The soothing sun is setting. The refreshing cool breeze is blowing across the vineyard. The live music is lifting your thoughts, and then you slowly raise your wine glass and take a sip of the wine that came from the very grounds you are relaxing on. Yes, live music blended expertly with wine tasting many Hamptons and North Fork vineyards is now a smart, popular way to cap off a day of vacation, or work to relax. Long Island wineries now encompass over 3,000 acres of wine producing vines. In fact, 2013 is the 40th anniversary of Long Island’s first vineyard, then known as Hargrave Vineyards, now as Castello di Borghese in Cutchogue.
I love to walk through the lines of vines and feel the essence of the fact that the wine is grown just steps away from where it is produced and consumed. Is there not a better place to meet old friends, make new friends, spend some down time, or just go out to get out than an East End vineyard?
Years back I covered the vineyards for the largest local weekly on the East End. What a tough job! Having winemakers show you around, fill you in on what they are doing and then serve you their best wines. That I was paid to do it amazed my friends. Each winemaker has a different philosophy, style, and business plan, but the results seemed to always be great tasting wines.
Here is a nice list of events where you can go and experience all this in the Hamptons and North Fork:
The lovely and talented Lilly-Anne Merat will show you how a singer should sound on July 11, 2013, as part of the popular Twilight Thursday series. Live music every Thursday from May thru November. Live music every Friday from May thru October. (139 Sagg Main, Sagaponack, www.wolffer.com)
SANNINO BELLA VITA VINEYARD
Join friends at the vineyard for evening festivities with special features and discounts on wine on July 11, 2013, from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Southampton Soap Company will be at the tasting barn. Enjoy live music on the patio alongside the vines on Saturday, July 13, 2013, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. (1375 Peconic Lane, Peconic, www.sanninovineyard.com)
RAPHAEL VINEYARD AND WINERY
Stop by the tasting room on Friday, July 12, 2013, to enjoy live music and half prices glasses of wine from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. (39390 Main Road, Peconic, www.raphaelwine.com)
SPARKLING POINTE VINEYARDS & WINERY
Join Sparkling Pointe Vineyards & Winery on Fridays in July and August from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. for Bossa Nova Fridays featuring live Bossa Nova. (39750 Route 48, Southold, www.sparklingpointe.com)
MARTHA CLARA VINEYARDS
Flashback to the 80’s with The White Wedding Band on Friday, July 12, 2013. Doors Open at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $12.50 in advance and subject to availability $15 at the door. Each Ticket includes a glass of wine. On Saturday, July 13, 2013, check out an acoustic duo playing your favorite hits from yesterday and today. Finally, on Sunday, July 14, 2013, chillax with an afternoon of reggae music from the Quadrallove Reggae Band. All events are rain or shine! (6025 Sound Avenue, Riverhead, www.marthaclaravineyards.com)
BAITING HOLLOW FARM VINEYARD
BHFV is the first vineyard on the North Fork Wine Trail; just seventy miles from Manhattan. Take LIE exit 71 north 3.8 miles to Sound Avenue and turn right. The vineyard is immediately on your left. Come taste their award winning wines, great food and enjoy live music every weekend at the vineyard and horse rescue. (2114 Sound Avenue, Baiting Hollow, www. baitinghollowfarmvineyard.com)
Saturday, July 13, 2013, enjoy live music from Bryan Gallo, alt-country rock and wistful pop, from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. On Saturday, July 14, 2013, catch Bob Blatchley of the Acoustic Leaders from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. for acoustic rock. Don’t miss The Earthtones on Saturday, July 20, 2013, from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. for classic folk rock. (1935 Main Road, Jamesport, www.clovispointwines.com)
CASTELLO DI BORGHESE VINEYARD & WINERY
Join them every Saturday afternoon from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. with Marguerite Volonts, cabaret artist, singer and violist. Marguerite sings, plays piano, guitar and viola, drawing her music from a rich tradition of folksinging and big band performances. Listen closely as you hear some recreations of old Joni Mitchell, James Taylor and Carole King. ( Route 48 at Alvah’s Lane, Cutchogue, www.castellodiborghese.com)
These are just a few suggestions. Most likely one of these local vineyards is just a few minutes away. Imagine, a sip of wine, a nice romantic dance, or watching others dance while you sip your wine, either way, give it a try. I firmly believe music and wine is always a great time and I know a visit to any of the vineyards adds to the Hamptons experience.