Posts Tagged ‘North Fork’

Enjoy the Halloween and Pumpkin Season at These Seven Fabulous Farms in New York and New Jersey

Leaf peepers may want to schedule road trips to look at the brilliant mosaic of colors adorning the maples and oaks, but for the family, October is the time for pumpkin patches, corn mazes, apple picking and hayrides.

Courtesy Corwiths Farmstand

With trick or treating still limited in many places, especially in New York City apartment buildings, and Oktoberfest venues uncertain due to vaccination requirements and crowd limits, it’s a good idea to call before you go anywhere. This applies to the farms listed below, too.

NEW YORK CITY

You may not associate New York City with farms, but the city’s five boroughs have some intriguing experiences “on the land.”

Courtesy Queens Country Farm Museum

The historic Queens Country Farm Museum in Floral Park, Queens offers weekend activities throughout October. The farm, owned by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, dates back to 1697 and occupies New York City’s largest remaining tract of undisturbed farmland. Plan a visit to go pumpkin picking or hop on a hayride. For something more challenging, you can try New York City’s only corn maze here. This year’s Amazing Maize Maze is designed in the shape of Andy Warhol’s famous cow. Being outdoors beats any escape room, any time! 73-50 Little Neck Parkway, Queens; www.queensfarm.org

Courtesy Decker Farm

An officially designated historic landmark, Decker Farm in Springville, Staten Island is New York City’s oldest continuously working family-style farm. 220 years young, the farm is a joy to visit during October with a pumpkin patch and hayrides for the family that meander past costumed artisans performing 19th-century trades. For those willing to try some new-fangled activities, the farm lets you sign up for three tries of pumpkin chucking. 435 Richmond Hill Road, Staten Island; https://www.historicrichmondtown.org/deckerfarm

LONG ISLAND

Courtesy Harbes Family Farm

The North Fork of Long Island turns October into a trivia event as well at Harbes Family Farm. Just an hour and half from New York City, the Mattituck farm treats you to scenic hayrides complete with singing. Weekend activities add pig races, a touchless Robin Hood trivia game, and a family favorite, the Barnyard Adventure area with farm animals, sport zones and mazes. Be sure to pack your patience along with your masks and hand sanitizer. The traffic along Sound Avenue regularly bottlenecks in Jamesport and Mattituck on the weekends. The farm has several locations with the Mattituck one specializing in u-pick pumpkins or apple picking in Riverhead. 715 Sound Ave, Mattituck, NY; www.harbesfamilyfarm.com

You can skip the traffic snarls of the North Fork by heading south to the Hamptons on the South Fork of Long Island to two wonderful farm locales.

Courtesy Hank’s Pumpkin Town

Water Mill is where you’ll find expansive Hank’s Pumpkin Town. You’ll know it immediately by the cars parked on either side of the road. It’s open daily and is a magnet for locals as well as visitors. You’ll find the usual family-friendly activities here: pumpkin picking, corn mazes, tractor train rides and mega slides for the kids. After all that fun, your reward is Hank’s yummy Fall for Y’All hot apple cider, a fabulous concoction topped with whipped cream, a caramel drizzle and an apple cider donut, served up in a take-home souvenir mug. 249 Montauk Highway, Water Mill, NY; www.hankspumpkintown.com

Courtesy Corwiths Farmstand

At Corwiths Farmstand, also in Water Mill, you can do the U-pick pumpkin thing and relax for a while the kids slide down wooden slides, play a game on the giant Connect 4 in the field or climb on the wooden castles and trains. There are also barrel train rides, hayrides, barnyard animal feeding and a racetrack for pedal carts. Still not enough to keep everyone busy? Try your hand at pumpkin bowling. If you’ve had your fill of everything pumpkin and gourd, this is also the place for goat yoga, now offered in a Mommy and Me format, even more beautiful against a backdrop of haystacks and pumpkins. Corwiths makes sure that you won’t go hungry either. Their food trailer is where you can get roasted local sweet corn, homemade potato chips from the farm’s own potatoes as well as a bit of the South with fried apples and fried Oreos. 851 Head of Pond Rd, Water Mill, NY www.corwithsfarmstand.com

NEW JERSEY

Two farms in Chester, New Jersey offer scenic farm experiences, a mere 80-minute drive from New York City.

