North Fork

August 08, 2016

Last week, we set up our out of office autoresponders, piled into a bus and headed out to North Fork. This peninsula on Long Island is home to a number of wineries, and we were excited to get a tour of Shinn Estate. Founded by Barbara Shinn and David Page in 1998, Shinn Estate includes 25 acres of vineyards that are farmed holistically using natural winemaking techniques.

When we arrived, Barbara gave us a tour of the vineyard itself, and it was quickly clear how passionate she is for her grapevines. Barbara spoke about treating the vines as well as the ecosystem around the vines with respect. She does not use any pesticides on her grapevines and instead promotes a healthy ecosystem teeming with beneficial insects, pollinators and more. Then we headed in for lunch and a wine tasting. Barbara and David had prepared a beautiful spread for our team. We enjoyed fresh local fare while David walked us through the wines we would be tasting: a sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, merlot and cabernet franc. Interested in giving these wines a try but can't make it out to the winery? You can purchase bottles through their website here.

After the tasting, we piled back into the bus and made our way up to Greenport to visit with Mike and Isbael Osinski, the founders of Widow's Hole Oysters. Mike and Isabel fell into oyster farming in the early 2000s. After getting a fine for dock repairs, the couple realized that they actually owned the rights to part of the water adjacent to their home. Mike, who had recently retired, was itching for a hobby and decided to take up oyster harvesting. He and his wife have been busy ever since. Mike showed us where the oysters are grown and what they look like throughout their development. Then he walked us over to his porch where he and his wife shucked oysters for us to try. Enjoying a few briney oysters straight from the waters where they were harvested was the perfect end to our field trip. And if you've dined in New York City it's likely you've tried Widow's Hole Oysters too! He sells to fine dining restaurants like Le Bernadin and Balthazar.

Special thanks to Shinn Estate Vineyards and Widow's Hole Oysters for having us!