The vineyards, beaches, and chic digs for debutante dogs
When the clock strikes 4:00 on a summer Friday, you can be sure to hear some rustling from the next office as colleagues start packing up their things to head to the beach. They may feign a late afternoon meeting, or illness even, but you can bet the bank that they are frantically applying sunblock and tying up their espadrilles the second their feet hit the pavement. New York’s social set is famous for taking summer power weekends in the Hamptons, and more and more, their dogs get to come too.
Cliffside Condominium Resorts, situated on Long Island’s North Fork, plum in the middle of the Hamptons’ wine country, is the perfect getaway if you and your dog are seeking relaxation, great food, and access to all the glory Greenport has to offer. Only a ten minute trip to your favorite forms of recreation, this fantastic resort offers multiple pet-friendly rooms and does not charge an additional pet fee. The resort also goes so far as to offer access to their private beach to people as well as their pets, which more hotels cannot compete with.
The Holiday Inn Express on the North Fork is another pet-friendly option if your go-to travel companion is your pooch. You do, however haves to pay a pet deposits of $50 in case your pup makes a mess, but if you’re dog is a perfect angel, then no worries! The only other catch is that if you’re traveling with more than one dog, you’re going to have to rent more rooms to accommodate the ‘one dog per room’ rule. The Inn does, however, have a pool for you to lounge beside, and a gym so that you can stay in shape while doing the all-you-can-eat free continental breakfast every morning.
North Fork, Long Island: New york’s answer to the Napa Valley
Wine connoisseurs can’t stop talking about the Long Island wineries. Considered by many as the east coast’s answer to Napa Valley, the vineyards are conveniently situated between New York City and the beaches of the Hamptons. Better yet, many of these wineries are even pet friendly!
Located in North Fork, Bedell Cellars is a 30-year old family owned estate winery and vineyard. Old style meets new architecture in this state-of-the-art winery, which is a must see if you are visiting the North Fork area! Bedell Cellars slogan is “3 Vineyards, 2 Tasting Rooms, 1 Winery, World-Class Wines”. Yet, the slogan fails to mention the twenty-three adorable dogs that inhabit the vineyard.
The Bedell Dogs are eight weeks to eleven-years-old and their breeds consist of Golden Retriever, Husky, Boxer, Miniature Dachshund, Pekinese and many more. All of these animals are proudly owned by members of the Bedell Cellars staff. These animals bring laughter and enjoyment to the winery’s atmosphere. They assist in stress relief while making Bedell a comfortable and friendly place to visit.
All of the regal, active and intelligent canines bring a sense of extended family and levity to the vineyard. They enhance the environment for customers, who tend to stay longer and remember the Bedell Cellars the next time they plan to make a trip to a favored winery.
The winery offers tasting tours throughout the apple orchards and vineyards, which even accommodate your own dog! All dogs are welcomed to join their owners through the winery on a fun-filled summer day. Don’t worry, tours are still available when the cold season hits! Warm up in the upper mezzanine, which features a fireplace, viewing windows into barrel cellar rooms, and of course a breathtaking view of the vineyards. For more information on visiting the Bedell Vineyards you can visit their website bedellcellars.com or contact them at (631) 734 – 7537.
For a “Paw N Claw” friendly waterfront experience visit J and S Reeve Cottages! Located right by North Fork, this resort offers pet friendly waterfront vacation rentals perfect for the whole family! Family owned and operated by John and Sandy Reeve, this resort aims to give you and your family the unique experience you long for!
The resort offers cozy country styled cottages, which overlook the great Peconic Bay. Nestled in North Fork, guests have access to dock slips, kayaks, and access to all 5 of the local beaches. This atmosphere is perfect for anyone who is looking for a private, unique getaway. So grab your pooch and get ready to enjoy the tranquility of the three-acre waterfront property has to offer!
Getting out there:
Having trouble getting you and your pooch out to New York’s Gold Coast? No more! You can take the Jitney, one of the most popular means of transportation to the Hamptons, and your dog can tail along for just a small added fee! The extra fee is a small price for the extreme comfort and safety that the Jitney provides you with! The luxury motor service is available 365 days a year to help aid you in your travel needs and get you to where you need to go.