Courtesy Alstede Farms

Alstede Farms goes maze crazy this fall with a sunflower maze, evergreen maze and a corn maze, all designed to drive you just a bit crazy while soaking up the crisp fall air. You can pick your own apples through Thanksgiving or opt for a tractor-drawn wagon ride. If you’re starved for something to do at night, they have “harvest moon” hayrides. Live music follows by the bonfire with hot apple cider, food, wine, and s’mores kits to refresh.  Check the event calendar for times and dates. You can book tickets in advance online. 1 Alstede Farms Lane, Chester, NJ;  www.alstedefarms.com

Courtesy Riamede Farm

You can book a private wagon ride at Riamede Farm weekdays for a tour of the farm’s pumpkin patches and apple orchards. If you prefer to meander on your own, the farm is open to visitors on weekends as well for apple picking and you can also grab some pumpkins and gourds to decorate your home. A Farm Pass is required for entry and must be purchased in advance. 122 Oakdale Road, Chester, NJ;  www.riamede.com

Wines, Wine Experiences and Wine Tools for the Holidays

Celebrating any other milestone always goes better with a good wine. Here are some interesting wines, experiences and gifts to enhance your sipping enjoyment.

WINES FOR THE CURIOUS AND EPICUREAN

Orange Glou

For something less familiar, orange wines offer a distinctively colored wine with a taste that’s all their own. The international collection of wines curated by Orange Glou are skin-contact white wines made from white grapes fermented with the grape skins, producing orange natural wines. Options include three and six bottles monthly or a one-time option for the orange curious.

Tolenas Winery

A dessert wine is a lovely finish to any meal. Tolenas Winery newest is a 100% Zinfandel port, lighter and fruitier than usual due to the 2020 heat spell but still taking advantage of the cool California coastal breezes. A female star in the industry, winemaker Lisa Howard is committed to producing wines without chemicals or additives.

Collection Privée from Francois-Louis Vuitton

If your goal is to be the first in line for unusual experiences and a trip to France won’t happen any time soon, you might want to consider investing in the first edition Bordeaux Collection Privée from Francois-Louis Vuitton, the great, great grandson of Louis Vuitton.  Newly introduced to the United States this winter, the collection reflects the terroir of Bordeaux and the elegance of the Parisian lifestyle with Private Cuvée wines from top châteaux such as Léoville-Poyferré (Saint-Julien), Lascombes (Margaux), Faugères (Saint-Émilion), Beauregard (Pomerol), and Lafaurie-Peraguey (Sauternes). Each comes gorgeously boxed.

Dough Wines

Created with Distinguished Vineyards & Wine Partners, Dough Wines is the first collaborative wine brand from the James Beard Foundation. Dough Wines supports the culinary arts and beverage professions, currently focusing on assisting the Foundation with restaurant recovery, equality in the kitchen and food sustainability. The appellation wines are bundled into three-pack sets: Red Blend Pack, Chardonnay Pack, Pinot Noir Pack, Napa Valley Pack and Best of Napa Valley Pack.

Wines of Sicily

Wines of Sicily is a consortium that works with more than 400 different producers in Sicily who preserve the art of winemaking with sustainable practices. You’ll want to try Nero d’Avola, a versatile wine with an aroma of red floral notes accompanied by flavors of sweet spices and cocoa. Do as the Sicilians do and chill Frappato to bring out its depth and spice and red cherry notes.  For white wine fans, Grillo is a food-friendly blend with citrus blossom and fruity aromas. Lucido (also called Catarrato) pairs well with seafood and veggies with its hints of yellow and green and white flowers and citrus aromas.

