On my first visit to the North Fork, over five years ago, Paumanok was the winery that stood out the most. It also happens to be the most widely recommended whenever I’ve polled the wine drinking community about their favorites of the North Fork. When visiting Paumanok and tasting the wines, it’s easy to see why.

Paumanok Vineyards is a family-run operation that has been producing wine on the North Fork since 1983. With over 100 acres under vine, this winery manages to turn out one of the largest selections of quality wines on the North Fork. Owned and operated by Ursula & Charles Massoud, and with their son Kareem overseeing the vineyards and winemaking, Paumanok has truly carved out a name for itself in North Fork history. Finding another producer on the North Fork that doesn’t respect the efforts and accomplishments of this house is near impossible.

Anyone who follows the North Fork has heard of the Chenin Blanc produced at Paumanok and the heights that it has reached. It is a gorgeous wine, but it is only one in a lineup of excellent varietal bottles. The Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Riesling impressed upon me a level of quality and varietal character that I didn’t expect to find. They were beautiful wines that showed not just fruit quality but also an emerging sense of place from the North Fork. The Riesling was not quite German or Austrian, nor was it Finger Lakes—The Riesling was North Fork Long Island, and I believe that is a great accomplishment all on its own.