The vineyard that I traveled all the way to was Head of the Harbor, in Long Island. The destination was Harmony Vineyards, a small vineyard with a small selection of wines, it took awhile due to the long train ride but as the scenery changed from the concrete jungle of New York City seeing the natural beauty of Long Island which is rare in New York City. Going to this vineyard was going to be a new adventure for my friends and I but only being 20 this will be a sober day.

We entered the country home that served as both tasting room and lounge. The tasting room was located on the left side of the house, via a partition. On the counter, there were bottles of the house wines, already opened, but sealed, meant for immediate use. The back wall held a window, that allowed you to see a part of the picnic area outside, and the bottom half of the wall held unopened wine bottles. There were three ladies at the tasting room, working as bartenders. One of the ladies was Ms. Nita Simoes, the tasting room manager. As we introduced ourselves, as well as our purpose for coming there, I could tell that their service carried a sense of genuine hospitality. There was nothing forced in our encounter with them, as they made every guest who walked into the tasting room feel welcome.

As we took a space at the table, we were given menus, which contained a section each for small plates, starters, red wines, and white wines. There were far more red wines than white wines from what I noticed. In order to make the best of the situation, we chose to go with the Flight option three vintages for one low price. Luckily for good friends they drank on my behalf and maybe taking a few sips here and there. Some of the wine they drank and was presented to us were 2011 reserve had notes of citrus, fruits, and pineapple on the nose. The wine itself was bright, clear, had low viscosity, and had a yellow tint to it. On the palate, I could taste no acidity, however it did linger. The wine was fruity due to the pineapple was smooth, very refreshing, and contained hints of citrus like a grapefruit as  the dominant citrus taste. The usual food that a white wine would pair well with would apply here, such as a salad, fish like salmon, and my personal favorite: chicken parmesan. The other wine was a 2009 vintage Bordeaux we had near the end of our visit for tasting, but for the sake of chronological order via vintage year, it seems fitting to discuss it now. The wine appeared to have a bright garnet color, medium viscosity, some room variation, causing a light watery red outer rim. The wine had hints of a smoky oak, dark cherries, a slight hint of granite, and citrus fruits. When we tasted it, the wine lingers on the tongue, being slightly dry yet smooth at the same time. The taste is strong, due to the higher level of alcohol, yet is pleasant to the palate. Once again, a grilled steak, or char broiled burger would be a fitting companion to this lovely wine.

Harmony Vineyards has four acres of land, so their production is actually small, with a production of 750 cases a year. Chardonnay is their main focus, as the red grapes that they grow are cabernet franc, sauvignon, and merlot. Harmony Vineyards donates their profits to charity, which they have a list of in the tasting room. Some of the charities include: Stonybrook foundation, pink crop foundation, NYC and Long Island Harvest. The red wines are aged in French oak barrels, while the white wines are aged in stainless steel barrels. Due to the elevation of the vineyard, which happens to be below sea-level, the growing period is shorter, and they use less drying agents due to that.

If there is one thing I will not forget about Harmony Vineyards, it is the picnic area that they have available. There was a group playing live jazz music that day, as well as tables all around the backyard of the house for wine tasting, and a picnic. There is a path that will allow you to walk next to the grape vines, and reaches all the way to the waterfront. We did actually manage to make it all the way to the beach, which could have used some upkeep. The path itself has been marked via the obvious flattened grass from previous visitors. This was an incredibly enjoyable trip for me, and I would definitely return just to buy a few wine bottles.


2 thoughts on “

  1. I completely understood your struggle as I too could not taste the wine so it was a different experience but it’s great that you were still able to be able to learn a lot despite that.

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