Harvest time on the North Fork typically occurs from mid-September through late October, when the grapes are ripened and plucked from the vines, pumpkins are ready for Halloween, and apples are crisp and delicious as they are picked from the trees. In celebration of this large harvest, there are many fall festivals held at the various vineyards and farms all along the North Fork. Here visitors can sample the delightful wines, enjoy fresh food from the local farms, and even pick pumpkins and apples along the way. Enjoy the many festivities including musical events, art exhibitions, oysterfests, hayrides, and more as you sample the best the North Fork has to offer at harvest time.
Baiting Hollow Farm Vineyard, the first vineyard on the North Fork Wine Trail, is on Sound Avenue in Baiting Hollow. They feature live music, great food, and wine on weekends through November, including Columbus Day and Veteran’s Day. Also meet their rescue horses. Their 2010 Mirage (whose profits support their horse rescue) and 2011 NYS Riesling won 2013 New York State Gold Medals. baitinghollowfarmvineyard.com
Martha Clara Vineyards on Sound Avenue in Riverhead features live music on weekends year-round, including Columbus Day, Veteran’s Day, and Black Friday. On Columbus Day, October 14, bring your dog along to Vines & Canines Educational Vineyard Walk at 10 a.m. On Black Friday, November 29, enjoy an evening concert from 7:30-9:30 p.m. featuring Walking The Line, a 7-piece Johnny Cash/Carter Sisters Tribute Band. Horse and carriage rides are 12-4 p.m. on weekends. Their October Wine of the Month is 2012 NYS Riesling. marthaclaravineyards.com
Clovis Point on Main Road in Jamesport features live music, yoga in the vineyard, and artist receptions on weekends through November. On Veteran’s Day weekend enjoy Nosh At The Vineyard: Roaming Fork Food Truck, Saturday, November 9 and Oysters On The Lawn with fresh-shucked oysters from Long Island Oyster Company, Sunday, November 10, from 1-4 p.m. Their 2007 Vintner’s Select Merlot blend won a Double Gold medal. clovispointwines.com
Enjoy Late Night at Shinn Estate Vineyards on Oregon Road in Mattituck, Friday and Saturday nights until 8 p.m., featuring wine and cheese. Go on the Vineyard Walk weekends at 1:30 p.m. and the Winery and Barrel Cellar Tour at 2:30 p.m. On October 18 see the POP UP! Art Show, a one-night exhibition of works by local artists and artisans, from 5-8 p.m. Enjoy their 2009 Nine Barrels Reserve Merlot. shinnestatevineyards.com
Twilight Thursdays at Bedell Cellars on Main Road in Cutchogue is from 5-9 p.m. every Thursday with live music, late night tastings, and Catapano goat cheese selections. Relax in their cozy tasting room while enjoying the music. Their 2010 “30th Anniversary Release” Merlot was recently featured in The Wall Street Journal where author Jay McInerny called it “a North Fork game changer.” bedellcellars.com
Harbes Family Farm includes the Family Farm & Vineyard on Sound Avenue in Mattituck, the Western Farm on Main Road in Jamesport, and the Farm & Orchard on Sound Avenue in Riverhead, open daily 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. through October 31. (The Orchard is open weekends and Columbus Day.) The three Farm Parks all feature u-pick pumpkin patches, sweet corn, hay bales, and cornstalks. For kids, Mattituck has a pumpkin festival with live music and hayrides. Jamesport has pony rides and a Western Corn Maze. Enjoy apple picking at the Orchard in Riverhead, and on Fridays and Saturdays from 7-10 p.m. wander through the spooky Moonlight Maze. harbesfamilyfarm.com
Wickham’s Fruit Farm is on Main Road in Cutchogue. The farmstand is open through December, Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., closed on Sundays. Growing over 15-20 varieties of apples, they feature membership in a U-Pick Club and educational tours for kids. wickhamsfruitfarm.com
Autumn is a splendid time to visit the North Fork and see the gorgeous vineyards, taste the local wines, listen to live music, and go pumpkin and apple picking at the farms. Come out for the fall festivals and discover the beauty and serenity of the North Fork.
Ruth Thomas, a freelance writer on the East End enjoys history, music, literature, art, nature, the beach, and her cute dachshund, Clancy. She can be contacted at [email protected]