12 New York State Vineyards That Are Well Worth the Trip
The West Coast may get the lion’s share of the glory when it comes to America’s wine regions, but guess what: The Empire State can more than hold its own when it comes to vino. In fact, New York has a long history of wine production and is even home to America’s oldest winery. The North Fork, Finger Lakes, Hudson Valley, Western New York and Brooklyn (yep) boast gorgeous vineyards and outstanding wines. So the next time you’re in the mood to tour and taste grapes of the fermented variety, forget the pricey trip to Napa and instead head to one of these close-to-home vineyards.
The North Fork and The Hamptons
This Instagram-perfect vineyard, with its charming cobblestoned back patio and intricately designed bottles, can appropriately be summed up in a certain three-word hashtag: #roséallday. It’s the only vineyard in America dedicated exclusively to the pink stuff.
1450 S. Harbor Rd., Southold; croteaux.com
This family-run winery owes its high-quality wines to sustainable farming methods and a small-batch process. While you won’t want to leave the sunny outdoor pavilion, we insist you step inside the restored barn to peep the owner’s contemporary art collection.
36225 Main Rd., Cutchogue; bedellcellars.com
This Hamptons favorite is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, which means all the more reason to make a trip. There will be live music on Friday and Saturday evenings and a 5K “Bud Break” charity run May 20. In June, look for a limited run of the Wölffer Estate Claletto 2014, a beautiful and very premium red wine that winemaker Roman Roth only makes to mark outstanding vintages.
139 Sagg Rd., Sagaponack; wolffer.com
The Finger Lakes
Dr. Konstantin Frank Wines
A doctor started this vineyard—so visiting it is essentially a prescription for our well-being, right? Dr. Frank, a professor of plant sciences who hold a Ph.D. in viticulture, founded the winery in 1962 and quickly earned a reputation for his Rieslings. Now you can enjoy a range of wines in the newly constructed tasting room with panoramic views of Keuka Lake. (Psst: There’s no tasting fee for groups of 12 or fewer.)
9749 Middle Rd., Hammondsport; drfrankwines.com
Hunt Country Vineyards
This sustainability-focused vineyard uses innovative geothermal and solar systems in its production process. It’s also the country’s oldest producer of ice wine (made from grapes left to freeze on the vine in winter). But all you need to know is that it has an Artisan Chocolate & Wine Tasting tour for just $5 per person.
4021 Italy Hill Rd., Branchport; huntwines.com
Standing Stone Wines
Tastings are offered daily at Standing Stone, but if you want the full experience, go on a weekday and take part in an in-depth walking tour that includes a look at the production facility and, yes, an extensive tasting paired with food.
9934 Rte. 414, Hector; standingstonewines.com
We’d like to take a moment to thank visionary Jean Jaques, who bought land in 1810 and began planting grapes. By 1839, he had fermented his first wine vintage—the very first in America. His cellars are still used today, and while many more wineries have popped up since then, a tour of Brotherhood’s hand-excavated underground cellars is still a must.
100 Brotherhood Plaza Dr., Washingtonville; brotherhood-winery.com
Consider this organic vineyard summer camp for wine lovers: In addition to acres of vines, you’ll also find a kayak launch, Ping-Pong and cornhole, live music, hiking trails, house-made ice cream and a fire pit. It’s also dog friendly—so yeah, we pretty much live here now.
1131 South Rd., Wurtsboro; bashakillvineyards.com
This Hudson Valley mainstay’s list of accolades is too long to get into here, but trust us, you’ll love the wine as much as you love the sun-drenched tasting room. Be sure to try the in-house line of artisanal cheeses, jams and sauces, made in collaboration with local farmers. (Blood-orange cheese drizzle, where have you been all our lives?)
1900 State Rte. 66, Ghent; hudsonchathamwinery.com
Western New York
Spring Lake Winery
If you spend your morning hiking one of the many nearby trails, then the afternoon wine sampling will taste that much better. This Italian-style winery and café is surrounded by the vineyard on one side and an idyllic lake on the other. Certainly beats a crowded bar, doesn’t it?
7373 Rochester Rd., Lockport; springlakewinery.com
Becker Farms and Vizcarra Vineyards
You can easily spend a full day at this fifth-generation, family-owned farm: Sample wines at the tasting room, listen to live music, visit with farm animals and pick your own in-season fruit (strawberries in summer, apples in fall).
3724 Quaker Rd., Gasport; beckerfarms.com
New York City
Refresher: A winery is where wine is made; a vineyard is where grapes are grown. So while we have a few notable wineries in the city, the so-called concrete jungle isn’t exactly conducive to a proper vineyard. Fortunately, the Rooftop Reds founders were up for the challenge, opening the the world’s first commercially viable rooftop vineyard inside the Brooklyn Navy Yard. If the novelty isn’t reason enough to visit, the hammocks certainly should be. (Note: Reservations are required.)
299 Sands St. Bldg. 275, Brooklyn; rooftopreds.com