Vineyard 48 sounds like the kind of place that would give you a pretty heavy pour

By Tim Nelson
Updated February 13, 2018
Entrance to a winery in Long Island
Credit: Photo by Cristiani via Getty Images/iStockphoto

Ever since the ancient Greeks took to worshipping Dionysus, the consumption of fermented grapes have been associated with some pretty wild parties. But even the god of winemaking and ritual madness would probably look upon some recent events at a now-closed Long Island vineyard as decadent and depraved.

Based on police reports, it sounds like wine tastings at Vineyard 48 really give you the chance to pick up on the tasting notes of a full-bodied red. On September 30, residents of Cutchogue, New York, near the winery reported incidents of wild and lewd acts, including public sexual liaisons and defecations on the well-manicured lawns of Suffolk County.

The mood soon turned from amorous to confrontational however. Later that same day, police were summoned to break up hostilities between “400 disorderly, heavily intoxicated patrons” who had taken to shoving and screaming at each other. A third and final brawl later erupted, presumably because the patrons couldn’t agree on whether the Bordeaux exhibited floral notes or hints of sandalwood.

These were far from the only wine stains on the North Fork vineyard’s otherwise sterling reputation. The place had a history of bacchanalia bordering on the criminal, racking up 10 police calls in a four month span. Sensing that enough was enough, the New York State Liquor Authority suspended their liquor license, citing “a disturbing record of repeatedly serving patrons far beyond the point of extreme intoxication,” which had the effect of “straining police resources and wreaking havoc on their neighbors and the surrounding community.” With multiple instances of alcohol overdoses—not to the mention the brawls and bawdy behavior—it’s hard to disagree with the authorities on this one.

Given that a winery without a liquor license is little more than a pointless gathering of pretentious snobs, Vineyard 48 made the decision a few weeks later to shut their operation down. Luckily, the career of Billy Joel can attest to the fact that there are definitely other places to get a drink on Long Island.