A bill sponsored by New York State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle that extends the North Fork Wine Trail has passed the New York State Senate.
“The North Fork Wine Trail has been extremely successful in helping Suffolk County wineries attract customers,” Senator LaValle said. “The designation has been successful for the existing wineries and this extension will allow new wineries to also participate in the North Fork Wine Trail. More than a million wine lovers and tourists visit East End wineries each year,” Senator LaValle said.
According to the bill: … the North Fork Wine Trail will … begin at exit 71 the Long Island Expressway (LIE), then proceed easterly along State Route 24 to its intersection with County Route 105, then northerly along County Route 105 to its intersection with Route 25, easterly along Route 25 to the intersection of Route 48 and Route 25, then easterly along Route 25 to its eastern terminus and westerly along county Route 48 (alternatively known as North Road, Middle Road, Sound Avenue) from its eastern terminus to its intersection with Edwards Avenue, and then south along Edwards Avenue to its intersection with the LIE, shall be designated and known as the "North Fork Wine Trail".
The bill will now be sent to the Assembly.
• Long Island is the youngest and fastest growing wine region in New York.
• First winery established in 1973.
• There are three AVAs (American Viticultural Areas): The Hamptons, The North Fork, and Long Island, established in 1984, 1985, and 2000, respectively.
• There are over 50 wine producers on Long Island, with most offering tours and tastings.
• Long Island produces over 500,000 cases of wine annually.
• Number of acres planted in 1973: 17
• Number of acres planted in 2004: approx. 3,000
• Long Island’s vineyard acreage is devoted to the production of premium vinifera wine grapes.
• The most popular red varietals include Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc, often used together for hand-crafted blends. The most popular white varietals include Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Riesling.
• Grape growing on the East End benefits from a long growing season, maritime climate, moderate
temperatures, and good soil conditions.
• Annual number of visitors to East End wineries: 1,200,000
*source: Long Island Wine Council