fault :)

Anyway, back to the night, we then headed to Kontokosta Winery for a beautiful reception that was catered by Noah's

The food and the wine were both so good. I may have eaten my own weight in the beer and bacon glazed almonds alone. I also was sure to "sample" every white wine on the menu. My verdict - I loved them all!
The reception marked the end to the official tour that day. However, many of us headed over to Ruby's Cove B&B for a small after party. Following that several of us headed over to First and South where we enjoyed drinks in a great atmosphere. Finally, the die hards headed to The Rhumb Line. We just couldn't resist the music we heard pumping out of the place. Every place we went was so fun we could have stayed all night - actually we pretty much did!

After a very short night's sleep, I was up and packed bright and early to head to breakfast at the Shorecrest Bed and Breakfast. The spread was gorgeous - china, antiques, gourmet food. So nice!

I was too busy eating to take pictures but luckily Kim took care of it for me!
Following breakfast the group split up with some heading to Old Field Vineyards and some heading to Harbes Family Farm and Vineyard. I chose the farm and LOVED it.

I could just see my family spending a full day there. They have animals, PIG RACING(!!), pony rides, corn mazes, a pedal tractor track, and so much more. The kids would love it there!

Oh, and did I mention the wine tasting bar? Totally something for everyone in the family! 

After a super fun time at the farm, we headed to Orient By The Sea for lunch. The restaurant is right on the water so the views and atmosphere are great. It's also close to the dock so we were able to walk to The Cross Sound Ferry after lunch. 

One last pic with Sharon and Lollie before heading home!
And there you had it - just like that the whirlwind trip was over. One of the things that really stood out for me on the trip was how nice and genuine everyone we met was. Stan from Cross Sound and Jo-Ann of Vintage Tours were so wonderful with being both accomodating and informative. Every person we came in contact with was friendly and you could tell truly enjoyed what they were doing. It was wonderful to see such a close knit community that supports each other. 

Before this trip I never in a million years would have considered going to the North Fork of Long Island. I had never even heard of it! Now I'm already thinking of when I can go back! 

There were so many nice people and generous sponsors/businesses on this trip that there's no way I could thank them all personally. But to everyone that helped make this trip happen - THANK YOU. You delivered above and beyond!

*I received a complimentary tour and stay on Long Island as part of a writers' tour. As always, all opinions are my own.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...