Ao Yun

An unusual, stylish wine, Ao Yun (“roaming above the clouds”) is a full-bodied Cabernet blend from the first wine estate in China’s Yunnan province on the foothills of the Himalayas. The 2016 vintage combines Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc with notes of sandalwood, Dhofar incense, and crushed strawberries. Ao Yun has partnered with renowned crystal maker Riedel to design an exclusive wine glass for the optimal tasting experience for this Cab blend.

DISTINCTIVE TASTING EXPERIENCES

Macari Vineyards

Macari Vineyards on the North Fork of Long Island takes glamping to a new level of luxury with individual bungalows for a personal wine tasting. Customize your experience with a selection of wines including their popular Cabernet Franc, Dos Aguas red blend, Sauvignon Blanc and Rosé. Add to that a Mediterranean snack spread, your own playlist streamed through a Bluetooth retro radio, comfy throw-covered chairs and sofas and your gang will enjoy a wine experience like no other. The beautiful vineyard is celebrated for its biodynamic approach to winemaking and is run by three generations of the Macari family.

Far Niente family of wines

The Far Niente family of wines from Napa Valley includes some of the finest vineyards in the country.  You can experience all with a variety of three-wine samplers and a pre-arranged virtual wine tasting subscription. The Far Niente range includes Cabernet Sauvignon from Nickel & Nickel, Far Niente and Bella Union; or Chardonnay from Nickel & Nickel and Far Niente. The happy hour experience includes explanations by wine educators, Far Niente family winemakers and wine experts, plus instruction by chefs on how to create perfect wine and meal pairings.

WINE EXPERIENCE ADD-ONS

Quilt Wines

Add a fun touch to stay-at-home entertaining with Quilt Wines’ Puzzle Pack. Along with a selection of wine, you’ll get a limited-edition 500-piece Napa Valley Quilt Wines puzzle. The wine collection gives you a range of white and red wines including rosé, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and the popular Red Blend.

RGNY

You can be your own winemaker with the new blending kit from RGNY, an innovative winery located on Long Island’s North Fork. The kit comes with curated videos, featuring lead winemaker, Lilia Pérez to help guide you through the almost-scientific exercise of blending RGNYs Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. The kit also includes a beaker, four carafes of wine for blending and tasting, glasses and tasting note cards.

TaZa

For safe drinking, unbreakable wine glasses are the smart choice if you’re planning to dine outdoors. TaZa’s chic plastic versions mimic the feel of traditional glasses and come in stemmed and stemless to please all preferences. A must for serious wine drinkers, the ArT Wine Preserver will keep an opened bottle of wine fresh for up to 30 days. Using pure argon gas, this smart device displaces oxygen while maintaining taste.

If you still prefer glass, Empire State of Wine has you covered for no-spill drinking. The shop’s Signature NO-SPILL Stemless Wine and Cocktail Glasses feature Lady Liberty herself with each glass a different color so you can remember whose wine is whose. Even if you manage to tip them over, they still won’t spill as they balance to the side.

And lastly, Repour’s wine stoppers utilize oxygen absorption in an easy-to-use wine stopper for lasting wine freshness for up to two months. Although, in all honesty, I don’t know many people who keep an open bottle that long!

Where to Buy Wine in New York City

Here are four of my favorite shops that carry wide varieties of wine and have staff who are far more knowledgeable than I:

Mister Wright

Sherrry-Lehmann

Astor Wines

Empire State of Wine

Empire State of Wine Courtesy of Empire State Wine

Happy Holidays – drink up!

Feast of Seven Fishes and Christmas Meal Delivery on the East End

It’s time to celebrate. Here are 9 ways to help you create festive Christmas Eve and Christmas meals without leaving your house.

Ed’s Lobster Bar, Sag Harbor

Ed’s Lobster Bar

If anyone knows what to prepare for a Christmas Eve Feast of Seven Fishes, it’s Ed’s Lobster Bar. The four-course Sag Harbor restaurant includes seafood salad, crab-stuffed mushrooms, baked clams, black squid ink seafood pasta, lobster ravioli and baked cod. Dessert is a holiday fruit tart or chocolate mousse.  Call 631-725-1131 to arrange delivery.

