In the 35 years since vines began sprouting out of its sandy soil, the North Fork of Long Island has fought to be recognized as a bona fide wine region, and now more than a million visitors a year visit the tasting rooms at its 30 vineyards to sample award-winning merlots and cabernet francs.
But this season, small signs bearing stern messages — “No Buses,” “No Limos,” “Appointment Only” — have sprouted outside many of the wineries. There also are reports of tastings gone wild involving intoxicated visitors who have tossed back full glasses of wine without regard to nose or body until they grabbed the brass spittoon for baser purposes.
The latest additions to local lore include a story about members of an inebriated group at the Palmer Vineyards here who hopped off a hayride and began gallivanting naked through the vines. Then there were the drunken customers at the Pugliese Vineyards in Cutchogue who jumped into the shimmering lake next to the elegant outdoor tasting area. And the bachelorette parties that often culminate in tabletop dances, to the horror of nearby oenophiles sniffing or sipping the local chardonnays.
“All of a sudden it’s five deep at the bar with people knocking into each other and pushing each other out of the way to get to the tasting,” said Kristen Venasky, 27, who has been pouring for two years at Palmer. “Saturdays,” she said, “are for people who want to get sloshed.”
On a somewhat related note, we have two winery's working with us on the NCUD golf tournament this year, Miner Family Vineyards and Spring Mountain Vineyards. Both have been great partners and have excellant wines. Check them out.
Also, check out the Conan O'Brian clip at Spring Mountain Vineyard. It's laugh out loud funny.
It's official, California wine tasters are more astute... At least NYC has the Yankees!