In January 1973, Louisa Thomas Hargrave and Alex Hargrave bought a potato farm in Cutchogue. Four years later, they released the first wine from Hargrave Vineyard.
In the decades since, more than 40 wineries and vineyards have opened on the East End of Long Island. Pindar, Lenz, Bedell, Paumanok, Palmer and Castello di Borghese, the successor to Hargrave, are among the North Fork veterans still producing wines.
And there has been a boomlet in newcomers since the millennium. Many are the family-run, boutique variety. Vineyards grow grapes, wineries make wine. Here's a taste.
5195 Old North Rd., Southold
The "one woman" is Claudia Purita. The native of Calabria learned about raising grapes from her father, Domenico. Claudia and husband, Frank, used to run Paradiso restaurant in Rockville Centre. The vineyard, on a former potato farm opposite their home, was purchased in 2002. The first vintage was 2007. Her wines are available online and at the tasting room, as well as at restaurants on the East End and in Manhattan. The tasting room is open Thursday to Monday.
Wines Chardonnay, gewürztraminer, grüner veltliner, rosé, merlot, dessert wine coming soon
Price range $19 to $40
Lisa and Anthony Sannino first harvested grapes in 2006 and sold them to Castello di Borghese. A year later, they started an ongoing, visitors' winemaking program. Now, the Sanninos, who grew up in Dix Hills, sell their own wines. The tasting room is open Thursday to Monday; tours, Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m. The Sanninos also conduct wine-education classes, which include samples of local wines and wine-and-food pairing. The cost is $40. The next two: June 4 and 18. The Sanninos also run a bed-and-breakfast in Cutchogue.
Price range $18 to $25
1935 Main Rd. (Route 25), Jamesport
Clovis Point's first major vintage was in 2004. The wines are made by John Leo at Premium Wine Group in Mattituck. Hal Ginsburg, one of the proprietors, said they bought the property in 2001. The tasting room is in a renovated potato barn. The name stems from the spear tips used by Paleolithic locals believed to have lived in the region more than 8,000 years ago. The tasting room is open Thursday to Sunday. Tours are by appointment.
Price range $16.50 to $35; one red blend, $50
1450 S. Harbor Rd., Southold
Croteaux Vineyards, in business since 2008, specializes in rosé wines. The wines are made by Leslie Howard at Raphael winery in Peconic. Croteaux produces eight distinctive rosé wines. There's a bucolic "tasting barn" and garden, currently open Friday, Saturday and Sunday; seven days in July. Paula Croteau also conducts cooking classes in the 1800s farmhouse at the vineyard. A June class will highlight North Fork shellfish. For more information: farmhousekitchen.us.
Wines Rose, still and sparkling.
Price range $18 to $28.
46005 Main Rd. (Route 25), Southold
Mark Tobin is a lawyer in Miami, specializing in eminent domain. He and his wife, Christine Ferrari Tobin, also reside in Westhampton Beach, where Tobin first made wine in his garage. They run Mattebella Vineyards, named for their children, Matthew and Isabella. The Tobins purchased the vineyard in 2005. Tobin makes Mattebella wines at Premium Wine Group. Tours and tastings are by appointment.
Wines Chardonnay, merlot, rosé, Bordeaux-style red blend
Price range $15 to $30
22600 Main Rd. (Route 25), Cutchogue
Russell McCall's desire to save land from development, affection for pinot noir and merlot, and business experience selling wine led to McCall Wines. The wines are made by Gilles Martin at the Premium Wine Group and are available at the Main Road address, which once was a potato barn and stable for horses. The tasting room is open Thursday to Sunday. Tours are by appointment. McCall also owns a cattle ranch in Cutchogue where he raises grass-fed Charolais, a breed prized in Europe. Beef is expected to be sold by summer's end.
Wines Pinot noir, merlot, rosé, red Bordeaux-style "Ben's" blend
Price range $16 to $45
39750 County Rd. 48 (North Road), Southold
Devoted exclusively to sparkling wines, Sparkling Pointe is owned by Champagne lovers Tom and Cynthia Rosicki. They also are attorneys in Plainview. Sparkling Pointe began in 2004. The wines originally were made at Premium Wine Group. Winemaker Gilles Martin now makes them at the Southold winery, which is open for tastings, sales and tours by appointment.
Wines Brut, blanc de blancs, rosé, extra dry cuvée, eight-year old sparkling wine
Price range $27 to $50
Bouké wines are made at the Premium Wine Group facility by winemaker Gilles Martin. Grapes are mostly from North Fork vineyards, a small amount from Finger Lakes growers. The first vintage was in 2007. Proprietor Lisa Donneson said that while there currently is no tasting room, all the wines are available online as well as at wine shops and restaurants on Long Island and in Manhattan. Tasting room coming soon. Currently, tastings scheduled through the Bouké website.
Wines Four dry and three sweet wines. including red and white blends; rosé; perlant, a slightly sparkling wine; red and white dessert wines
Price range $15 to $21; red dessert wine, $40