Kissaki, Water Mill

Kissaki

Kissaki’s take on the Feast of Seven Fishes is a Japanese presentation of raw fish. Available for delivery on both Christmas Eve and Christmas, several configurations of the “chef’s choice” omakase menu are offered with futomaki (fat rolled sushi), special nigiri, miso soup and edamame. The sushiya’s delicate matcha red bean, blueberry Earl Grey, and vanilla dulce de leche chiffon cakes make a festive dessert option.

Calissa, Water Mill

Calissa

East End favorite for their homestyle Greek menu and outdoor gyro truck, Calissa has created a Mediterranean-style dinner for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. You’ll receive mezze plates including chicories with fennel, orange and Ricotta Salata; and burrata with grilled bread. A pasta course of tortellini in brodo and tagliatelle Bolognese precedes an entree of either suckling pig porchetta or grilled Spanish bronzino, both with sides of fingerling potatoes and broccoli.

T-Bar Southampton

T-Bar

You can order delivery from popular Manhattan import, T-Bar, for both Christmas and Christmas Eve. Start light with a thin-crust pizza, the restaurant’s famous meatballs, or a Caesar salad. Your second course might be a tiger shrimp cocktail, seared Spanish octopus or the popular yellowfin tuna tartare. For your main, T-Bar goes seafood traditional with Chilean sea bass or a chopped salad with add-on shrimp or salmon. Chicken and steakhouse choices include sweet & sour chicken Milanese, Parmesan-roasted free range chicken, prime aged Angus burger, Filet Mignon, NY strip or porterhouse for two. A variety of sides and desserts include the must-have tiramisu.

Elegant Affairs

Elegant Affairs

For a riff on the Christmas Eve “Feast of Seven Fishes”, Elegant Affairs Caterers has a one-and-done meal kit. You’ll celebrate the more than 220-year-old tradition with small courses including baked clams oreganata, lemon calamari, shrimp seafood salad, jumbo shrimp cocktail and mini crab cakes; and entrees such as herb-crusted sea bass, roasted salmon, pesto-crusted salmon, shrimp scampi and shrimp Française.  If you prefer to customize your own Christmas and Christmas Eve meals with non-seafood items as well, Elegant Affairs has more than 56 holiday dishes to choose from, from cheeses to desserts including a decadent flourless chocolate cake and cookies for Santa.

Planning a party instead of a formal dinner?  Order Elegant Affairs’ “Holiday Cocktail Party in a Box.” You’ll have everything you need to entertain your bubble, except for the drinks. The menu is one of the best I’ve seen:  individual antipasto and crudité bowls, guacamole parfaits and shrimp cocktails are designed for safe, contactless dining. Similarly, the mains are portioned for one, with mini filet mignon and turkey croissants, fennel sausage focaccia pizza, Kobe beef franks and sirloin sliders. Individual holiday parfaits with chocolate mousse and peppermint add a sweet finish.

Little Ram Oyster Company and Chronicle Wines

Little Ram Oyster Company

Oyster lovers, this one’s for you. Two women-only purveyors have assembled the ingredients for a DIY oyster-centric “Feast of Seven Fishes.”  The North Fork’s Little Ram Oyster Company and Chronicle Wines bring you a meal kit with wine pairings, all with locally sourced ingredients and vintages. The included recipe book will help you compose each dish. Oysters come shucked, although a shucking knife is included as a back-up. Each course is paired with a wine from The Feast of the Seven Fishes Wine Kit’s Saltbird Cellars, Brooklyn Oenology and As If Wines vineyards. Get ready for an oyster indulgence: your dinner menu includes oysters on the half shell, fluke crudo, clam chowder latkes, Shinnecock sea scallops, oyster and garlic linguine, grilled shrimp, all with appropriate sauces and accompaniments. The finishing touch?  Oyster ice cream, of course.

