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Plan would expand wine trail; no pet adoption fees at shelter

Palmer Vineyards in Cutchogue is among the locations

Palmer Vineyards in Cutchogue is among the locations on the North Fork Wine Trail. (March 14, 2012) Photo Credit: Randee Daddona

The North Fork Wine Trail could be getting a little longer — expanding eastward to Orient and stretching to the west to show several alternate ways of getting to the vineyards, tasting rooms and wineries that stretch from Calverton to the tip of the North Fork — if pending state legislation is approved.

“This is important. There’s no question about it,” said Steven Bate, executive director of the Long Island Wine Council. “It helps promote the wine industry.”

About 1.2 million people visit East End wineries each year, and those wineries produce more than 500,000 cases of wine each year. The vineyards themselves have grown from the original 17 acres planted in 1973 to more than 3,000 acres now. There are more than 50 wine producers in the region, most of them offering tours or tastings, according to State Sen. Kenneth P. LaValle (R-Port Jefferson), who introduced the bill to officially expand the region boundary.

A companion bill is being introduced in the Assembly by Fred W. Thiele Jr. (I-Sag Harbor), whose district covers East Hampton and Southampton. There has been no opposition to the bills.

Almost all of the East End vineyards are on the North Fork, where growers say the microclimate is better for merlot, cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay and riesling than on the South Fork, where farmland is more expensive.


No adoption fees for ‘Summer of Love’

The Hempstead Town animal shelter will waive all pet adoption fees starting today until Sept. 14 for its annual “Summer of Love” pet adoption program.

All adopted animals will receive free rabies vaccinations and microchipping, as well as free spaying or neutering, town officials said. All cats also will be tested for feline AIDS/leukemia.

Island Trees Veterinary Hospital, Dog Grooming by Rachel and West Hills Animal Hospital will provide coupons for free services, such as exams and grooming packages, for each pet adopted from the shelter.

The shelter is located at 3320 Beltagh Ave. in Wantagh. For more information, call the shelter at 516-785-5220 or visit



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