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Top 5 Long Island Wineries to Uncork

Jeanne O’Brien Coffey, Contributing Writer

With 50+ wine producers in a compact strip of land, most just a few minutes’ drive apart, planning a visit to Long Island wine country can be overwhelming – at first. You could focus on a particular grape, dropping in on top Merlot producers or those who focus on sparkling wine. You could seek out the oldest Long Island wineries, or those that are woman-owned or the ones with the prettiest tasting rooms… Figuring out a way to narrow down which Long Island wineries to sip can be a job in itself!

We’ve done some of the work for you, selecting a handful of our favorite Long Island wineries that offer a glimpse into the diversity of the region, with a focus on crafting high-quality thoughtful wines.

Where to Sip

Long Island Wineries


Anthony Nappa Wines

From his storefront tasting room, The Winemaker’s Studio in Peconic, Anthony Nappa is crafting wines that are meant to reflect the distinct maritime terroir of Long Island, using wild fermentation and a mix of familiar and less familiar grapes to craft his range. Stop in here for pure grape flavors, from his shining unoaked Cabernet Franc to the bright, elegant Shared Table Sauvignon Blanc. Ripe with notes of peach and grapefruit and blended with 10 percent Semillon, it’s a great example of unique Long Island expression of the grape, far from New Zealand’s grassy underripe flavors and Sancerre’s overripe tropical notes. Don’t miss Nappa’s White Pinot Noir – it’s one of the top-rated rosés on Long Island.

2885 Peconic Lane, Peconic, 774.641.7488
Long Island Wineries - Anthony Nappa Wines
Anthony Nappa with Anthony Nappa Wines

Macari Vineyards

From his storefront tasting room, The Winemaker’s Studio in Peconic, Anthony Nappa is crafting wines that are meant to reflect the distinct maritime terroir of Long Island, using wild fermentation and a mix of familiar and less familiar grapes to craft his range. Stop in here for pure grape flavors, from his shining unoaked Cabernet Franc to the bright, elegant Shared Table Sauvignon Blanc. Ripe with notes of peach and grapefruit and blended with 10 percent Semillon, it’s a great example of unique Long Island expression of the grape, far from New Zealand’s grassy underripe flavors and Sancerre’s overripe tropical notes. Don’t miss Nappa’s White Pinot Noir – it’s one of the top-rated rosés on Long Island.

150 Bergen Avenue, Mattituck, 631.298.0100
Long Island Wineries - Macari Vineyards
Photo provided by Macari Vineyards

Lenz Winery

The second winery to open on Long Island, back in 1978, this rustic spot is the place for touchstone wines – pure examples of classic old vine Merlot and outstanding Champagne-method sparklers made from 100 percent Pinot Noir. Lenz was one of the first Long Island wineries to hold blind tastings, pitting its Merlot against great first growths like Petrus and coming out on top more than once, so try that for sure, but don’t miss the unique bottle-aged Gewürztraminer, subtle and ripe with baking spices. The winery’s spacious tree-shaded outdoor space is dotted with inviting picnic tables.

38355 Rte 25, Peconic, 631.734.6010
Long Island Wineries - Lenz Winery
Outdoor seating at Lenz Winery

GET TO KNOW LONG ISLAND WINE COUNTRY

Long Island has three American Viticultural Areas (AVAs). The Long Island AVA, established in 2001, encompasses the two easternmost counties on the island, Nassau and Suffolk. This broad AVA is an umbrella that covers two smaller designations: the North Fork of Long Island AVA, which is 158 square miles, and the Hamptons, Long Island, AVA, at 209 square miles. The broader designation assists the Long Island wineries located just outside the two smaller AVAs, and allows them to create blends from vineyards on different parts of the island.

While Bordeaux grapes like Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Cabernet Franc are the most commonly grown, you’ll find everything from Gewürztraminer to Refosco, an ancient variety that originated in the Veneto, planted in the region.  

Lieb Cellars

This winery devoted to sustainable, low-intervention wines has some 54 acres under vine, and is always innovating. Lieb was one of the first New York wineries to offer a canned product, with its Bride Lane, and offers an unexpected White Merlot – bright and lemony with a bone-dry finish. They grow 11 vinifera varieties, including the largest contiguous planting of Pinot Blanc in North America. The resulting wine is gently floral, bright with fresh lemons and limes. The stylish tasting room and deck is a delightful place to eavesdrop, enjoying the breeze off the Long Island Sound as neighboring tables argue over the best pizza in the area or what it’s like to audition to be a Bond Girl.

13050 Oregon Road, Cutchogue, 631.734.1100
Long Island Wineries - Lieb Cellars
Lieb Cellars, Photo by Alice Falcone

Sparkling Pointe

The only winery on Long Island making exclusively sparkling wine, Sparkling Pointe grows clones of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay at their three vineyard sites. The range goes from crowd-pleasing off-dry NV Cuvee Carnaval Rouge, with a blend of Chardonnay and skin-contact Merlot giving it a lovely pink hue, to the Vintage Brut Seduction, which spends eight years on lees. The sleek soaring tasting room is awash in glittering chandeliers and bright modern art, overlooking a patio and vineyards this paired with its bubbles makes it one of the top five Long Island wineries to visit.

39750 County Road 48, Southold, 631.765.0200
Long Island Wineries - Sparkling Pointe
Photo provided by Sparkling Pointe

Long Island Wine Country Travel Guide

Where to Sip, Stay, & Things To Do


Jeanne OBrien Coffey

Jeanne O’Brien Coffey

New England native Jeanne O’Brien Coffey delights in sharing the hidden gems in her corner of the world. She blogs about food, drinks and travel for ForbesLife and her work has also appeared in Naturally, Danny Seo and Boston magazine.