07/16/17 6:01am
07/16/2017 6:01 AM

Long Island, with a centuries-long history of farming, has undergone an agricultural revolution in just a few decades, sparked in 1973 by a pair of pioneers in planting grapes for fine wine, Louisa and Alex Hargrave. READ

Featured Story
11/16/16 10:25pm
11/16/2016 10:25 PM


After recent debates over Southold Town Supervisor Scott Russell’s idea for a moratorium on new winery, brewery and distillery development, Mr. Russell and a representative of the Long Island Wine Council spoke at the Mattituck Chamber of Commerce meeting Wednesday night about the proposal. READ

Featured Story
11/03/16 11:00am
11/03/2016 11:00 AM


Southold Town Supervisor Scott Russell has suggested a temporary moratorium on new winery, brewery and distillery applications, saying the town needs time to revamp the “sparse” codes it has for regulating the industries. READ

10/28/16 3:31pm
10/28/2016 3:31 PM

Palmer Vineyards

Southold Town Supervisor Scott Russell has suggested a temporary moratorium on new winery, brewery and distillery applications, saying the town needs time to revamp the “sparse” codes it has for regulating the industries. READ

10/19/15 7:58am
10/19/2015 7:58 AM

grapes vineyard

What do you think of when you hear the term “Long Island wine?”

Does it call to mind supple, sophisticated bottles of cabernet franc and merlot, or a crisp sauvignon blanc that pairs perfectly with oysters harvested from Peconic Bay? Or maybe, for you, Long Island wine is less synonymous with the product itself, but a summer day spent “out east” drinking rosé and laughing with friends?

In the 42 years since Alex and Louisa Hargrave planted the first commercial vineyard in Cutchogue, the industry, like that of any burgeoning wine region, has experienced periods of significant change in both atmosphere and reputation.

And until recently, there has never been a large-scale, unified effort to create a brand.  READ

04/16/14 8:00am
04/16/2014 8:00 AM
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announces new reforms to ease restrictions on farm wineries. (Credit: Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office)

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announces new reforms to ease restrictions on farm wineries. (Credit: Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office)

Local wineries and farm breweries are celebrating recent statewide reforms they say will both reduce the financial burden on the local beverage industry and give them more freedom to sell and distribute their products. (more…)

12/11/13 9:38pm
12/11/2013 9:38 PM
JENNIFER GUSTAVSON FILE PHOTO | Sidor Farms in Cutchogue has received $50,000 from the state to expand its potato chip manufacturing operation.

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON FILE PHOTO | Sidor Farms in Cutchogue has received $50,000 from the state to expand its potato chip manufacturing operation.

The latest round of the New York Regional Economic Development Council awards were announced Wednesday and more than $4 million is coming directly to the North Fork.

A total of $715.9 million in state funds and tax credits were awarded to the 10 regional councils across New York. Long Island is receiving $83 million for a total of 98 projects, the most of any region in the state.

Nine of those projects are on the North Fork.

Below is a list of each of the local projects, the name of the applicant, the state’s description of the project and the amount awarded.

Projects are listed in descending order based on the total number of dollars received.

Town of Riverhead Community Development Agency

Project: EPCAL Sewer Treatment Upgrade

Funding: $1.34 million

Description: Upgrade of Calverton sewage treatment plant from secondary to tertiary treatment, which will provide both economic development and environmental benefits to this regionally significant project site with immediate potential for job creation benefit.

EBDK Research at Calverton 

Project: CARE NY (Calverton Addiction Research and Education Research Center)

Funding: $1 million

Description: CARE NY (Calverton Addiction Research Education), a substance addiction Research Center and a separate Recovery Center, will construct an addiction research and education center at the Calverton Enterprise Park to complement an adjacent proposed treatment center.

Peconic Landing

Project: Special Needs and Acute Rehabilitation Center

Funding: $800,000

Description: This $44 million project is the expansion of dementia care and rehabilitation facility in Greenport.