That’s not all Jitney does! They even offer one-day or multi-day tours if you are into sightseeing! The Hampton Jitney can make arrangements for wherever you or your group have planned to go. They take care of everything! For more information on Jitney Transportation you can reach them at (631) 283 4600.
So, grab your pooch, and head on out to Mattituck to spend a little time sampling the better parts of life at Macari Vineyards. Just off of South Avenue, close to the bluffs overlooking the Long Island Sound, sits 300 acres of farmland. Amidst its rolling hills and hollows, there are 150-planted acres of grapes, 13 varieties in all, and all but one from France.
Marci Vineyards offer tours that include tasting some of the most delicious wines available! During the tours you will taste several Macari wines, which are paired with domestic and international cheeses, while overlooking the breathtaking fields that make up the vineyard.
Don’t worry, you will find it easily, even if you don’t see the sign, the architectural splendor of Macari’s, designed by Carlo Dicicco-Vinci, alone will make you want to pull over. It’s exterior provides just a hint of the delicate sophistication you will find throughout Macari’s property. With Florentine archways leading across wooden floors and up to an ample terrazzo counter, the Tuscan spirit glows in the Tasting Room.
Tucked away in the Vineyards is a farm with Texas long horns; integral parts of the wine-making process. The cows produce the fertilizer for the soil, keeping the vineyard eco-friendly and chemical-free. The family also has a steel blue eyed sheepdog, several German Shepards, and a big loveable Saint Bernard named Bacchus, after the Roman god of wine. He looks over each year’s harvest with a keen eye.
Macari is friendly to its animals and to the environment, and all that goodness is passed onto the wines-any oenophile’s dream. So treat yourself well this summer and take a vacation with your pets, they could use a break from the city just as much as you. Macari Vineyards; Bergen Avenue, Mattituck, NY; phone (631) 298 0100; www.macariwines.com
Other gems in Long Island’s wine country are Paumanok Vineards (paumanok.com) and Palmer Vineyards (www.palmervineyards.com).
Passing by Greenpoint?
Love FASHION and STYLE? – New to Greenpoint is LIDO! LIDO is a lifestyle brand, created by college friends Heidi Kelso (founder of HK Media Group) and Fran-Reilly(collector and private dealer), which combines the love of travel, fashion and art. The goal of this company was to create well priced versatile beach wear in beautiful textiles that you can wear anytime of day! This is the go-to place to purchase great resort wear, which you will definitely make a statement in.
LIDO even held a “party” to kick off the summer at their Greenpoint location. This summer soiree welcomed guests by providing wine by Lieb Cellars, cocktails by Qui Tequila and swimwear by Faherty Brand. By traveling the world and handpicking each item they place in the store, this dynamic fashion duo offers one-of-a-kind pieces to add to your summer collection! You can visit the store at 119 Main Street in Greenpoint, NY or contact them at (631) 477 2350.
If you find yourself on the wine circuit on the West Coast, and you’ve got your dog accompanying you, Navarro Vineyards is a ‘must’ to visit. Best known for its Gerwürztraminer and Pinot Noir, this vineyard is set on a 900-acre sheep ranch in Mendocino County, California. A family-operated winery, Navarro has adopted the French cuvée system, where individual lots of wine are blended to create a single wine better than its components. The owners’ goal at Navarro is to create consistent wines that ‘taste of their place.’
Navarro Vineyards offer tours where you can “watch the seasons unfold.” Throughout the entire year they offer tours where you can overlook the magnificent view of the vineyard while tasting their one-of-a-kind wines. You are even welcome to bring your own picnic and enjoy a nice meal at the end of the tour.
Tastings can be done on the premises, and the family cat, Muscat, can assist you with your choices. A true vineyard feline, Muscat insists on imbibing his water from a wine glass. You are sure to meet Simon, too, the Dachshund, who hangs out in the tasting room, that is when he’s not overseeing the year’s harvest-ensuring its excellence from his ‘dachs box,’ attached to the vineyard’s forklift. The tasting room is dog friendly, and good dogs (that is, those who don’t chase Muscat) even get dog biscuits. Check out Navarro at www.navarrowine.com.
