This past weekend, my husband and I headed north to Long Island wine country for a short weekend getaway. We intended to visit a couple of wineries, but since this was our first time traveling through the North Fork region, we rented a few bikes and went sight-seeing along the main road.
On our way through the small towns of Long Island, I couldn't help but notice that nearly all of the grapes were still on the vine. This is interesting, because in contrast, most of the wineries across California have harvested their non-dessert grape varietals weeks ago, and most likely have already barreled their wines.
It also seems like the region receives a healthy amount of rain throughout the year, which is not good for producing highly concentrated, focused wines. So I was quite skeptical of these wines. In such situations, it's best to stick with white wines as we would find out later.
Orient by the Sea, which was a 6 miles away.
We both enjoyed a warm traditional bowl of New England clam chowder and beer steamed mussels.
And before everything digested, we headed back to East Marion on our 6-mile return trip. Along the way back we stopped at Truman Beach for a rest.
Aren't these rocks beautiful? They looked like jelly beans scattered all over the shore at Truman's Beach. I was so happy to lie down on the cool and smooth colorful rocks. That bike ride really gave me a good run for my money.
Later on that evening we headed towards the Seafood Barge for a nice dinner that started with lobster knuckles with vanilla bean aioli and shaved fennel, followed by seared halibut and finished off with a flourless chocolate cake.
We decided to have a flight of local wines: 2006 Lenz Pinot Blanc, 2006 Lenz Bon Appetit, 2005 Raphael Red Blend, 2005 Duck Walk Cabernet Sauvignon. The whites were better than the reds, but none were memorable, and right then and there decided to skip the our original plans of visiting local wineries.
The next day we stopped by at Sep's Farm, which seemed to grow just about every vegetable under the sun. There were piles of gorgeous and interesting gourds on display. There were piles of mottled green squash with elongated necks that looked like swans.
Across the street from Sep's Farm was a breath-taking lavender farm, called Lavender by the Bay. Most of it had already been harvested for the year. On the perimeter of the multi-acre lavender farm were stacks of boxes that were surrounded by honeybees industriously collecting nectar from the lavender buds and depositing it into the honey combs.
All in all, it was a nice scenic trip, we'll probably visit again next fall, although we'll be sure to plan well in advance as the island books up very quickly.