Cutchogue, an 8.1-square-mile hamlet on Suffolk County's North Fork, is know as "the sunniest place in New York State," says agent Dougall Fraser of Daniel Gale Sotheby's International Realty. It's that distinction, Fraser says, that led Hargrave Vineyard to open Long Island's first winery there in 1973. There are now 11 vineyards in Cutchogue, according to the Long Island Wine Council, and those vineyards are a major engine of growth not just to the hamlet, but the entire North Fork.

Fraser says a trip to Cutchogue, where his family has owned a home since 1959, is "like stepping back in time." He characterizes the community as pastoral, peaceful and offering an ample variety of home styles and prices.

Southold Town Supervisor Scott Russell grew up in Cutchogue, and says the hamlet has retained a great deal of its small-town character from when he was young. Russell says the Cutchogue post office and library still serve as social hubs, and the business base of the community remains largely locally owned.

A project before the Town Planning Board could bring a new condominium complex to Cutchogue. Russell says the Heritage Project plans to build 124 units on 46 acres. It's designed to be a 55-and-older community of 1,600- to 2000-square-foot residences with its own community center and an outdoor pool.

SALES PRICES. Between Aug. 1, 2014, and Sept. 10, 2015, there were 70 home sales, with a median sale price of $614,000, according to the Multiple Listing Service of Long Island. The low price for that period was $250,000 and the high was $6,500,000. During that same period a year earlier, there were 71 sales with a median price of $540,000. The price range was $170,000 to $2,900,000.

ATTRACTIONS. Wickham's Fruit Farm covers 300 acres and dates back to 1661, making it one of the oldest continually cultivated farms in the country. All of the fruit grown at Wickham's is sold at the farm's retail market -- or gathered by people who like to pick their own apples, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, cherries and peaches.

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OTHER STATS

Town: Southold

Area: 8.1 square miles

ZIP code: 11935

Population: 3,349

@Newsday

Median age: 51.5

Median household income: $91,587

Median home value: $632,000*

LIRR time to NYC: From Mattituck, one train at peak, 2 hours, 28 minutes

Monthly ticket: $485

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School district: Mattituck-Cutchogue

Sources: 2010 Census; mlsli.com; LIRR
*Based on sales in the past six months, according to MLSLI

ON MULTIPLE LISTINGS

Number of houses: 62

Price range: $299,000 to $12.400 million

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Tax range: $4,026 to $67,100

RECENTLY SOLD

$1.68 million, Leslie Road

With an original asking price of $1,850,000, this five-bedroom farmhouse sold in August after 210 days on the market. The 1937 home has 2 1/2 baths, three fireplaces and both formal and informal dining areas. There's a master suite and laundry facilities on the main floor as well as a family room and office. The property spans 11.63 acres, including 7 acres of vineyards, and features a porch, stone patio and three-car garage. Taxes are $19,541.

$800,000, Haywaters Drive

This three-bedroom contemporary with an original asking price of $1.225 million sold in July after 560 days on the market. The home was built in 1987 and features three bathrooms and a master suite with a private balcony. There's a fireplace in the combination living room and dining room, and the full basement has 8-foot ceilings. The 1.24-acre lot features 175 feet of waterfront property with deeded docking and beach rights. Taxes are $14,215.

$380,000, Silver Colt Road

After 335 days on the market, this three-bedroom Cape sold for $69,000 less than its asking price of $449,000. The 1985 home has two recently renovated bathrooms, a combined living and dining room, a den and a sunroom. There are hardwood floors throughout and a cedar closet in the full basement. The 253-by-152-foot property features a large deck with a pergola and 2.5-car garage with a workbench and comes with beach rights. Taxes are $7,905.

NOW ON THE MARKET

STARTER, $419,000

This three-bedroom ranch features a bathroom and a half-bath, both updated, and a renovated kitchen with stainless steel appliances. The home has a new roof and windows, and the front door and exterior lighting have been recently upgraded. The property is next to farmland and comes with beach rights. Taxes are $5,841. Thomas Guido, Keller Williams Realty Homes, 631-258-6060.

TRADE-UP, $899,000

Soaring ceilings are a highlight of this four-bedroom postmodern with two bathrooms and a half-bath. There's a master suite on the main floor, as well as a formal dining room, a den and a living room with a fireplace. The 1.87-acre property overlooks farmland, has its own art studio and workshop and comes with beach rights. Taxes are $14,398. Sheila Izzo, North Fork Real Estate, 631-734-7100.

HIGH-END, $2.45 million

You can enjoy views of Peconic Bay from almost every room of this five-bedroom Colonial. There are three bathrooms, a formal dining room and a living room with a fireplace. There's a 100-foot bulkhead on the waterfront property as well as a sunroom, slate patio and multiple mahogany decks. Taxes are $12,734. Dougall Fraser, Daniel Gale Sotheby's International Realty, 516-241-9528.