Baldor Specialty Foods, Great Performances and Parcelle Wines

Baldor Specialty Foods

Baldor Specialty Foods has partnered with Great Performances and Parcelle Wines to create a Christmas Eve and Christmas dinner to remember. With a delivery minimum of $100, you can order any number of Great Performance’s dinner packages and à la carte options. If your image of the holiday tends towards the classic, the roasted chicken holiday dinner has your name on it, with cider-glazed Brussels sprouts; potato, red beet, turnip and Gruyère gratin; and a spiced citrus cake with brown-butter glaze and candied orange zest. You can also create a bespoke feast from options like chestnut and green apple soup or a holiday salad, with mains like roast pork or red wine braised short ribs. With dishes like these, there’s no need to cook! Your beverage choices have been curated, too, by Parcelle’s team of sommeliers and come in three-packs to mix-and-match if you wish. Perfect for one of the heartier meals, you might choose an earthy trio of Cabernet Franc, Barolo and Côtes Du Rhône, or go sparkly with Champagne, prosecco or sparkling rosé. Order through Baldor Specialty Foods.

Ottomanelli & Sons

Ottomanelli & Sons

Want to create your dinner entirely your way? Ottomanelli & Sons will deliver a fabulous steak assortment package, wild game sausages, burgers, skewers and more to your door.

Where to Get Your Christmas Eve and Christmas Meals in the Hamptons

Restaurant and takeout/delivery options in The Hamptons and North Fork of Long Island offer a variety of dining options for this year’s unusual Christmas holiday.

The Halyard

On Christmas Eve, The Halyard at Sound View Greenport will be open for waterfront dining, meals to-go and room service. Reservations are required for seating in the airy dining room overlooking the Long Island Sound. Chef Stephan Bogardus will serve up a seasonal menu with locally sourced produce including Hamptons favorites like New England clam chowder, seared Hudson Valley foie gras and hamachi sashimi, Shinnecock sea scallops and grilled Montauk monkfish. Chef’s Christmas eve special is a decadent white truffle and lobster tagliatelle dish with a 1½ pound lobster (out of the shell), hand-cut pasts and tableside Alba truffles.

Kissaki

Kissaki, the New York City Japanese favorite, is open for delivery from its Water Mill location on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The” chef’s choice” omakase menu takes sushi to a new level with futomaki (fat rolled sushi) and nigiri (individual pieces) creatively designed and topped to enhance and surprise. A variety of sets are available with each including miso soup and edamame as well. The sushiya’s delicate chiffon cakes make a festive dessert option. Choose from matcha red bean with layers of sweetened red bean and matcha whipped cream, blueberry Earl Grey with layers of Earl Grey-infused whipped cream balanced with sweet blueberries, and Kissaki’s signature vanilla dulce de leche with whipped cream and Biscoff cookie crumbles.

Baron’s Cove

Baron’s Cove Chef Nick Vogel has created special culinary event on Christmas weekend from December 24-27. The decked-out Sag Harbor inn is filled with festivity from the climbing Santa Claus’s on the exterior to the cozy lobby with its welcoming fireplace. The weekend stay/dine package of culinary delights features local dishes with Christmas treats. With scheduled meals hosted by Chef Nick, breakfast, lunch and two dinners are included, including an elaborate multi-course Chef’s Table dinner using ingredients from the restaurant’s farm and artisan partnerships across the East End. Menus are subject to whatever is “of the moment, “ designed to ensure a distinctive experience that reflects both chef proclivities and the bounty of the Hamptons rich location.

Main Street Tavern

For a more casual experience, Main Street Tavern in Amagansett invites guests to reserve Christmas Eve at the new restaurant. For Christmas Day itself, you can order the tavern’s “oven ready” meals, food and drink pairings, and new desserts are available for pickup any day including their popular Shepherd’s Pie, ribs and wings, lasagna and pastas. For the holidays, they have introduced new desserts to their already robust menu with lemon and chocolate tarts, carrot cake, apple crumble, sticky toffee pudding and ice cream pints. The restaurant is open for dining on Christmas Eve if you don’t feel like “cooking.”

