By Lenn Thompson, Editor-in-Chief

HARVEST EE large This weekend HARVEST EAST END, a wine auction and celebration of Long Island's East End, will take over wine country on both forks to benefit the Peconic Land Trust and East End Hospice.

The event has been organized by the Long Island Merlot Alliance and Long Island Wine Council with support from the New York Wine & Grape Foundation.

The day-plus event kicks off on Friday with ten 10-Mile Dinners, which take place at private locations — homes, yachts, etc. — with locally sourced food cooked by a local chef and hosted by a local winemaker. Tickets are $350. See the list of dinners.

If $350 is too much for you (like it is me), you should check out The Wine Salon, a series of programs at various wineries on Saturday morning and early afternoon that are only $25. They range from wine and food pairing to sessions about growing grapes to information about differnet grape clones to simply how to taste wine better. See the full list of sessions.

Later in teh afternoon, the event moves exclusively to Wolffer Estate in Sagaponack.
From 4 – 7:30 p.m. is the Festival Tasting of Long Island’s Bounty ($125), which is a grand tasting of Long Island wines, including wines to be offered at auction, accompanied by small plates of local, seasonal dishes by East End chefs partnered with farmers and food artisans. There will also be a silent auction of regional treasures. See the list of wineries and restaurants involved.
And, saving the biggest and no-doubt best for last, the Gala Dinner & Live Auction will start at 7 p.m. This portion of the event is sold out, but will  includ a world-class, farm-to-table dinner created by premier East End chefs Keith Luce, Gerry Hayden and Claudia Fleming.
The auction is going to be a first for the region, and there are some ridiculously extravagent lots, including many half-barrels of wine, artwork, wine experiences and more. Learn more about the auction.