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Wine, pumpkins, hot dogs attract dozens to Vineyard 48

Lauren Cirillo, 22, of Smithtown, and Jacqueline King,

Lauren Cirillo, 22, of Smithtown, and Jacqueline King, 22, of North Babylon, sip riesling and champagne at Vineyard 48 in Cutchogue. (Sept. 29, 2012) Credit: Jessica Stallone

Lauren Cirillo leaned in to tell the bartender what wine she would like to try next. The music muted her voice, she leaned in even closer and asked for a glass of Riesling.

While she waited for her drink, she glanced over her shoulder at the grapevines and portable outhouses that were part of the scenery at Vineyard 48.

“It’s the best bar of our whole tour,” said Cirillo, 22, of Smithtown. “It’s like the Boardy Barn of wineries.”

Saturday’s wine tastings at the Cutchogue vineyard attracted more than 100 people. Weekends in the fall tend to be the winery’s busier days, due to the live DJ, free barbecue on Sundays and themed specials, such as homemade sangria in jack-o-lantern buckets and free pumpkins with every bottle purchased. Wine enthusiasts can also enjoy  Leaf Pile Ale, a pumpkin-flavored beer, from the Greenport Habor Brewing Co.

“It’s the trend of pumpkin picking, and it’s harvest season for wine,” said Matt McBride, a manager at Vineyard 48.

“They call it the nightclub of vineyards,” said Kevin Nelson, a security guard at Vineyard 48. “It’s the party vineyard, it’s not stuffy.”

The 44-year-old, of Holbrook, recalled an incident last week when a girl with a British accent asked if she could go streaking through the vineyard.

“She said it was on her bucket list,” he said. “So, I let her do it.”

A large white tent  sheltered dozens of picnic table where people sat eating food from the Nathan’s Famous hot dog truck parked in front of the vineyard and drinking wine out of small plastic cups.

“Saturday we open at 10:30 a.m. and we close when the last person leaves,” said McBride.

The winery originally opened as Bidwell Vineyards in 1982 and was reopened eight years ago as Vineyard 48 with a whole new ambience.

“We cater to the old wine crowd, and we cater to the new wine crowd,” said McBride, 43.

Roy Futterman and a group of his friends stopped by the winery Saturday on their annual wine tour.

“This is our third vineyard and it’s by far the best,” said Futterman, 40, of Old Bethpage. “This is where we wind up every year. The vibe is fantastic.”

Photo: Lauren Cirillo, 22, of Smithtown, and Jacqueline King, 22, of North Babylon, sip Riesling and champagne at Vineyard 48 in Cutchogue.

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