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Harvest Time

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Harvest Time: Musical Events, Pumpkin Festivals, and Wine Tastings by Ruth Thomas

Apple cider, pumpkin pie, and fine wines are just some of the fall goodies to savor at harvest time on the North Fork. With over 30 vineyards and 25 farmstands scattered throughout the pastoral landscape, the variety of local wines from grapes just off the vines, fresh fruit picked from the trees, and vegetables plucked out of the soil is truly amazing. Harvest time on the North Fork is a celebration of nature’s bounty coming to fruition after hard toil and labor. To commemorate this annual festivity from mid-September to late October, many of the vineyards and farms present live musical events, hayrides, horse and carriage rides, wine tastings and tours, apple and pumpkin picking, and more as the North Fork celebrates its harvest season.

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Martha Clara Vineyards on Sound Avenue in Riverhead has free live music every weekend year-round. Upcoming performances on Saturdays include October 17, Quarter Horse; October 24, Jon & Anthony’s Acoustic Jam; October 31, Rubber Soul; November 7, Latin Jazz with Claes Brondal and The Groove Gumbo Trio; and November 14, Michael Duca. Upcoming Sunday performances include October 18, Ed Travers; October 25, 3Dee; November 1, Steeldrumania; November 8, The East End Trio; and November 15, 2 Man Acoustical Jam. On Halloween, Saturday, October 31 from 8:30-10:30 p.m., dress up for a Back to the ’80s Halloween Costume Party (21 & over). Presenting the ’80s Tribute Band White Wedding. (See website for ticket information.) Also enjoy horse and carriage rides from 12-4 p.m. on weekends (weather permitting). And delight in wine tastings year-round. marthaclaravineyards.com

Bedell Cellars on Main Road in Cutchogue features a Barrel Tasting titled New Wines of 2015 on Sunday, November 8 from 1-2:30 p.m. Winemaker Richard Olsen-Harbich will host a discussion of Harvest winemaking as guests enjoy a unique tasting of wines during their freshest and earliest stages of development. This is a one-of-a-kind experience that is only available at this time of year. The tasting includes a sparkling wine welcome and a selection of local cheeses. By reservation, limited seating available, $60 per person. They also present a VIP experience, by reservation, only on weekends, which includes a guided tour of the winery, a premium wine tasting, and a selection of local food and cheeses. The cost is $100 per person. Also visit their Tasting Room open year-round. bedellcellars.com

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Raphael on Main Road in Peconic has free live music on Sundays from 1-4 p.m. in the fall. Performances include October 18, Isabel Alvarez; October 25, The East End Trio; November 1, Keith Maguire; November 8, April Rain; and November 15, from 2-5 p.m. Norman Vincent. Also highlighted are tours of their vineyard and barrel cellars, including a tasting of six wines. Reservations are required. raphaelwine.com

Osprey’s Dominion Vineyards on Main Road in Peconic presents live music on weekends in the fall from 1-5 p.m. on the great lawn. Saturday sessions include October 17, Below Average White Band; October 24, Buck Wild; and October 31, John and Mary. Sunday performances include October 18, Sahara; October 25, Firefly; and November 1, from 1-4 p.m. The Earthtones. Also enjoy their oyster bar, Greenport ale, and hot pretzels for purchase. Lawn games feature free volleyball and for a small fee can jam, bocce, and corn hole. ospreysdominion.com

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Gabrielsen’s Country Farm, a family owned and operated farm and flower stand on Main Road in Jamesport features a Fall Festival on weekends through November 1. Admission fee includes live music, hayrides, an 11-acre corn maze, bouncy houses, farm animals, pedal tractors, choo choo train rides, and a corn crib. Also go pumpkin picking, feast on amazing roasted corn, and drink fresh squeezed lemonade! gabrielsenscountryfarm.com

Harbes Family Farm includes three enchanting farms: the Family Farm & Vineyard on Sound Avenue in Mattituck, the Western Farm on Main Road in Jamesport, and the Orchard on Sound Avenue in Riverhead. At the Family Farm & Vineyard, enjoy the Pumpkin Fall Festival on weekends through November 1. It includes pumpkin picking, free live music, homemade donuts, roasted corn, pedal carts, barnyard animals, children’s activities, singing hayrides, pony rides, and corn mazes. (See website for ticket information.) Enjoy wine tasting at the Wine Barn through November. The Western Farm features Frontier Land for kids with pony rides, hayrides, and a 6-acre Western Mega Maze through November 1. Enjoy apple picking on weekends at the Orchard through November 1, depending on availability. Also on Fridays and Saturdays, through October 24 from 7-9:30 p.m., the kids can enjoy Halloween fun as they wander through the spooky Moonlight Maze. harbesfamilyfarm.com

Harvest time is a joyful season on the North Fork. Grapes are being harvested for fine wines; fresh fruit is being picked for delicious homemade pies, jams, and jellies; and vegetables abound for the gourmet. The weather is cool and crisp, the beaches are nice and quiet, and the trees and shrubs are in their colorful glory. Local vineyards and farms celebrate with fall festivals presenting live music, wine tastings, hayrides, corn mazes, pumpkin and apple picking, and more fun activities for all to enjoy. Discover the North Fork at its peak time, during the fall harvest.