The North Fork’s only multi-vineyard tasting room closed this past weekend.
located at 2885 Peconic Lane, has been vacant and up for lease as of Sunday, said, an Aquebogue vintner who owned the business since 2006.
“I wanted to move out of the location since last summer,” said Dilworth, who also owns and in Aquebogue. “I wanted to move the wines over to the Bistro, which I thought would be opening last fall. Right now I’m looking at re-opening the Tasting Room closer to the Bistro on the Main Road.”
Established in 2003, the Tasting Room was devoted to selling and providing samples of wines from smaller local vintners who don't have tasting rooms of their own such as Schneider Vineyards,, ,, , , and Dilworth’s own from Le Clos.
Dilworth said that sales at the Tasting Room have been sliding since the fall of 2008, when the recession began, and that between working a full-time job as a tax consultant and running the vineyard and restaurant, she just had too many irons in the fire.
“It’s too bad, I didn’t really want to close up — I wanted to keep going until we could find a new location,” she said. “But I’m working full-time over in Westchester and we plan to do a lot more at the Bistro in the spring and summer. I just needed a break — and to be honest, I just lost interest in the Peconic location.”
Before the shelves of the Tasting Room were stocked with wine, the 1860s building on Peconic Lane was everything from a speakeasy to a yarn store. Rod Stankowitz has owned the building for 15 years and says he hopes to have another tasting room take over the space again — or to have another quaint business that falls in line with the existing four, includingand , on the short roadway.
“It’s charming, with its tin roof and ceilings,” he said. “I’ve gotten a few calls on it already that might help it stay somewhat Peconic. I’d like to keep it the North Fork’s only wine co-op — and if I didn’t have so many eggs in the basket, I’d run it myself.”
Dilworth added that all of the bottles of wine formerly stocked at the Tasting Room have been returned to the winemakers.