08/07/17 6:10am
08/07/2017 6:10 AM

About 700 oenophiles gathered at Martha Clara Vineyards in Riverhead Saturday to sip wine, slurp oysters and celebrate the late men and women who have contributed to the Long Island Wine Industry.

The event, Harvest East End, is the Long Island Wine Council‘s biggest annual party and this year’s gala, dubbed “Back to Our Roots,” was a departure from past years in several ways. (more…)

07/16/17 6:01am
07/16/2017 6:01 AM

Long Island, with a centuries-long history of farming, has undergone an agricultural revolution in just a few decades, sparked in 1973 by a pair of pioneers in planting grapes for fine wine, Louisa and Alex Hargrave. READ

10/19/15 7:58am
10/19/2015 7:58 AM

grapes vineyard

What do you think of when you hear the term “Long Island wine?”

Does it call to mind supple, sophisticated bottles of cabernet franc and merlot, or a crisp sauvignon blanc that pairs perfectly with oysters harvested from Peconic Bay? Or maybe, for you, Long Island wine is less synonymous with the product itself, but a summer day spent “out east” drinking rosé and laughing with friends?

In the 42 years since Alex and Louisa Hargrave planted the first commercial vineyard in Cutchogue, the industry, like that of any burgeoning wine region, has experienced periods of significant change in both atmosphere and reputation.

And until recently, there has never been a large-scale, unified effort to create a brand.  READ

01/22/15 9:48am
01/22/2015 9:48 AM
Gene Casey and the Lone Sharks perform at Jamesport Vineyard. (Credit: Katharine Schroeder)

Gene Casey and the Lone Sharks perform at Jamesport Vineyard during a previous Winterfest concert. (Credit: Katharine Schroeder)

Winterfest: Live of the Vine, now in its eighth year of providing cabin fever-suffering East Enders with a respite from the winter doldrums, returns with live concerts and more with a kickoff party at The Suffolk Theater in Riverhead Feb. 6.

Read the full story on northforker.com.

12/12/14 3:30pm
12/12/2014 3:30 PM

The latest round of the New York Regional Economic Development Council awards were announced Thursday with more than $1 million funding tourism efforts across the North Fork.

A total of $709.2 million in state funds and tax credits were awarded to the 10 regional councils across New York. Long Island is receiving $81.9 million to support 97 projects — four of which are on the North Fork.

(more…)

05/16/14 10:00am
05/16/2014 10:00 AM

CARRIE MILLER PHOTO | Taste North Fork shuttle bus stops are now scheduled for 25 locations during Veteran’s Day weekend.

Six months after touting their collaboration on the first-ever Taste North Fork weekend in November, organizers from three local tourism and agricultural promotion groups have announced they won’t team up for the event again this year.

Plans for last year’s festival were unveiled in August by the North Fork Promotional Council, Long Island Wine Council and East End Tourism Alliance. The event was made possible by a portion of a $335,000 “I Love NY” grant that funded shuttle bus trips across the North Fork for three days over Veterans Day weekend. Various farms and wineries participated by hosting special events to attract visitors.

Shuttles made a loop between Riverhead and Greenport, stopping at around 50 hamlet centers, farms and wineries along the way.

But the event was poorly executed and did little to help businesses that weren’t wineries, said promotional council president Joan Bischoff.

According to the promotional council’s internal evaluation of the event, a copy of which Mr. Bischoff provided to the Suffolk Times, “For non-winery North Fork businesses, the primary successes of Veterans Day Weekend — the weekend supported by the bus provided by the grant — resulted from North Fork businesses’ self-organizing, not from the grant-funded components.”

But this news doesn’t signify the end for either the event or the Taste North Fork name.

Throughout the upcoming tourism season, various promotional council events will be branded “Taste North Fork,” although they won’t be affiliated with last year’s grant-funded festival. The first such event, 2014 Season Kick-Off Taste North Fork, is set for Saturday, May 17. Marking the unofficial start of the tourism season, it will feature a meet-and-greet for residents and the media with a host of local chefs, growers, winemakers and bed-and-breakfast owners.

“We cannot wait anymore,” Mr. Bischoff said. “We have to get the North Fork going now, not in November.”

Meanwhile, the Long Island Wine Council has received another “I Love NY” grant to again help fund a three-day event in November.

Wine council president Steven Bate didn’t respond to requests for details about the fall event, but has also said the Wine Council and East End Tourism Alliance will no longer work alongside the North Fork Promotional Council.

East End Tourism Alliance president Bryan DeLuca referred all questions about the upcoming event to the wine council.

Eugene Gluck, the promotional council’s executive director, said a lack of grant money won’t prevent his group from bringing local businesses together in the future.

“Taste North Fork is something the promotional council developed last November — it is not necessarily a part of the grant,” he said. “The grant wasn’t Taste North Fork, it was Taste New York. Taste North Fork is the spin we took from it. It is our branding.”