Long Island Wine Council

Project: Access East End

Funding: $285,000

Description: This program is a multimodal transportation and marketing initiative to generate visitor traffic from the NY metro area, east coast, national and international source markets during off-season and midweek periods. By opening the East End of Long Island to new customers from the NY metro area and other east coast population centers, we expect that this program will draw thousands of new visitors to the region.

Skydive Long Island 

Project: Altitude Express Indoor Skydiving Facility

Funding: $250,000

Description: Altitude Express Inc. will build an indoor skydiving attraction on Long Island which will operate year round. The company anticipates this attraction will draw another 50,000-100,000 visitors to the area annually.

East End Arts Humanities Council

Project: Long Island Winterfest

Funding: $162,000

Description: East End Arts is requesting grant funds to support an expanded marketing strategy and to hire a festival coordinator to support the implementation of a five-year strategic plan toward a goal of growth and sustainability of LIWinterfest: Live on the Vine, an award winning agricultural tourism program designed to generate tourism traffic to the East End of Long Island during the slowest months.

East End Arts Humanities Council

Project: Winterfest Expansion Project

Funding: $99,408

Description: East End Arts will expand marketing strategies and hire a festival coordinator to improve growth and sustainability of its LI Winterfest — an award winning agri-cultural tourism program. The six-week program of live music performances at wineries, theaters and area hotels, along with special promotions at restaurants, hotels, transportation companies and area businesses generates tourism traffic to East End of Long Island during the off-season months.

Sidor Farms 

Project: Business Expansion

Funding: $50,000

Description:  The Cutchogue company will expand its potato chip manufacturing operation and tour facility including a museum on the History of Long Island Potato Farming.

Ultra Motion 

Project: Advanced Manufacturing Skills Program

Funding: $30,000

Description: Ultra Motion LLC of Cutchogue will train six workers in IPC (Institute for Printed Circuits) J-STD-001D Soldering Certification, computer-aided design, inventory control, and supply chain management.

[email protected]

10/08/13 3:30pm
10/08/2013 3:30 PM
RACHEL YOUNG PHOTO | The audience listens as Joan Bischoff of the North Fork Promotional Council leads a forum Oct. 7 for Southold Town business owners on ways to extend the tourism season.

RACHEL YOUNG PHOTO | The audience listens as Joan Bischoff of the North Fork Promotional Council leads a forum Oct. 7 for Southold Town business owners on ways to extend the tourism season.

Southold Town business owners discussed ways to extend the tourism season at a forum hosted Monday evening by the Southold Economic Development Committee and North Fork Promotion Council. 

“It’s the first time since we’ve been in the business of agritourism that I’ve seen so much effort taken to bring people to the East End,” said Joan Bischoff of the North Fork Promotion Council, who led the discussion. “It is time now, I think, that people come to the North Fork, especially in its offseason.”

The forum, which took place at the Peconic Lane Community Center, is part of a major public relations effort and significant advertising campaign for Taste North Fork, a new pilot shuttle bus service to connect wineries, hamlets and local businesses this Veteran’s Day weekend.

The pilot program has been made possible through a portion of a $335,000 “I Love NY” grant that aims to help promote agritourism on the East End, according to the East End Tourism Alliance.

Steven Bate, executive director of the Long Island Wine Council, said during the meeting that he hopes to have shuttle buses run at 45-minute intervals during Veteran’s Day weekend. Plans are still being finalized, he said, but the bus loop is scheduled to run from Riverhead to Greenport. The buses will stop in each hamlet with most of the stops being at local wineries, Mr. Bate said.

“We’re hoping to have buses come by at 45-minute intervals so that people will have time to taste some wine or do an activity, then hop back on the bus,” Mr. Bate said. “We want to promote the fact that there’s a lot going on the North Fork that weekend.”

During the roughly two-hour long discussion, local business owners were asked to weigh in on the planning process for the event and brainstorm activities to make the implementation of the “I Love NY” grant a huge success.

Mr. Bischoff urged the roomful of business owners to band together and coordinate events with one another that help promote business on the North Fork this Veteran’s Day weekend and beyond. He also encouraged them to actively promote their businesses through social media.

