Long Island Getaways
North Fork Wine Train
Summer Fridays thru Labor Day Weekend
The North Fork of Long Island is the home of some world class vintages produced and sold by local wineries. On summer Fridays, the LIRR will be featuring locally made wines for sale on the 5:21 PM train from Ronkonkoma to Greenport (arrives 6:45 PM; also stopping at Medford - 5:32 PM, Yaphank - 5:40 PM, Riverhead - 6:05 PM, Mattituck - 6:21 PM, and Southold - 6:35 PM). The 3:55 PM Ronkonkoma Train from Penn Station (4:17 PM from Jamaica) connects with this train at Ronkonkoma. The LIRR will have a sampling of these local wines available for enjoyment by customers 21 years of age and over. Each week a red and a white wine from one of the Long Island Vineyards listed below will be available at a cost of $5 per glass.And new this year, LIRR bar service items including spirits, juices, bottled water and snacks will also be available.
Featured Long Island Vineyards and Wines:
Laurel Lake Vineyards was acquired by a group of Chilean and American vintner friends, with a passion for wine. They came here looking for beauty and for the unique wines that this geography provides. Experience their passion for winemaking, emphasizing a respect for tradition and for hand-crafted techniques, including the use of indigenous yeast and bacteria, minimal intervention and no filtration of the wines. This labor-intensive, artisanal approach to winemaking produces wines which are true to their varietal character and evoke an honest sense of place. Try their fabulous wines to discover their essence, aromas and flavors. The wines reflect a sense of origin - fresh, crisp and delicious, exhibiting an elegant bouquet that is the North Fork of Long Island. Location: 3165 Main Road (route 25) Laurel, NY 11948; 631-298-1420.
Red: 2007 Merlot
Intense flavors and full bodied. It was aged in French oak barrel for 12 months. It is lightly smoky, and you will find flavors of dry plums and vanilla. It pairs well with chicken, turkey and pasta.
White: 2010 Chardonnay
Unwooded chardonnay. It’s a light, crisp and generous fruit-driven wine; abounding in ripe pineapple, fresh lemon and mineral flavors. The palate displays pineapple and mineral characters with soft creamy finish. This chardonnay is ideal for salads and appetizers.
Peconic Bay Vineyards
Peconic Bay Winery produces very fine varietals like Riesling, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvigon and Cabernet Franc. The old vines here also produce extraordinary Chardonnay, produced both as a Steel-Fermented wine and as a traditionally produced barrel-aged version called La Barrique. The winery recently released a brand new label called Nautique to much acclaim, and will soon be releasing a selection of spirits. Over the years, Peconic Bay Winery has experienced many positive changes, but what does not change is the integrity that goes into every bottle of wine produced here. Peconic Bay wines are produced with a minimum amount of intervention, and are among the most natural and traditionally made wines to be found on the North Fork of Long Island. As the stewards of this old vineyard and its terroir, the Lowerre family is the protector of part of the region's legacy and this is something they will not compromise. Location: 31320 Main Road, Cutchogue, NY 11935; 631-734-7361.
Red: Nautique Esprit de Rouge
This wine is a result of judicious blending of three different grapes across two different vintages. The warm 2007 vintage provides the ripe tannins which yield a soft mouthfeel. The slightly cooler 2008 vintage adds fruit forward appeal. The resulting wine possesses both structure and balance.
White: Nautique Esprit de Blanc
This wine possesses interesting aromatic qualities that are the result of judicious blending. Each of the three components lends individualistic qualities to the finished wine. The "old Vines" clone of Chardonnay has its typical lemon-grass and Sauvignon Blanc aroma. The Pinot Grigio contributes a citrus and orange peel quality. The Riesling adds to the complexity with grapefruit and peach nuances. The result is a vibrant, complex aromatic white wine that will make Oysters and Clams leap out of their shells.
Macari is on the cutting edge of viticulture and is dedicated to a more natural approach to winemaking. Joseph Macari, Jr. is recognized as a pioneer in the movement towards organic and sustainable farming on Long Island, employing principles of biodynamic farming since the vineyard's first plantings. Extensive soil preparation, rich composts, careful cover cropping and a consideration to wildlife and terrain makes Macari's 180 planted acres stand out from the rest. Taking into account the health of the environment as a whole, and moving away from the harmful effects of pesticides to a more natural and meticulous caretaking of the soil and plants, ultimately yields premium wines. Locations: Cutchogue Tasting Room, 24385 Route 25, Cutchogue, NY 11935; 631-734-7070; Mattituck Winery 150 Bergen Avenue, Mattituck, NY 11952; 631-298-0100.
A blend of 50% Merlot & 50% Cabernet Franc, this wine has an enticing aroma of green olive and spice. Medium bodied with a distinctive flavor of Italian plums and the soft sensation of oak leading to a lingering finish rich with clove & nutmeg spices and just a hint of cocoa.
White: 2010 Early Wine (Chardonnay)
Made from 100% Chardonnay grapes, this year's Early boasts an inviting nose layered with ripe green apple, white peach and lemon notes. Candied fruit on the palate leads to a finish of crisp, refreshing citrus.