That’s the North Fork, but if you crave the glitz of the South Fork, here are some tips for the pet-toting vacationer. Several hotels, owned by the Hamptons Resorts and Hospitality, are both chic and pet friendly! We suggest The Atlantic (1655 County Road 39 (Rte. 27) Southampton, NY 11968 ), The Bentley (161 Hill Station Road, Southampton NY 11968) or The Capri (281 County Road 39 (Rte. 27) Southampton, NY 11968). For reservations at any of the Hamptons Resorts and Hospitality properties, call (631) 283 6100, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now that you have your dog along, you must be aware that beaches do not officially allow dogs in the Hamptons (its at your own risk!) but for a nice stroll with your pooch, try hiking up and down the craggy rocks around Montauk Point. You can even visit the lighthouse museum, but not in the company of your furry friend.
If you are sans pet, but miss your little darling, why not make a pit stop at the Animal Farm Petting Zoo (296 Wading River Road in Manorville (631) 878 1785). Or try the Deep Hollow Ranch, for horseback riding, off the Montauk highway in Montauk (631) 668-2744.
Here are additional numbers that may help ensure a great time for “pooch” in the Hamptons.
468 Country Road
Southhampton, NY 11968
One Stop Pet Shop
29 Riverhead Road
Westhampton Beach, NY
Blue Cross Animal Hospital
Southampton, NY 11968
Ole Town Animal Hospital
380 Country Road
Southhampton, NY 11968
725 Veterans Memorial Highway
Veterinary Clinic of East Hampton
East Hampton, NY 11937
Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons
Daniel’s Hole Road
PO Box 901
East Hampton, NY 11937
Dan Gebbia Professional Dog Training
Southampton, NY 11968
103 Curran’s Road
Middle Island, NY 11953
Wags N Tails Kennel
Suffolk County, NY
A dog is reputed to have a sense of smell superior to that of man. But in the Parker household, that may be debatable.
Robert Parker Jr., famed for both his wine tasting ability, accurate and honest, and his publication The Wine Advocate, could face off nose to snouts with his two dogs, George, an English bulldog, and Hoover, a Bassett hound. Parker excels when considering the fruity, smoky, leathery, spicy, and woodsy intonations of a fine bottle of wine. Whereas, according to Parker, George and Hoover are more adept at finding ‘scentless’ dog biscuits in the back yard.
Nine-year-old George, named after the King of England, has been banned from Parker’s tasting room at home due to ‘gastrointestinal indiscretions,’ that have made it difficult for Parker to accurately rate the wine. Don’t worry; no bottles were mis-rated due to George’s embarrassing problem. Vineyard proprietors (and Parker) can both breathe easy.
Nonetheless, George is a real ladies man, according to Parker, as all the women at his office “love going out with him.” Hoover, appropriately named after the former FBI director, has the reputation of being a snoop and glutton.
Parker says his dogs are not real athletes, enjoying the outdoors, but clearly sharing some of that French love of life that does not require heavy exertion. However, one activity the two hounds most certainly enjoy is playing with the discarded corks from spent bottles of wine. “Often the dogs get the cork stuck in their front teeth.” It’s hard to determine if the dogs gravitate more toward the corks of the higher-rated vintages, but this will surely be monitored closely.
Parker was born and raised with dogs, and calls them “the greatest gift given to mankind.” After going to law school, Parker “followed a girl to France, where she was studying.” He says of the girl, now his wife of 30 years, “she could have been in Borneo, and I still would have followed her.” If he had gone to Borneo, however, his life would have likely taken a different course.
“She wanted to get me away from burgers and fries and have me try French food and French wine,” says Parker. Overwhelmed by the experience, he immediately came back to the States in 1968 and formed a wine tasting club and has been going strong ever since. When he first started rating wines, Parker said, the art was dominated by the British. Wanting to be more consumer-oriented, Parker says he was “influenced a great deal by Ralph Nader.”
The world looks forward to his next set of ratings, sure to move markets and drive vineyards to excellence. Content with the simple pleasures in life, his dogs look forward to passing their days by his side, just waiting for the corks to drop.