It’s been 105 days since my last post. That’s 105 days without the sage advice of yours truly, Julianne Caroline Fedele. But I am back, 105 days wiser, ready to impart pertinent North Fork insight. During the summer and fall, a considerable amount of my time is spent coordinating reservations for our wine club members and guests. I’m sure many of you know me through our email exchanges, attempting to rally your group of ten to decide on a reservation time that works for everyone. In my experience as Lieb’s reservation coordinator, the toughest part about making a reservation is deciding on your means of acceptable transportation. At our Lieb Cellars Tasting Room, the rules are simple: no limos, no buses, no oversized vehicles (i.e. Sprinter vans). The reason for this is that our Oregon Road location is on a residential street. As such, we made an agreement with the town and our neighbors to prohibit these larger vehicles. More and more wineries are adopting similar policies for various reasons. So how are you going to get around without a limo or bus? Fear not – I have the answers.
Uber (Download the Uber app right now. Right. Now.)
The North Fork seemed to be the final frontier for Uber. Back in June, all of us rejoiced when we heard it had officially arrived. I remember opening the app only to find two drivers between Riverhead and Greenport. But it was breathtaking. If you’re visiting the North Fork and want to know how you’re going to get from Lieb to Brix & Rye, your default option should be Uber. Most of these vehicles are accepted at all tasting rooms, as they should never be larger than a luxury SUV.
New Vine Wine Tours (Phone: 631-409-8687 Website: http://www.newvinewinetours.com/ )
New Vine has been hands down the most reliable transportation company I’ve dealt with during my time at Lieb. If you’re looking to hit a few wineries with friends on a Saturday, contact New Vine. Not only can they provide transportation, but they can also plan the day for you. They have an assortment of vehicles available, including SUV’s. Again, SUV’s are the way to go. You’ll never find yourself being turned away at a tasting room entrance with this sized vehicle.
Main Street Drivers (Phone: 888-327-4460 Website: http://mainstreetdrivers.com/wine-tour/north-fork/ )
The last option I’ll leave you with is Main Street Drivers. This service provides you with a designated driver to drive your car for you. There’s no need to worry about the type of vehicle you’ll be rolling up in, and the best part is that it’s your car! It’s like you never left home. Get your playlist queued up and let someone else worry about the driving.
In an effort to controls crowds and elevate their service, you’ll find that North Fork tasting rooms are becoming more restrictive when it comes to groups and types of vehicles they’ll allow*. But this doesn’t mean your wine tasting days are over! It just means you must get smarter about how you plan them. As your reservation coordinator extraordinaire, I’m here to help – and when it comes to visiting Lieb, my hopes and dreams for the remainder of this year and into 2018 are to see your smiling faces exiting a luxury SUV with six of your friends. Make my dreams a reality, plan your trip and don’t forget to drink responsibility.
*Our Bridge Lane Tasting Room in Mattituck, however, offers no such vehicle restrictions as it’s in a non-residential area and has ample parking. So if you and your group simply can’t make any of the three options above work, BL is your jam. Limos and party buses are welcome. You’re welcome.
Tasting Room Captain