Best Wine from Long Island
The Long Island Wine Region officially began in 1973 with the first vineyard plantings by Alex and Louisa Hargrave. The region now encompasses over 209 square miles around three American Viticultural Areas (AVAs): the North Fork, The Hamptons, and the overarching Long Island AVA. Located in southeastern New York State between the Long Island Sound and the Atlantic Ocean, Long Island-grown wines are highly influenced by the maritime climate, with the most popular varieties being Bordeaux (including Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot), with Chardonnay and Riesling varieties also up and coming. Here are some of our favorite Long Island wines:
A Wine Enthusiast Editors’ Choice wine, the 2014 Cabernet Franc has grapes grown entirely on the Macari family farm. The wine is described, according to the Macari Vineyards website, as, “.. medium bodied, has layers of flavors, and a long, persistent finish” and should develop even more in-depth flavors through 2024.
Another highly-rated 2014 wine is Raphael Vineyard’s 2014 First Label Merlot. All estate grown fruit produced with reserve grapes, hand picked and aged for 18 months, the wine has flavors that will continue to grow deeper and richer over time.
A 91 point Wine Enthusiast rated wine, this Riesling is described as a “…sun-kissed, blossomy wine chock full of plump yellow peach, mango and pineapple flavors.” While the grapes were not all harvested from a Long Island AVA, the end result of aging at Anthony Nappa has produced a truly delightful result.
With a focus on sustainable farming for the past 35 years, the family owned Bedell Cellars produces small batch wines. The 2016 Cabernet Franc has been aged in “older French oak barrels”, according to the description on the cellars’ website, with the result being “unique and exceptional”.
The Long Island wine region has certainly grown over the past 45 years – with a focus on the grapes that grow best in the climate, and the popularity for the produced wines growing with nearby residents and visitors, it’s clear that the industry will only continue to prosper. Check out the Long Island Wine Council website for more information.