Topping Rose House

At Topping Rose House in Bridgehampton, Christmas diners will enjoy a luxurious three-course feast from Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Choose from six appetizers on the prix fixe menu including Jean-Georges’ signature tuna tartare with avocado, spicy radish and ginger dressing or his acclaimed crispy salmon sushi served with chipotle mayonnaise and soy glaze. A choice of entree takes advantage of the inn’s prime location near the ocean and farms, offering roasted black sea bass, parmesan-crusted organic chicken and vegetarian roasted cauliflower with cous cous and turmeric tahini sauce. Dessert is Chef’s signature Buche de Noel, a chocolatey confection served only on Christmas. If you don’t like chocolate, you’ll have other choices, too.

The 1770 House Restaurant & Inn

The 1770 House Restaurant & Inn in East Hampton has created a holiday feast for home celebration. Order by December 19 for pickup on December 23 or 24. Designed for four-six people, entrees and sides are ready-to-cook and come with preparation instructions. The traditional meal includes a choice of beef tenderloin roast, Berkshires pork rib roast, leg of Australian lamb or Long Island dark as mains. All include root vegetable gratin, creamed spinach, truffled pasta cacio e pepe and French green beans. The dessert choices are Hamptons all the way – either Tate’s chocolate chip pie or 1170 House sticky toffee date cake. And everyone gets caramel popcorn.

Elegant Affairs

Elegant Affairs can create a very personalized Christmas dinner with more than 56 appetizers, entrees, sides and desserts, all for delivery for parties of 3-4 or 8-10 on December 23 and 24. Possibilities include giving your holiday feast an Italian theme with baked clams oreganata and fennel sausage Stromboli loaf . Then switch to something more traditional with bourbon-glazed ham or whole roasted turkey, or stay Italian with shrimp scampi or Nona’s meatballs marinara. Add cranberry citrus compote and creamy Long Island corn pudding for regional flair. Elegant Affairs’ desserts will be the highlight with their beyond adorable Santa hat cupcakes, cheesecake lollipops, or Santa cake.

Christmas House Long Island

Christmas House Long Island is a first-ever sweet-tooth experience in Riverhead, Christmas House combines a bakery wonderland with an immersive Christmas setting for the entire family. The attraction has cakes to brighten the holidays, gingerbread and cookies to munch on, and rooms curated by Hollywood set designers using lighting and theatrical effects that bring to life the sights, characters and traditions of Christmas. Cake Walk is a must-visit with its playful array of purchasable 3D cakes designed by Andy Cakes, New York City artist-turned- cakemaster.

Touring the North Fork and the Hamptons Wine Trails

It’s a beautiful time to be outdoors, and the vineyards of The North Fork and the Hamptons in New York offer the perfect opportunity for socially distant enjoyment. The vineyards are open for tastings, some by reservation only, and some still offering outdoor seating. The selection of whites, reds and rosés varies, and each has some limited-edition wines on offer. If you discover a new favorite, I advise you to buy some bottles to take home.

The North Fork

Croteaux

Croteaux

For a touch of romance, Croteaux will transport you to Provence in an instant. Off the main drag, away from the other vineyards lining the route from Riverhead to Greenport, Croteaux is a smaller oasis with beautiful grounds and a very private setting for enjoying rosés and nibbles. Rosé is all they produce here, and you can get a flight ranging from white rosé to sparkling that will open your eyes and taste buds to more rosé nuances than you might have known. Tables in the romantic garden are set next to small open-air salon-like rooms and the Tasting Barn.

Kontakosta

Kontakosta

The North Fork’s only waterfront vineyard and one of the area’s most exclusive sits a ways off the main Wine Trail as well. Requiring reservations and an initial booking fee, Kontakosta is in its own league when it comes to vineyards. At the moment, no tastings are available so you’ll need to purchase a bottle, which, together with the price of a glass, can be rather pricy. But, as the adage goes, you get what you pay for. Kontakosta’s white Anemometer  is a crisp blend of viognier and chardonnay that’s perfect with the area’s seafood and befits its maritime location. The setting is gorgeous, you’ll be socially distanced, and where else can you sip your wine and have a view of the bluffs of Long Island Sound?

