McCullough Vineyard on the North Fork Hits Market

McCullough Vineyard, Riverhead, North Fork, for sale
McCullough Vineyard, a 19.45-acre agriculturally zoned property on Tuthill’s Lane in the Northville section of Riverhead, is asking $1.3 million.
Courtesy of Town & Country

McCullough Vineyard, an established vineyard and an integral part of the North Fork wine industry, is up for grabs, ready for the next generation.

The seller, Sam McCullough, who has become somewhat of a guru among North Fork winemakers, bought the 19.45 acres of land in Riverhead’s Northville section, near Aquebogue, with his father, the late Dr. Norman McCullough, a well-respected North Fork surgeon, in 1991.

“It’s been planted ever since then,” says listing agent Susan Berkoski of Town & Country Real Estate. “In wine industry parlance, his vines, they are called ‘old vines.’ Wines are called mature wines. When vines are old they are called ‘old vines.’ They are old rootstocks that produce really great fruit. Sam is an excellent vineyard manager. He takes really great care of this piece of property. He has contracts with various contracts within the wine appellation, within the East End of Long Island.”

This all, of course, makes them valuable to those who know the industry.

The property at 480 Tuthill’s Lane, which includes a Morton building and farm equipment, is priced at $1.3 million.

McCullough Vineyard, Riverhead, North Fork, for sale
The property is part of an agricultural protection zone.Courtesy of Town & Country

The land is part of Riverhead Town’s agricultural protection zone, which means the property cannot be developed for anything other than agricultural use.

“We’re looking for the next generation,” Berkoski says of the hope of Sam McCullough, who is also the longtime vineyard manager at Lenz Winery in Peconic. “He was that young man who had a dream and bought this land. He’s been doing it for 35 years. Now it’s time for the next generation. This is how vineyards are perpetuated anywhere in the world.”

McCullough produces a “sought-after and award-winning Bordeaux-driven composition and production,” according to the listing. The parcel is made up of 7.53 acres of Merlot, planted in 1993, 1994, 2000 and 2001; 1.05 acres of Petite Verdot, planted in 2001 and 2015; 1.08 acres of Malbec, planted in 2001 and 2015; 4.08 acres of Chardonnay, planted in 1994 and 1995; 1.83 acres of Cabernet Franc, planted in 2000 and 2015. There is also a 0.5-acre area for Cabernet Sauvignon, planted in 2001.

The Morton building, a 45-by-72-square-foot structure, was constructed in 1993. Part of it is finished and insulated, and part of it is not with only a dirt floor. There is indoor plumbing.

It officially came to the market at the beginning of March.

McCullough Vineyard, Riverhead, North Fork, for sale
A Morton building, partially finished and insulated, was built in 1993.Courtesy of Town & Country

There has already been interest, according to Berkoski, who adds there is a market for such a property, even though it does not include a tasting room or winery.

“People call about this all the time. And the conversation begins, ‘I have a dream.’ And part of their dream is to farm and produce wine or whatever. It’s just all about finding the right fit.”

Berkoski also adds, “We’re priced extremely accurately.”

All of the farm equipment and trellising materials are included in the sale.

Worth noting are the taxes. For the 2023-24 bill, with agricultural tax exemptions, they totaled $2,118.

Email with further comments, questions, or tips. Follow Behind The Hedges on Twitter and Instagram.