Had a fantastic time visiting vineyards on the North Fork this weekend. It’s not Napa – and that’s what’s good about it. The wineries are mellow, the vineyards are pretty, and they serve me wine. Nothin’ not to like there. Here were my two faves.
This is the only vineyard in the US that only makes rosé – how cool. A few places in Provence are diehard rosé, though Tavel is the only AOC in France that’s rosé-only. At Croteaux, they call it “rosé on purpose” – grapefriend just calls it awesome.
I knew I liked it as soon as we walked up to this cute pale yellow French countryside-ish barn. They had this awesome welcome sign, which I’d basically like to hang in my house.
The gardens are super chill, with just a few tables and benches. We started with some yummy sparkling and then did a flight of six rosés. Five were made from Merlot, and I hadn’t had many of those before. The first few were very lean and pale, some had a better finish and were a little more rounded out than others. Our favorite of the Merlot ones was the 314, but overall I loved the “Ruby” Cabernet Franc one. This one was deeper and richer – I really like rosés made from Cab Franc (which also happens to be a grape that does well on Long Island).
There’s also this cool wine bottle “wall” in the gardens.
And a fabulous American flag blowing in the sunlit breeze.
It was like a little trip to the French countryside (if the French countryside had American flags there), and a perfect place to have a glass or 6 of rosé.
I’ve written about them a bunch of times and am a fan of many of their wines but had never been to the winery. Very different from Croteaux: Much bigger, gorgeously manicured, and plenty of wine varieties.
Also, you walk into a huge barn with bubble lamps all over the ceiling:
Those bubbles set you up for the sparkling rosé – we decided you can’t ever go too wrong with this, and this one’s dry, minerally, and was a standout here.
They also had a Viognier, which I was psyched to try. It’s not a popular variety on LI and isn’t easy to make there. I love Viognier, which is usually very delicate and floral. This one was more citrus than floral, with a big lemon meringue finish. Had a little fizz on the tongue too – very interesting!
My favorite was the Cab Franc – this is a bold grape and traditionally just used as a blender. But lately people have been making it as a single varietal, and I think it works well with the typical Long Island “funk” you get from the land around there. I usually like Long Island’s whites more and think they generally do a lot better than the reds, but definitely try some Cab Francs from there.
A big thanks to Trent and the Bedell staff who took such great care of us. So stop by if you’re out there! They also have some picnic tables where you can run around by the vineyards, like this mini grapefriend did. She declared she “hated wine” – but I’ve got a few years to work on her!