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Some North Fork Highlights

A trip to the North Fork of Long Island is truly one of the best kept secrets in the world of wine. There are over thirty vineyards on the North Fork. They vary in size, from Diliberto's four acres to Pindar’s almost seven hundred, but most of the vineyards are slightly less than a hundred acres. I recently spent a couple of days out on the North Fork, and wanted to share some of my trip's highlights with you.

Generally, the boutique vineyards I visited offered a unique wine tasting experience, with Diliberto Winery in Jamesport being my favorite and deserving special mention. The Diliberto tasting room, vineyard and the proprietors’ home all sit on four acres, making for a one of a kind experience of the highest quality. The tasting room is set up to look like an Italian piazza, with tables located both inside and outside. The 2003 Merlot was very good and has won awards, including a Best in Category and Best in Class at the 2005 New York State Wine Competiton. The owners of the vineyard, Sal and Maryann Diliberto, took the time to visit with all of the guests and discuss their wines.

Martha Clara Vineyards is a medium-sized vineyard with some excellent offerings. The atmosphere is very friendly, and the copper bar offers a modern ambiance. The 2001 Estate Reserve Merlot is a personal favorite, and the Chardonnays are all very good. In addition, the tasting room staff is very attentive and knowledgeable.

Below are some of my favorite wines tasted at the Long Island vineyards:

Diliberto Winery
2003 Merlot

This Merlot is very smooth, with subtle hints of berry and a silky smooth finish.

Martha Clara Vineyards
2001 Estate Selection Merlot

This Merlot elegantly balances the traditional berry flavors of Merlot smoky oak. The finish is slightly tannic with a hint of olive.

Martha Clara Vineyards
2005 Five-O White Blend

This blend of six white varietals (Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Pinot Gris, Viognier and Gewürztraminer) produces a tropical fruity flavor with a crisp finish.

Lenz Winery
2001 Old Vines Merlot

Very expressive berry flavors balanced with well-structured tannins make this my favorite Long Island wine.

Until next time,

Joe “Wine” Giordano