Friday, August 17, 2012

New York Post Features Pig Races at LI Wineries (NY)

Long Island’s North Fork wineries offer delights for many tastes
The area boasts sites ideal for festivities, like Martha Clara, and family-oriented fun, like the Harbes vineyard
By Joanna Fantozzi / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Thursday, August 16, 2012, 6:00 AM.

Summer marks a busy time for the more than 40 wineries on Long Island, with events like Wine 101 classes, festivals and concerts almost every weekend.

The North Fork of Long Island is only two hours from Manhattan, and is dotted with enough wineries and farmstands to satisfy the parched tongue and organic appetite of most every city dweller.

Many wineries are just a bottle’s throw away from one another and make for a great day trip or weekend getaway.

Keeping in mind the various vibes that potential visitors might be seeking, here’s a breakdown.

Best Party Scene: Martha Clara Vineyards, 6025 Sound Ave., Riverhead

Every weekend, Martha Clara Vineyards’ parking lot is full of cars and limos, and the large tasting room is packed. As one of the larger vineyards, Martha Clara has plenty to offer. The tasting room has two long bars where guests can purchase wine flights. In an adjacent room, buffet food is for sale and the strains of live music fill the air.

“There’s always something going on here,” says Glen Schunk, assistant tasting room manager. Upcoming events include the “Wine and Food Classic” on Saturday, Aug. 25, and the “Blue Moon Vines and Canines” dog walk on Friday, Aug. 31.

Featured Wine: The 6025 — a red house blend of several Martha Clara wines, including Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Don’t Miss: Seeing some of Martha Clara’s unusual critter inhabitants, like the alpacas, fainting goats and retired thoroughbred horses. They’re raised by Martha Clara owner Robert Entenmann (yes, that Entenmann family).

The Harbes Family vineyard offers diversions like pig racing.

Family Friendly: Harbes Family Farm and Vineyard, 715 Sound Ave., Mattituck

A family-owned farm for 12 generations, the Harbes clan pride themselves on being an organic farm first, a vineyard second.

“It’s the combination of farm experiences that make for a nice trip,”owner Ed Harbes says. “We don’t want the kids to be bored out of their minds while their parents taste wine.”

While mom and dad sip in the tasting room or buy fresh farm goods, the kids can play all afternoon in the barnyard for $10. The barnyard has hayrides, cuddly baby animals and regular farmyard events like pig races, led by Farmer Fred. Look for the Harbes Tomato Festival this Saturday and Sunday .

Featured Wine: 2008 Red Horse Rosé, one of the best-selling wines at Harbes and the silver medal winner of the 2009 New York Food and Wine Classic.

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