“It’s been difficult to get the restaurants to talk to the vineyards, to get Southold business owners to talk to Greenport business owners,” he said. “We have to put that aside a little bit for this event and start thinking as North Forkers,” he said.

Rosemary Batcheller, owner of the Village Cheese Shop on Love Lane in Mattituck, said during the meeting that she and other Love Lane merchants are planning an event called “Taste Love Lane” during Veteran’s Day weekend. They have invited some local farmers to attend, she said, and each individual merchant will run a special promotion.

“If this goes well, and if the money comes back again, I can really envision a beautiful welcoming,” Ms. Batcheller said.

Donielle Cardinale, of Daniel Gale Sotheby’s in Mattituck, addressed the crowd and told them that if the region can attract visitors to come to the North Fork during the fall and winter, every local business will benefit. Ms. Cardinale sits on the boards of three local organizations: the Economic Development Committee, the North Fork Promotion Council and the Mattituck Chamber of Commerce.

“The North Fork is on stage and we need to perform so that we keep the audience coming back,” she said.

[email protected]

10/03/13 8:28am
10/03/2013 8:28 AM

CYNDI MURRAY PHOTO | Farm stands like Barb’s Veggies in Peconic will soon be able to sell local wines.

Wine lovers will soon be able to pick up a bottle of local vino at their nearest farm stand.

Continuing his push to promote New York State vineyards Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed new legislation permitting the sale of wine at roadside farm markets.

“These new laws will build on our continuing efforts to promote New York’s wine industry across the state and beyond, boosting tourism, local economies and job growth,” Governor Cuomo said in a statement.

Mr. Cuomo signed bills last Friday allowing farm stands to sell local wines and creating several new wine trails in upstate New York. They go into effect March 31, 2014.

On the North Fork, which already boasts an established wine trail, the farm markets law allows for sale of wine that is manufactured and produced by up to two licensed farm wineries, special wineries or micro-wineries located within 20 miles of the roadside farm stands, according to the law.

While in 2009 the mere mention of allowing wine sales at supermarkets had liquor store owners furious and scared for their livelihoods, the new law is not drawing the same amount of criticism.

Jim Silver, general manager of Empire State Cellars in Riverhead, said he doesn’t think allowing farm stands to sell local wine would have a negative impact on his business.

“The seasonality of farm stands is so limited that I don’t think it will have an impact,” he said, adding that farm stands are restricted to carrying only two brands of wine and that climate control might cause a storage issue for farmers. “Do I think it’s a good a idea? Yes. Do I think it’s a great idea? No.”

Although the town and the Long Island Wine Council have a long history of disagreeing on wine-related issues, the law is a measure both groups are behind.

“I think it’s a good idea,” Southold Town Supervisor Scott Russell said. “It’s good not just for wineries, but farmers and the people selling produce.”

Steve Bate, the Wine Council executive director, agreed.

“I think it provides a terrific new opportunity for wineries and farm stands to work together to promote the sale of local products,” he said. “This is just the latest example that Governor Cuomo really understands and appreciates the importance of agriculture and agritourism to our state’s economy.”

Mr. Cuomo has spearheaded several initiatives to bolster the wine industry.

In July 2012, the governor signed legislation designed to support New York’s breweries and wineries, as well as increase demand for locally grown farm products and expand industry-related economic development and tourism.

The Empire state is home to nearly 500 wineries, breweries, distilleries and cider mills that account for more than $22 billion in annual total economic impact in the state and support tens of thousands of jobs statewide, the governor’s office said.

The state ranks third in the nation in wine and grape production, has the second-most distilleries and three of the top-producing 20 brewers in the nation, Mr. Cuomo said.

The 2013-14 state budget introduced several new initiatives to help improve the marketing of New York State-produced products, including a total of $7 million for Market New York and Taste NY to support a multifaceted regional marketing plan that will promote regional tourism and New York-produced goods and products.

[email protected]