Fall is a magical time on the East End of Long Island. While summer wanes, tourism actually seems to pick up as the North Fork heads into harvest season. Beaches and boating are still a great activity in the early days of September as waters are warm and more enjoyable as they become less busy. Even if you don’t go for a swim, the waters are great for viewing. But what really makes fall special on the North Fork is the vineyards and farms that are busy preparing for harvest. Tasting rooms fill with visitors looking to enjoy various vintages, farms offer u-pick options for fall favorites as well as other fun cool-weather things to do. This week, we’re taking a look at where to go for u-pick fun, a night under the stars at one tasting room and the brand-new space of a local favorite.
Sanino Vineyard Opens New Tasting Room
A local winery has a new look and location on the North Fork. Sanino Vineyard, which first opened in 2006 with its tasting room housed in a historic circa 1900s barn on Peconic Lane in Peconic, just opened its brand-new tasting house on Sound Avenue in Cutchogue. The rustic yet modern space features two tasting bars, indoor table service, and an outdoor patio overlooking the vines. Sustainability and education remain an important aspect of the experience owners Anthony and Lisa Sanino aim to offer their guests. They also own an intimate, Tuscan-style bed and breakfast, which a walk through the vines will lead to the new tasting house. The winery currently produces a number of white, rosé, and red wines.
Stargazing at Corey Creek
The Tap Room at Corey Creek is teaming up with Custer Observatory for an evening of celestial wonder. Custer staff will have an informational table set up to educate guests on stars and planets on Friday, September 13 beginning at 6 p.m. Multiple telescopes will be set up, along with binoculars and laser pointers for guests to enjoy the evening the full moon begins to grace the sky. Sip on sustainable, small batch wines by the glass or in micro flights at the tasting room owned and operated by Bedell Cellars, both in Cutchogue. The Custer Institute and Observatory, established in 1927, is Long Island’s oldest public observatory. The nonprofit hosts ongoing events, including the stargazing events hosted periodically at the Corey Creek. Tickets are $5 per person and go to the observatory.
September on the North Fork is the start of the harvest season, a local favorite time of year. Some may say this is even the busiest time of year for tourism as farms take center stage. Vineyards prepare to harvest grapes for their various vintages. Farm stands are offering fall-favorite activities from hayrides to picking to corn mazes. Among these fun things to do as the weather cools is u-pick, particularly pumpkins and apples. Here’s where to go and what to get…
Wickham’s Fruit Farm in Cutchogue is a great spot for apple picking, which is on now. Apple cider and apple cider doughnuts are a must when visiting the farm stand. If you like to sip some hard cider with your apples, visit Aquebogue’s Woodside Orchards for pints and tastings of dry to sweet hard ciders. Harbes Family Farm offers tons of family activities for fall. The Riverhead orchard has rows of ultima gala, blondee, gale gala, and ruby mac apples ripe for the picking. The nine-acre pumpkin patch in Jamesport will soon be open for picking pumpkins and gourds. Also in Riverhead, Stakey’s Pumpkin Farm will have pumpkins, of course, in addition to family-friendly activities.