We visited many wineries on Long Island when I lived there with my first husband, Dan, and also in Upstate New York. Can’t remember the names, but they were always a wonderful experience! My favorite trips were out east.
The drive out on the Island or to Upstate were so pleasurable. It was usually in the Autumn, close to Thanksgiving Day, and the leaves still had their beautiful, colorful leaves; although, many were already on the ground.
I loved driving out east, from our home in Hicksville. It was a great “get-away;” the air was cool and clean. We would stop occasionally, get out of the car, to view a lovely farm scene with their silos and weather-worn red barns. Barns were always red. It felt so good to take a deep breath of that delicious air which was a mixture of sea, farms, animals, and flora; then spiced with an addition of burning leaves.
It was a time when there was a sudden growth of wineries on that very long, narrow strip of land. Was it a fad, or was it a viable industry? Evidently, some entrepreneurs found the earth mixed with sand to be a friendly, welcoming mixture for wine grape vines. I don’t know much about different types of grapes; I can only assume there would be certain types of grapes that would thrive in that soil mixture, better than other types.
The wine-tastings were exceptional. The tours were very interesting and educational. We were given a look into the beginnings of the now popular and excellent wineries that were in the midst of research and experimentation in that young industry.
I remember the owners of one winery in particular, who were very excited and proud of their new business. They welcomed all visitors to their “baby” in a small, original old farm building. It was very rustic. The owners were exceptionally excited about their complete stainless steel “casks,” which were installed in a large, concrete building. This was the “ultra” line of machines at the time. These people were modern, forward-thinking investors. There were gauges and valves all over these behemoths. Dan and I were impressed with the cleanliness of the building as well. After tasting their first “batch,” we knew they had something special going on, and of course, we bought some.
Some of the wineries were so new, that they had just started planting their grape vines, and had to wait for several years for their vines to mature in order to produce, what they hoped were, excellent grapes. Dan and I felt so enthused with excitement for these courageous people, and we felt privileged to know that “we were there” at the start of this tremendous undertaking for Long Island wineries.