At Pindar Vineyards, their award-winning wines are quite literally dreams come true. It was the dream of founder, Dr. Herodotus "Dan" Damianos, that helped create the winemaking industry on Long Island in the early 1980's. And that dream has turned Pindar Vineyards into Long Island's best-known wine producer. The vineyard encompasses more than 500 scenic acres. They grow 17 varieties of grapes, crafting them into some 23 varietals and proprietary blends. Pindar produces 70,000 cases of wine a year, making it the largest vineyard on Long Island. But at heart they are still a family with a personal touch in every aspect of the business. Location: 37645 Main Road (Route 25), Peconic, NY 11958; 631- 734-6200.
This special red was first crafted to celebrate our 20th anniversary. It has the round and full characteristics of Merlot with the slight herbaceousness of Cabernets. This award-winning blend has been named “Best US Red Blend” by the Beverage Testing Institute in Chicago and “Best Red Vinifera” in Vineyard & Winery Management's "Best of the East" competition. Sure to please a wide range of palates.
White: Peacock Chardonnay
Crisp, lively Chardonnay with hints of pear and apple. Oak aging imparts subtle notes of vanilla. A great wine at a great price. Superb when paired with lightly-seasoned fish, veal, poultry, and cheeses.
Duck Walk Vineyards
Dr. Herodotus "Dan" Damianos and his son Alexander founded Duck Walk Vineyards. The Normandy Chateau-style building in Water Mill, a true Hamptons landmark, became home to what has quickly evolved into one of the most well-known names in Long Island wine. Today Duck Walk Vineyards encompasses 140 scenic acres. We produce some 35,000 cases of wine a year, and our wines have been repeatedly recognized for excellence in national competitions. From our Vidal Ice Wine made with grapes actually frozen on the vine, to our Blueberry Port crafted from wild Maine blueberries, to our unique Pinot Meunier, we strive to create wines that are distinctive and exceptional. But at heart we are still a family with a personal touch in every aspect of our business.
Red: Cabernet Sauvignon
A rich, lush red wine with notes of blackberry, currant, and cassis, with a hint of vanilla. Refreshingly firm yet soft tannins, this red is hearty without being harsh. Delightful now, moderate cellaring will be rewarded. Duck Walk Cabernet Sauvignon compliments robust steaks, stews, and firm and robust cheeses.
White: Southampton White
Southampton White has grown to become our signature white wine. This unique blend of Chardonnay and Cayuga grapes is fresh and clean with lovely hints of lemon and orange blossom. With a pleasing palate-cleansing finish, this wine is uniquely well suited as an accompaniment to raw shellfish (especially Long Island Oysters) and robust, creamy cheeses.
Jason's Vineyard sits on Jamesport on the north fork of Long Island, encompassing a 20-acre space. After studying business at the University of Hartford and obtaining two degrees, Jason received a third degree in enology at the University of California at Fresno acquiring high honors and accolades for his work. Continuing his studies, he attended the University of Bordeaux - a Mecca for wine academics - and worked in renowned regions like Medoc, Premiere Cote de Bordeaux, Loupiac and Cadiallac. With an education like this, high quality vines were inevitably in Jason's future. Very little space between the rows promises superior fruit, the Long Island vineyard flourishes with the finest French clones: chardonnay, merlot and cabernet.
Rose: A charming bouquet of strawberry, cherries and raspberries. Lusciously fresh in the mouth with full fruit and a long, smooth finish. This refreshingly vibrant & elegant Rose is blended from Merlot & Cabernet Sauvignon varieties. The perfect picnic wine.
White - Golden Fleece: A delightful blend of Cayuga, Sylvia & Rewriter. Clean & crisp with pleasant fruit-driven aromas of citrus, pear, & melon. Its semi-dry finish makes it an ideal accompaniment with lighter foods or enjoyed on its own.
Pellegrini Vineyards exists by design. The winery building and the vineyards have been carefully and painstakingly thought through -- designed for excellence. The coupling of old-world traditions with the best progressive technology demonstrates the Pellegrini commitment to using all means available to produce the very finest wine. Their 30 acre home vineyard, founded in 1982 and the home of some of the oldest vines on Long Island, is planted on rolling land with good southern exposure, providing optimum sunshine and a natural air flow. Two properties approximately 5 miles east of Pellegrini Vineyards were purchased in 1998. These ideal parcels for vineyards have given them the opportunity to plant more cabernet sauvignon, merlot and cabernet franc. The addition of these two vineyards gives Pellegrini greater control of the quality of fruit they harvest from year to year. This has enabled them to Estate Bottle all their reds and their dessert wine "Finale".
White: 2008 Chardonnay
An especially warm year produced grapes that were juicer and fresher than we ever harvest. Note hints of pear and almond surrounding flavors of green apple.Taste the round creaminess of the finish.
Red: 2006 Merlot
This elegant and rich merlot born from a stellar vintage is a shining example of the very best merlot Long Island has to offer. Wonderful aromas of black cherry, plum and blueberry intermingling with notes of vanilla. A structured merlot that rewards cellaring.
Cheers! We toast the Long Island Wine Council and the North Fork Promotion Council for their assistance with this program (wineries included here offered these selections at a discount). Visit their web sites for more information and events, and try our LI Wine-Adventures package for your next trip to the region.
All train times, prices and dates may be subject to change.
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