Long Island's maritime climate and its unique glacial soils form the key natural components of our terroir. Our long, warm summers are tempered by cooling breezes off the Long Island Sound and Atlantic Ocean that prevents excessive summer heat. The surrounding water gives off warmth to the East End that extends summer into a mellow fall, allowing us ample time to ripen our fruit well into October and November. It also provides buffering breezes during the winter months, protecting the vineyards and allowing us to be the largest producer of European grapes in the Northeast.
Our climate is characterized by warm summer day temperatures and warm summer night temperatures creating a relatively low diurnal fluctuation and moderate rainfall in each month of the growing season. Nearly every summer contains a stretch of dry weather lasting between 3 to 4 weeks. Our average growing season accumulates between 2,800-3,500 Growing Degree Days (UC Davis system, >50F) depending on the distance of the vineyard site to cooling breezes coming off the Ocean and Sound. The hamlet of Cutchogue, in the heart of the North Fork of Long Island AVA, is considered the sunniest location in New York State, indicating that Long Island wine country has relatively high insolation.
Our moderate climate with plenty of sun allows the East End of Long Island to grow and ripen an array of grape varieties from the most dependable and widely planted duo-Chardonnay and Merlot- to the whites Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Viognier, Gewurztraminer, Pinet Grigio, Gruner Veltliner, Albarino, Chenin Blanc, Semillion,Tocai Friulano, Pinot Blanc, and the reds, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Malbec, Carmenere, Blaufrankisch, Dornfelder, Syrah, and Pinot Noir.