07/13/17 6:00am
07/13/2017 6:00 AM

Visitors to the North Fork will soon have another way of traveling among their favorite shops, restaurants and wineries as a North Fork trolley service is set to begin on Sept. 2.

The fall service, which will run until November, will act as a pilot program and organizers will adjust the service based on user response. An official launch is expected for spring 2018.

Those who wish to use the service will pay $10 for a bracelet which allows them to ride for the day. One trolley can fit about 30 people. READ

01/25/15 10:00am
01/25/2015 10:00 AM
The North Fork Promotion Council kiosk in Laurel. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

The North Fork Promotion Council kiosk in Laurel. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

More than 6,000 visitors stopped by The North Fork Promotion Council’s two information kiosks in Laurel and Greenport in 2014. The nonprofit organization launched a new activities website last year and it will have a presence at the New York Times Travel Show at the Jacob Javits Center in Manhattan this weekend.

But it hasn’t gone far enough in its mission to market this region to those with disposable income living in New York City and beyond, according to members at the organization’s annual meeting on Wednesday evening. (more…)

12/19/14 2:00pm
12/19/2014 2:00 PM
Joan Bischoff, kneeling in the center, at a North Fork Promotion Council event at Town Hall. (Credit: Cyndi Murray)

Joan Bischoff, kneeling and wearing red pants, outside Town Hall in May. (Credit: Cyndi Murray, file)

The North Fork Promotion Council is looking for a new president in 2015.

Joan Bischoff announced plans to step aside in the New Year after serving four years as the group’s president, a volunteer role. (more…)

10/22/13 5:00pm
10/22/2013 5:00 PM

CARRIE MILLER PHOTO | Taste North Fork shuttle bus stops are now scheduled for 25 locations during Veteran’s Day weekend.

With less than a month to go, details of the first-ever Taste North Fork festival are falling into place with more than 50 local wineries, restaurants, hotels and shops signing up to participate.

On Tuesday, Hampton Jitney released the official list of more than 20 stops (see below) the free shuttles it will be making on Veteran’s Day weekend.

The three-day event will feature a full range of activities celebrating local wines and foods across the region. Wineries, as well as local breweries and distilleries, will be invited to offer special tasting menus paired with foods from local restaurants.

The buses will run in a loop between Riverhead and Greenport. There will also be feeder buses from the Cross Sound Ferry and Long Island Rail Road. Stops will be made at each location approximately every 45 minutes during business hours.

The pilot program is being made possible through a portion of a $335,000 “I Love NY” grant, aiming to help promote agritourism on the East End. Since the East End Tourism Alliance, Long Island Wine Council and North Fork Promotion Council unveiled the plan in August the event has received an overwhelming response from local businesses and town officials, organizers said.

Southold, Greenport and Mattituck have all signed on to host their own “mini-festivals” in honor of Taste North Fork through the holiday weekend.

North Fork Promotion Council president Joan Bischoff said he hopes the shuttle program can continue next year for the entire summer season.

“We have to make sure it’s not a bridge to nowhere,” he said. “We would like some sort of annual event in the slow season to bring in tourists.”

The list of stops are as follows:

Baiting Hollow Farm Vineyard

Bedell Cellars

Castello di Borghese

Clovis Point

Coffee Pot Cellars

Duck Walk Vineyards

Jamesport Vineyards

Jason’s Vineyard

Kontokosta Winery

Macari

Osprey’s Dominion

Palmer Vineyards

Pellegrini Vineyards

Pindar

Raphael

RoanokeVineyards

Sannino Bella Vita Vineyards

Sherwood House Vineyards

Sparkling Pointe

Waters Crest Winery

LI Spirits Craft Distillery

Greenport

Southold

Mattituck

Orient Point (Cross Island Ferry connection)

[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]

08/19/13 8:00am
08/19/2013 8:00 AM

Jitney

The North Fork wine trail attracts thousands of visitors each weekend. With dozens of vineyards to choose from, getting to each one – especially after the bottles have been uncorked – takes planning.

To help take the guess work out and get people to their destination safely, the East End Tourism Alliance and North Fork Promotion Council are launching a pilot shuttle bus service to connect wineries this Veterans Day Weekend.

The pilot program is being made possible through a portion of a  “I Love NY” $300,000 grant, aiming to help promote agritourism in Suffolk County, according to Steven Bate, executive director of the Long Island Wine Council.

“The real transformative part of the project is to test out the feasibility of a free shuttle bus to facilitate tourist access for the huge New York metro population without their own cars,” he said.

The buses, which will be provided by Hampton Jitney, will run in a loop between Riverhead and Greenport. There will also be feeder buses from the Orient Point ferry and Long Island Rail Road. Stops will be made at each location approximately every 45 minutes during business hours, Mr. Bate said.

The groups behind the shuttle are currently planning a ‘Taste North Fork” festival to coincide with the pilot program on Veterans Day weekend. The three-day event will feature a full range of activities celebrating local wines and foods across the region, Mr. Bate said. Wineries, as well as local breweries and distilleries, will be invited to offer special tasting menus paired with foods from local restaurants.

Joan Bischoff of the North Fork Promotional Council said that he hopes the shuttle program can continue next year for the entire summer season.

The organizations are also now working with the towns on finalizing the exact shuttle route.

“We are very excited about this opportunity and very grateful to I Love NY for giving us the seed capital to launch what we hope will become an annual event that provides a significant seasonal boost to our local economy,” Mr. Bate said.

[email protected]