While New York wineries may not be the first place you think of when you picture a great glass of chardonnay, the Empire State boasts some of the country’s best vineyards.
From the oldest operating winery in the country to wineries producing innovative and award-winning blends, on this list you’ll find six of the best wineries in the state. Grab all your vino-loving friends, an empty glass, and a designated driver, because you’ll soon be drinking your way to a good time.
Located in New York’s gorgeous Hudson Valley, the Brotherhood Winery takes its claim to fame for being the oldest operating winery in the country. The land was purchased in 1810 by a French immigrant named Jean Jacques. Jacques was so serious about his boozy grapes that his winery was kept open throughout the prohibition. Now, that’s dedication.
Today, the Brotherhood Winery is owned by the Castro and Chadwick families who are very prominent winemakers in Chile. This winery still retains all its old, rustic appeal transporting you back to the nineteenth century.
You can take a tour of the first wine cellar hand dug by Jacques himself in 1837. There, you will find over 200 oak barrels that hold some of the oldest vintage wines in America.
After your tour, you can go upstairs to the modern yet rustic showroom where an expert will take you through a tasting of Brotherhood’s inimitable blends.
For those looking for some variety, the Brotherhood Winery also includes a newly renovated mansion that Jacques built himself, a charming café serving up gourmet bites, and an innovative art space showcasing local artists. There’s a little something for everyone at Brotherhood Winery.
Also located in the Hudson Valley, Applewood Winery calls themselves a “real farm winery.” Meaning that they create their own wines using fruit from their vineyards. They only sell the fruits of their labors at the store located on the premise, so if you’re looking for a unique one of a kind bottle, you’ll have to make the drive to get it.
Applewood is a great place for history buffs, as it’s one of the oldest wineries west of the Hudson river. The land itself has a long history first belonging to the Minisink Native Americans, then to a Dr. Staats from the Netherlands who used it to sell and trade fur. Then around the Civil War it was bought by Jacobus Demarest whose descendants still live nearby. It was a farm and an apple orchard all the way up until 1993 when Jonathan and Michelle Hull opened it up as a winery.
If wine or history are not your things don’t fret, Applewood has another specialty aside from their fruity wines—hard cider. Because of its long run as an apple orchard, many people flock to Applewood for their hand bottled cider.
From the tastings and pairings, to a seasonal café and live music every weekend, Applewood winery is an excellent place to spend your weekend. Their abundance of fruity, full flavored wines and all natural hard ciders makes it obvious why Applewood is considered one of the best wineries in the state.
Warwick Valley Winery & Distillery
Warwick Valley Winery is truly a one of a kind experience located in the picturesque setting of Warwick, New York. This winery was opened in 1994 as a small and humble operation among friends. Today they have blossomed into a full-fledged winery and distillery. The property has all the classiness of a European chateau, the freshness of a local farm, and the warmth of your favorite pub. It’s a truly magical place that you won’t ever want to leave.
Warwick Valley also makes over a dozen different kinds of wine including their award-winning cabernet franc, riesling and chardonnay, so you’ll be sure to find a flavor that pleases your palate.
If wine is not your thing, Warwick is also an operating distillery that creates their own line of fruit brandies called American Fruits. In addition to beautiful wines and brandies, they also offer their own line of hard cider. There’s nothing this winery can’t do!
Comes enjoy their unique tasting rooms where your senses will be awakened by fresh fruit wines, ciders, brandies and liqueurs. And if you get hungry, you can always grab a bite on their barn door patio café that overlooks the orchards and a pond.
The Warwick Valley winery also boasts a beautiful orchard on their property that is open for apple and pear picking in the autumn season, so you and your family can enjoy the beautiful scenery and tasty fruits.
Named after the surrounding Bashakill wetlands, this winery is one an eco-friendly vineyard that creates some of the most unique bottles in the state. It’s nestled deep in the scenic Catskill Mountains near a concrete cave that makes for constant temperatures and high humidity—the ideal conditions for perfectly aging wine...
...And that’s exactly what they do here at Bashakill Vineyards. Thanks to the unique micro-climate of the wetlands, Bashakill is able to produce one of a kind Germanic white wines and dry oak-aged full-bodied reds.
What makes Bashakill Vineyards one of the best, besides their scenic location and cool cave, is the fact that they grow all their grapes organically.
Bashakill also offers full-body beers brewed with mineral-rich water and NY-raised barley. If you thought it wasn’t possible to get any more hipster than organic grapes and local beer, think again. Bashakill also ferments their own kombucha on-site and has a café where you can feast on local farm-to-table grub.
You can even take a hike, go horseback riding, or try out a kayak on the 2,000-acre wildlife preserve that Bashakill Vineyards is located on. Just be careful you don’t get too tipsy on the vineyard’s tasting tours before you trek out into the wilderness.
Glorie Farm Winery
The folks at Glorie Farm Winery take almost as much pride in the growing of their quality grapes as they do in drinking their delicious wines. Located in a barn on the top of Mt. Zion Mountain in Marlboro, New York, Glorie Farm has seamlessly combined their passion for agriculture with their love of wine to create some of the best wines in New York.
With every glass of Glorie Farm’s full-bodied wines, visitors receive a sea of friendly faces and good conversation. If you’re looking for a family atmosphere, Glorie Farm has just what you need. Their staff is happy to talk to you all about their grape growing and wine-making process, whether you’re a self-proclaimed wine expert or a newbie to it all.
The Farm itself grows over a dozen varieties of grapes on the trellis, with 90 to 95 percent of them going into the Glorie wine bottles. You can’t get much more local than that.
After you take a tour of their gorgeous fruit farm and vineyards, have a seat in their cozy tasting room that comes with a free panoramic view of the Hudson Valley. There’s no other place in the state that offers wines as local and views as beautiful as Glorie Farm.
Good wine, good tunes, and good vibes are what Palaia Vineyards, located in Highland Mills, New York, is all about. With a relaxed and chill atmosphere, Palaia is the perfect place to go for some laid-back, wine infused fun.
With their 40-foot outdoor stage set against a backdrop of the vineyards and mountains, Palaia puts on musical acts and plays all year long. There’s no better place to sip on local wines, craft beers or hard cider and listen to great music than the rolling hills of Palaia Vineyards.
The winery covers over 10 acres and grows premium grape varitals such as cabernet fanc, traminette, lemberger, pinot noir, seyval blanc, sauvignon blanc, and sauvignon noire. Of note are their wine tastings, which come with a selection of gourmet cheeses and light gourmet fare to complement each wine.
Looking for a place to unwind over the weekend? Let your stress melt away with the good vibes and even better wine at Palaia Vineyards.
If you’re lucky enough to live in the great state of New York where wine flows down the scenic hills, then you should take advantage of all the great wineries around you. Whether you’re a history buff, a bonafide hippie or if you’re not even that into wine, there’s a winery out there for everyone.