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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Wine Tasting in the North Fork

Recently GiltCity.com had a deal on Hampton Luxury Liner Long Island Music and Wine Tour. It was 59% off the regular price of $175 per person and so my friend and I could not pass it up. The tour includes visits to three well known Long Island Wine Country Vineyards; Pindar Vineyard, Duck Walk Vineyard, and Baiting Hollow Farm Vineyard.

My friend and I went on the tour this past Sunday (last day of the GiltCity deal). Lucky for us we got great mild weather for mid March. I'm sure as it gets further into spring and summer the tour will be nicer as the vineyards will be in full blossom and more picturesque.

The bus picked us up on Lexington Avenue between 46th and 47th Streets at 9:30am. The tour included "breakfast on the coach" which translates into egg and cheese sandwiches, apples, juice/water/soft drinks, and a variety of chips. The bus is very comfortable, clean, and equipped with WiFi. Rush Hour the movie shown on the bus; I opted out of watching. A variety of magazines and newspapers are also provided on the bus.

We arrived at Pindar Vineyards at around 11am which included tastings of 5 wines out of about 15 varieties of wine and a complimentary wine glass. The wines are all fairly priced. The staff is not very helpful or informative. The tour is at Pindar for about an hour.

Wine Selection at Pindar Vineyards, LI

Pindar Vineyards - more than 500 acres
Next stop on the tour was Duck Walk Vineyard. Upon arrival I was bit concerned there was only one server for about 50 people on the tour but Connor was awesome and was able to entertain, inform, and pour us 5 tastings while keeping us in smiles. He made the visit to Duck Walk memorable. Also memorable was the Blueberry Port. We were at Duck Walk for about an hour.
 

Baiting Hollow Farm Vineyard was last on our tour and we were there for three hours. We were given three drink tickets for tastings and a stamp which granted us 20% off the wine and gift shop. We were glad this vineyard had food available as we were very hungry by the time we arrived at around 2pm. I was disappointed the food selection was sparse. I opted for the Merlot Meatballs and a Cheese Plate (just okay and slightly over priced. I really wish I had packed my own lunch (as two ladies from our tour had) I'm sure I would have been a lot more satisfied. Baiting Hollow is also a horse and pony rescue and the proceeds from some of the wines support it. At this vineyard is where the "music" part of the tour comes into the picture. I can't say I was impressed/entertained by the music but it was decent background music.
Horses at Baiting Hollow Farm Vineyard
 We were back where we started in NYC by 7pm. All in all we had a very nice day, it was great to get out of the city even if just for a short while. This tour is very good if you have never been to Long Island Wine Country and if you can find a deal on the price it is a must! 


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