Who doesn’t love wine?
Tons of emails flooded in when we posted our Harvest Fest Celebration sweepstakes. Win 2 tickets for a day at a Long Island winery and all you have to do is send an email with ‘Wine Lover’ in the subject line. We were thrilled when Mara Leonardi and her husband Chris won and were available to go this past Sunday.
The sun was shining and the air was crisp, so it was a perfect day to grab a sweater and jump on the luxury motor coach heading out east to the town of Laurel. The bus made several stops and picked up pre-booked guests from Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Nassau and Suffolk county.
Our group was greeted by the vineyard staff and we walked through the tasting room to an outdoor deck overlooking the pristine vineyards. We were each handed a delicious chilled, glass of sweet white Moscato and listened to the list of activities for the day.
Mara and Chris spent the day clipping the wine grapes from the vines, touring the wine cellar and participating in the entire winemaking process from grape to bottle. Throughout the day, the wine was flowing and everyone enjoyed award-winning and pre-released vintages.
In the early afternoon a delicious farm-to-table lunch was prepared using the freshest ingredients from the east end by Award Winning chef Tom Schaundel. Everyone enjoyed live music after lunch and in the afternoon there was a tasting with food paring ideas, a barrel rolling contest and time to shop for gifts and wine before we started to head back home. There was one final stop at Briermere Farms in Riverhead.
Briermere’s pies are legendary and there are 30+ different kinds, so it’s hard to choose. Raspberry Peach, Blackberry Apple and Cranberry Pear were some of the unique blends, plus, there lots of traditional favorites including Apple Crisp, Blueberry and Cherry pie. Briermere Farms has been ‘wowing’ east end neighbors and visitors with their pies for over 50+ years and they are still using the original McCombes family recipes.
Mara sent us this shout out within a few hours of arriving home:
‘Many thanks to Nassau Happenings for awarding us tickets to Harvest Fest 2013. I have been on many tours at North Fork wineries, but this day offered a more in-depth experience and insight into the wine-making process. The event was very well-run, we met interesting people, and had fun along the way’.