By Ruth Thomas
Nestled in the heart of the North Fork Wine Trail, Peconic Lane is a stretch of road about one mile long from Rte. 25 (Main Road) to Rte. 48 (North Road) in Peconic. With an historic inn at the north end and the new Greenport Harbor Brewery on Main Road at the south end, there is a winemaker’s studio, a vintage general store, and a fine art gallery amidst the wonderful vineyards and farms along the way. Peconic Lane is a microcosm of the many attractions the North Fork has to offer.
The Belvedere Inn at 3070 Peconic Lane, owned by Lee and Marie Beninati was originally built in the 1860s. Its original owner, Jesse Case decorated it in an ornate and elegant style, ideal for lavish parties. (It was believed that Albert Einstein stayed here when he signed the famous letter to Roosevelt supporting “The Manhattan Project,” mailed from the Peconic Post Office.) Case’s heirs sold the property to his long time housekeeper, Mary Turner who turned it into a boarding house known as “The Turner House,” in the early 1940s. Later sold to a private owner in the 1970s, the Beninatis purchased it in 2000 and named it the “Belvedere” or “Beautiful View” for its cupola on the roof. This elegant Italianate Victorian Manor on 2.1 acres has four guest rooms with four private baths. It features museum quality 11-foot fresco ceilings, a gourmet eat-in kitchen, seven fireplaces, full basement with wine tasting room and gym, Roman-style oversized swimming pool, outdoor entertainment area, and magnificent English gardens. www.belvedereinn.net
The Winemaker Studio at 2885 Peconic Lane, owned by Anthony and Sarah Nappa since 2011, is a cooperative tasting room showcasing local vineyards, wineries, and winemakers. It features six different winemakers from other wineries who come together to sell their wines. It includes Anthony Nappa of Anthony Nappa Wines, winemaker for Raphael Vineyards; Russell Hearn of Suhru Wines and T’Jara Vineyards, winemaker for Lieb Cellars; Greg Gove of Race Wines; John Leo of Leo Family, winemaker for Clovis Point; Erik Bilka of Influence Wines, winemaker for Castello di Borghese; and Adam Suprenant of Coffee Pot Cellars, winemaker for Osprey’s Dominion Vineyards. Also presenting “Provisions and Ingredients,” a food market offering cheeses, pressed sandwiches, and meat and cheese plates, it is the perfect spot to relax and enjoy great wine and food. Open year-round. www.winemaker-studio.com
North Found & Co. at 2845 Peconic Lane, owned and operated by two designers, Hadley Wiggins-Marin and Daniele Marin since 2012, is a vintage general store. Their offerings include vintage and antique furniture as well as décor and lifestyle accessories from around the world. Winter hours by appointment. www.northfoundvintage.com
Gallery Crossing, adjacent to the Peconic Post Office at 2745 Peconic Lane, is a fine art gallery featuring local artists from the East End. Established in 2013 by John and Joanne Rosko, it features art in a variety of styles, mediums, and perspectives. New shows rotate every two weeks and include artists’ receptions. Closed for the season. www.gallerycrossing.com
Sannino Bella Vita Vineyard at 1375 Peconic Lane was founded in 2007 by co-owner/winemaker Anthony Sannino and his wife, Lisa Sannino. The tasting room reflects a casual and rustic setting in an historic barn c.1900s. Estate wines include Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, White Merlot, and Chardonnay. Enjoy wine tastings and free live music every Sunday from 1-5 p.m. all winter long, presenting various local musicians. Open year-round. www.sanninovineyard.com
Greenport Harbor Brewing Co., at 42155 Rte. 25 in Peconic, co-owned by Rich Vandenburgh and John Liegey, began when the two friends purchased an old firehouse in Greenport in 2008 and renovated it into a brewery, opening in 2009. It was so popular that in 2012 they purchased an old car dealership on a 3-acre parcel in Peconic on Rte. 25 at the corner of Peconic Lane and renovated it into a brewery, opening in 2014. With a separate tasting room in a “rugged rustic” motif, they feature special events, including weddings overlooking the beautiful vista of fields and scenic sunsets. On June 27-28, enjoy Greenport Harbor’s Beer, BBQ, and Blues Festival. There is live music every Saturday in the Tasting Room in the winter and on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays in the summer. They offer 8-10 different styles of beer including “Harbor Ale,” “Black Duck Porter,” and “Otherside IPA.” Open year-round. www.harborbrewing.com
Peconic Lane is surrounded by many bucolic farms and vineyards, including Catapano Dairy Farm, a goat dairy owned by Dr. Michael Catapano and his wife Karen, on the North Road since 2006, featuring goat cheese and goat milk soap. Krupski Farms is a long-time family-run farm featuring fresh fruits and vegetables on Main Road. Also in Peconic on Main Road, discover Raphael Vineyard, established in 1996 by owner John Petrocelli, Pindar Vineyards, begun in 1980 by Dr. Dan Damianos, and Osprey’s Dominion Vineyards, founded by Bud Koehler in 1983.
Peconic Lane is an enchanting road in the middle of wine country. Bordered by picturesque farms and vineyards, it has its own unique charm. From its historic inn to its most recent popular brewery, it is an eclectic street where the past meets the present. Take a journey on Peconic Lane and experience a slice of the North Fork.