by Kate Berube
The journey to Loughlin’s is as wonderful as the destination. There’s a charming ambiance that recalls a bygone era of simplicity, when the south shore of Long Island was unpaved roads, oyster shanties, and grand manor homes. While there’s a relatively small space for parking available, and you can certainly drive there, one only gets the full experience on foot, where you can soak in the old-world charm of Meadowcroft. Hidden in the back of the estate, almost as if you stumbled upon it by accident, is where you find Loughlin’s Vineyard. Founded by Barney Loughlin, a World War 2 veteran with deep ties to the Roosevelt land, the vineyard is currently owned and operated by his daughters Beth, Patricia and Mary Ellen.
Weather permitting, Loughlin vineyard is open year-round 1-4pm on the weekends. Outside food is welcome, and with a cozy fire always going, it is an ideal location for a winter picnic. While there are dozens of local establishments that offer takeout fare, nothing goes quite so well with Sunday afternoon merlot as vanilla bean cake, and no one does that better than Meryle Alden of Meryle’s Cookies in Blue Point. Meryle credits her incredible baking skills to her 99 year old grandmother Mary Milone, who is at the heart of everything she creates. “I have all her recipes, and every time I take them out it’s a trip down memory lane.” Her creations are as delicious as they are beautiful. Ordering was easy, finishing the cake was even easier. We were fortunate that brilliant local Sayville photographer Belinda Randolph Mill was on hand to take these gorgeous shots before there was nothing but crumbs left.
On most weekends you can find Barney’s granddaughter Brittany manning the tasting room with an easy smile and an infectious laugh. The Loughlin women as a whole are a vibrant and gracious bunch, known for their Irish hospitality. Perfect for the spring days ahead is their Pinky Rosé, a Provençal styled dry rosé named after the vineyards resident donkey who used to freely roam the property years ago. Stop in for a glass, or take home a bottle. Whether you come for the wine, you will almost certainly return for the companionship.