It seems that lately there is always something new and fun happening on the North Fork of Long Island, but I am particularly thrilled when it happens near Shorecrest B&B and is so convenient for my guests to enjoy. The particular something I am talking about is Kontokosta Winery, a new vineyard and winery that opened just down the road and is one of the first to open on the Sound. It’s only 2.8 miles away or a quick four minute drive from Shorecrest.
I was enchanted the minute I turned off the North road and drove up the long driveway that cuts through the center of the vineyard. It reminded me of the approach to an ancient French chateaux. The exterior was reminiscent of an east end barn, with inviting large red entry doors and is the work of architects Tom Samuels and Nancy Steelman, the husband-and-wife team behind Samuels & Steelman Architects, who managed to get a rural barn feel from the outside and create a Soho urban loft vibe on the inside. The building is perched in a unique position, high on the cliffs with the large glass windows overlooking the Long Island Sound to the north and the vineyard to the south.
What impressed me most when entering the winery was the long farmhouse style tables, they were completely covered with copper which gave them a distinctly modern twist. The place had a comfortable, yet industrial feel. The main tasting bar was a polished slate. A slate patio facing the sound enables you to take in the breath taking view while enjoying wine alfresco or if you prefer, there’s exterior seating with vineyard views on the other side of the building. A large second floor open loft area has seating and even more amazing views, but is open only to wine club members who can reserve the area for private parties or tastings. Since it was a slow day and the area was empty, our host allowed us to go up and take a look around. I couldn’t help but imagine how much fun could be had by Shorecrest guests who booked a stay and scheduled a party in this room! I think I might do it myself! My friends and I were enjoying ourselves so much we lingered past closing time, but instead of being shooed away, our host started playing Gershwin tunes on the piano. It was the perfect ending to a terrific afternoon.
Although the winery is new and wines are relatively young, the reds were delicious with a full body and depth. It is also a member of L.I. Sustainable Wines touting a green building, wind energy, xeriscaping and an organic community garden that supports local non-profits. Their website doesn’t have much on it, but their Facebook page is kept current with lots of interesting information and events. –Can’t wait to hear what my guests have to say about this interesting new winery.
A few months later on Feb. 23, I attended a benefit for the talented and loved chef Gerry Hayden, from North Fork Table and Inn who was diagnosed with ALS in 2011, hosted by Knotokosta and Slow Food East End. Great food was provided by chefs from all over the east end at the sold out event and it was quite inspiring to see so many of Gerry and his wife Claudia’s peers and colleagues in the restaurant world come together for him.