RGNY

RGNY

The Rivero González family and winemaker Lilia Perez of RGNY have their birth roots in Mexico but their winemaking firmly planted in the North Fork. Set in Riverhead on an expansive plot of land, RGNY offers an exciting option for those looking to expand their wine knowledge. Wines include white merlot, cabernet franc, pinot noir and viognier. But here you’ll find that the tastes and textures might be a bit different from what you know. The pinot noir and cabernet franc, for instance, are unfiltered, creating a nose, color and body that isn’t the expected. Live music is presented outdoors in warmer weather and provides a lively accompaniment for enjoying the vineyard’s artisanal charcuterie and cheese plates. Look for new vintages to come as Perez takes her Bordeaux training and Mexican heritage and mixes it with the terroir of the North Fork to create orange wines in amphora and more.

Pindar Vineyards

Pindar Vineyards

Now in its 40th year, Pindar Vineyards is quite an entity with acres of vineyards and a tasting room and outdoor area as expansive as you’ll find on the North Fork.  Long Island’s most well-known wine producer, Pindar is family-owned and overseen by

Barbara and Pindar Damianos, keeping alive the vision and traditions begun by Barbara’s husband Dan Damianos. As with Duck Walk, labels on Pindar vintages are works of art, and you should spend some time perusing the bottles and cans (yes, they have wine in cans!) as you decide what to sample. The knowledgeable servers will arrange a tasting for you with a range of the vineyard’s whites, reds and rosés.  Ask for recommendations — Pindar grows 17 varieties of grapes, producing some 23 varietals and proprietary blends. On warm weekends, live music will entertain you and there is often an outdoor stand with oysters on the half. A third part of the Pindar empire, Jason’s Vineyard, a few miles away, offers a more intimate setting.

Bedell Cellars

Bedell Cellars

Bedell has matured over its 40 years into a lovely setting for enjoying its red, white and rosé wines. The well-orchestrated vineyard allows small pets so you can bring the extended family to enjoy the gorgeous outdoor setting with live music on select weekends. Popular features are the vineyard’s First Crush wines made with young vines, contrasting with older vintages like the prized oak-aged Musée 2014 (with a label by  Chuck Close) and the 2018 petit verdot. Bedell’s albariño pairs perfectly with their charcuterie and cheese plates. In cooler times, the vineyard’s expansive deck is a welcoming space for tastings and small bites.

The Hamptons

Wölffer Estate Vineyard

Wölffer Estate Vineyard

The premier vineyard on the South Fork, Wölffer Estate Vineyard is a formal affair overseen by winemaker Roman Roth. Thanks to its gorgeous estate, terrace and acres of vineyards, you might think you’ve arrived under the Tuscan sun. The vineyard produces whites, reds, and rosés from its vineyards just a few miles from the Atlantic Ocean. Tastings are offered outdoors, weather permitting, with reservations. A drive-through rosé truck sells the Wolffer’s pretty Summer in a Bottle and is also located at the vineyard’s casual Wine Stand. You can schedule private tours of the vineyards through the Wine Stand with a small-bite and wine tasting included. Adding to its repertoire, Wölffer also makes ciders and a surprising gin.

Duck Walk Vineyards

Duck Walk Vineyard

With an unobstructed view of the Parrish Museum, Duck Walk Vineyards’ Water Mill location offers a serene alternative to its busier North Fork counterpart. The smaller vineyard is an intimate setting for taking in the beautiful artwork on the labels and the gorgeous landscape while enjoying a tasting of reds, whites and rosés. The family-owned winery is part of the Pindar group. If you time it right, an outdoor seat will let you hear the rehearsals for the Parrish’s Friday night jazz. In warmer months, Duck Walk Hampton and Duck Walk North both present live music, too, on weekends.

