wineryYou can find plenty to keep you entertained in NYC, but in case you want a little less concrete jungle, consider spending a day touring Long Island wineries. Let Empire Rent A Car reserve you just the right car or minivan rental to fit you and your friends, and then take a day to explore the wineries and taste the local blends. Long Island has more wineries than you can visit in one day, so we recommend that you rent a car and visit two or three that really appeal to you. Here are a few of the top-rated Long Island wineries, featured by Wine Spectator.

Bedell Cellars

You will definitely want to rent a car for this excursion because the winery is located in Cutchogue, NY, which is just under a two-hour drive from New York City. But it’s well worth it. Bedell Cellars has a fantastic modern tasting room where you can sample Chardonnay, Merlot, rosé, and other blends while enjoying their collection of contemporary art on display. On the weekends, you may also be able to take a picnic lunch or enjoy live music at the pavilion.

Palmer Vineyards

Founded in 1983, Palmer Vineyards is one of the largest wineries on Long Island’s North Fork. With over 100 acres, you have plenty of grounds to enjoy. Many guests take the self-guided tour, enjoy a picnic lunch, and then spend some time in the tasting room. Some of their staple wines include Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Gewürztraminer, and Merlot. By car, you can reach Palmer Vineyards in about an hour and a half. It’s also not too far from Bedell Cellars in case you were hoping to visit both tasting rooms on the same day.

Channing Daughters Winery

Located in the Hamptons, the Channing Daughters Winery is known for having the area’s most diverse wine collection, including both reds and whites as well as some experimental blends. Another key feature of this winery is the eclectic sculptures throughout the grounds. From Empire’s Long Island location, you can expect about a two-hour drive from New York City to the Channing Daughters Winery in Bridgehampton, NY.

Raphael

When you visit Raphael, you don’t forget it. This winery is memorable not only for its sheer size, but also how it’s been constructed to resemble a villa in Tuscany. The owner takes great pride in producing a Long Island Merlot, so you will want to be sure to try it while you’re there. The tasting room offers both a la carte and by the glass options, and you can also take tours of the grounds, tank room, and barrel cellar.

We recommend that you check each winery’s website prior to visiting because you may need to make advance reservations for your group. When you’re ready to rent a car, contact Empire’s office on Long Island at (718) 482-9797, or use our online reservation system. We’ll help you find just the right rental for you to enjoy a day at Long Island’s vineyards.

photo credit: Amongst Grapes via photopin (license)