A day-trip out to Long Island took my friend Jen A and myself to 3 stops: Palmer Vineyards, Baiting Hollow Farms Vineyard, and Long Island Spirits. Palmer was the first stop, and though it felt a bit early to have some wine, somehow we all managed.
Palmer is one of the smallest tasting rooms I've seen--our 2 buses immediately filled the room to overflowing. My friend Jen and I took a seat in a charming little booth and let most of the chaos die down before approaching for our picks.
Palmer is one of the oldest and most-awarded vineyards on Long Island's North Fork. Founded in 1983 by Robert Palmer, Palmer Vineyards sells their wine all across the country--several plaques and ribbons hang over the bar, attesting to the praise and warm reception for their product.
I selected the 2010 Gewurztraminer, the 2008 Cabernet Franc, and the 2010 Rose Merlot. (Left row of drinks, from top down)
Jen chose the 2010 Gewurztraminer and 2008 Cabernet Franc as well, along with the Sunrise/Sunset.
Neither one of us was a fan of the Cabernet Franc, but that's a tough one for us both. If you like your wines smoky, though, this is the pick for you!
We really liked the Gewurztraminer---bright and light and just a touch of sweetness. It was lovely in the beginning, though the finish was different from what I expected. If I were more of an oenophile I could explain this better, I'm sure. ;)
I enjoyed the Rose Merlot--it had a strong aroma and flavor of strawberries, not too sweet, one of my favorite drinks in the hot summer days--this was a winner, too. Light, refreshing, and dry.
Jen let me try a sip of her Sunrise/Sunset wine, and I thought this was a bit sweet, but we both think it would make a nice dessert wine, perhaps a perfect pairing with some chocolate-covered strawberries. Palmer says it's one of their most popular wines and is back by popular demand. It was okay, but I would still take the Gewurz or Rose Merlot first.
To me, the best part to Palmer is its adorable backyard space. There are seats on a covered patio and chairs and picnic tables on the grass, all in the shadow of the rolling vineyards. This would be an excellent spot for a small party, reception, you name it. What a darling setup!
Palmer VineyardsFollow @Lkpnyc
5120 Sound Avenue
Riverhead, NY 11901