Six Farms for October Fun within Driving Distance of NYC

Oh, wonderful October. It’s the time for pumpkin patches, Oktoberfest, the inevitable corn maze, and, for the family, apple picking and hayrides. With trick or treating still under discussion and venues opening and closing with changing rules and regulations, it’s a good idea to call before you go anywhere during this unusual year. If possible, try to book an event with your own pod so you can enjoy a masked experience without the worry of stranger social distancing.

Riamede Farm

NEW JERSEY

Two farms in Morris County, New Jersey invite you to their farms this month, a mere 80-minute drive from New York City.

You can book a private wagon ride at Riamede Farm in Chester, New Jersey weekdays in October for a tour of the farm’s pumpkin patches and apple orchards. If you prefer to meander on your own, the farm is open to visitors on weekends as well and you can grab some pumpkins and gourds to decorate your home. A Farm Pass is required for entry and must be purchased in advance.

Riamede Farm

122 Oakdale Road, Chester, NJ; 908-879-5353 www.riamede.com

Alstede Farms goes maze crazy this October with a sunflower maze, evergreen maze and a corn maze, all designed to drive you just a bit crazy while soaking up the crisp fall air. You can pick your own apples or opt for a tractor-drawn wagon ride, too. If you’re starved for something to do at night, they even have an evening hayride on weekends. Live music follows by the bonfire with hot apple cider, food, wine, and s’mores kits to refresh.  Book tickets in advance online.

Alstede Farms

1 Alstede Farms Lane, Chester, NJ; 908-879-7189 www.alstedefarms.com

LONG ISLAND

The North Fork of Long Island turns October into a musical event at Harbes Family Farm. Just an hour and half from New York City, the Mattituck farm treats you to scenic hayrides complete with singing. Weekend activities add pig races and a family favorite, the Barnyard Adventure area with farm animals, sport zones and mazes. Ticket information is available online.

Harbes Family Farm

715 Sound Ave, Mattituck, NY; 631-298-0800 www.harbesfamilyfarm.com

In the Hamptons (the South Fork of Long Island), Water Mill is where you’ll find expansive Hank’s Pumpkin Town. You’ll know it immediately by the cars parked on either side of the road. It’s open daily and no reservations are required so be prepared for crowds and waits. You’ll find the usual family-friendly activities here: pumpkin picking, corn mazes, tractor train rides, and mega slides for the kids. After all that fun, your reward is Hank’s yummy Fall for Y’All hot apple cider topped with whipped cream, a caramel drizzle, and an apple cider donut, served in a take-home souvenir mug.

Hank’s Pumpkin Town

Hank’s Pumpkin Town

249 Montauk Highway, Water Mill, NY; www.hankspumpkintown.com

NEW YORK CITY

Yes, there are farms in New York City.

The historic Queens Country Farm Museum in Floral Park, Queens offers weekend activities throughout October. The farm, owned by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, dates back to 1697 and occupies New York City’s largest remaining tract of undisturbed farmland. Plan a visit to go pumpkin picking or navigate a maze, or hop on a hayride. The farm’s Amazing Maize Maze is designed in the shape of Van Gogh’s famous sunflower. Schedule the October 24 nighttime experience online  — the maze books out quickly.

Queens Country Farm Museum

73-50 Little Neck Parkway, Queens; 718-347-3276 www.queensfarm.org

An officially designated historic landmark, Decker Farm in Springville, Staten Island is New York City’s oldest continuously working family-style farm. 220 years young, the farm is a joy to visit during October with hayrides for the family that meander past costumed artisans performing 19th-century trades. For those willing to try some new-fangled activities, the farm lets you sign up for three tries of pumpkin chucking.  Purchase a timed-entry ticket for a weekend visit online.

Decker Farm

435 Richmond Hill Road, Staten Island, 917-887-0482 https://www.historicrichmondtown.org/deckerfarm

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