Visit These 10 New York State Wineries Right Now
The West Coast over there scoffs way too much over their vineyards and grapes growing in the heat of the California regions. Let them scoff. New York over here on the east side, despite the frigidness we’ve been feeling lately, and the Finger Lakes (arguably holding its own as far as vineyards go), plus other areas, sports its major players and competition in New York state wineries to match even the tested sommelier saying that Napa Valley’s where you need to go to get some good Merlot. Not so.
Try These Ten New York State Wineries for a Change
Shouldn’t be too hard since you’re in the New York state, right? Think Hudson River Valley. Niagara. Long Island. These are the places where you, the big entrepreneur or CEO from the Big Apple, can go from ‘apple’ to ‘grapes’ with a great Pinot or champagne faster than you can feel an earthquake over there at that “other state.”
Nothing against California, of course. They know how to make their wine. But we’re pretty proud of these ten New York state wineries. They’ve brought home the gold (and red, and white, and sparkling) in our eyes.
- Bully Hill Vineyards — First off, what does it take to have that ambience of New York state wineries anyway? Is it the best grapes? Sure, that helps. The best climates? Certainly. But what really makes a great vineyard is the experience itself, and Bully Hill Vineyards don’t disappoint in that arena, complete with a museum, art gallery, restaurant, and gift shops to boot as well as the family philosophy. Bully Hill brings love to the art of winemaking, and you can’t make the wine without loving it. These vineyards happens to be one of the largest and oldest producers hailing from Finger Lakes as well, so you know you can’t mess with New York state when you’re here.
- Dr. Konstantin Frank — You can’t have a list like this without throwing in the “Doctor” from Keuka Lake, another Finger Lakes novelty of true coziness. We could call this guy the Olive Garden of wine. When you’re there, you’re family, situated right in his former home and main tasting room to go with it. The atmosphere is phenomenal with the windows bringing in the beauty of the lake as you taste just about any kind of wine you can imagine. A true gem of New York state wineries, and you can learn more about his vineyards right here.
- Paumanok Vineyards — Sometimes really tasty things can come in small packages, and that’s what sums up Paumanok Vineyards best: they’re not particularly ‘flashy’ or ‘grand’ in scale. It’s not like you’ll be walking into the Empire State Building. But that’s the point: they want the quality wines to speak for themselves as this true cellar standing out, out of all the New York state wineries, simply sits in a nostalgic barn with a fermentation tank room and a deck overlooking the vineyards. The beauty of this place is that it’s a diamond in the rough. You’d miss it. But you’d be sorry that you did. Check out Paumanok Vineyards right now by visiting their website.
- Standing Stone Vineyards — Back to the Finger Lakes we go, right off the eastern shore of Seneca Lake. Are you surprised? Of course not. But you know what the Finger Lakes are predominantly known for? Their white wines. Think crisp, clean, even icy. This is the kind of climate these bright grapes thrive on, and Standing Stone heralds them as the best, especially with the Saperavi wine being the only grape variety of its kind officially recognized in the entire nation. You heard that right. That makes Standing Stone a standing staple out of all New York state wineries, and we’re pretty sure no other vineyard in the U.S. can measure up to that.
- Spring Lake Winery — How about we go to Niagara Falls and feel the freshness in the wet breeze rush across our face (while enjoying a crisp Chardonnay)? Yes, sounds good. This vineyard right on the Niagara Wine Trail with its 78 acres of outdoor tasting delight featuring Spring Lake will remind you that New York isn’t just about the icy cold. It’s about the warmth and spraying mist of a Riesling. Or a Zinfandel. Get the cheese and crackers, too.
- Jamesport Vineyards — When father and son — or any family combo, for that matter — get together to make some great wine, you know you have something indicative of excellence in the heart of New York state wineries. Jamesport Vineyards is exactly that — a family affair, starting back in 1981 in Cutchogue, NY, and becoming one of the North Fork’s most vintage vineyards you can count on. We’re talking 60 acres of dedication here, with everything you could want out of a Sauvignon Blanc or Cabernet Franc. There’s no importing the fruits necessary to do this either. Everything happens in-home — from the grapes to the cellars. You can’t beat that there at Jamesport Vineyards.
- Duck Walk Vineyards — Who knew your feathery friend would know a little something about wine? Out of all the New York state wineries out there, you wouldn’t expect something called Duck Walk to bring the experience with exceptional fervor. Think luxury tasting here. Beautiful ceilings and an indoor ambience with custom tasting bars and a patio that’ll make you feel like a million bucks as you taste what could easily be a million-dollar wine. Right in the center of Hamptons, the Duck Walk Vineyards remains as quite the romantic venture when you think about it.
- Red Newt Cellars — So we’ve gone from birds to lizards here…. Really? Again, don’t judge the animal before the wine. Really, what’s in a name anyway? Except this is a name to be known as the recipient of Wine & Spirits Magazine’s 2011 Winery of the Year thanks to the crafting of their world-class wines and pairing of local cuisine to complete the experience to perfection. Red Newt isn’t just a simple vineyard of all the New York state wineries. No, it brings the 3-course meals as well and invites you into the cooking stratosphere as you realize that wine very much is a part of the culinary arts. Check it out right here.
- Brotherhood Winery — We could easily just chalk this one up by seniority: the Brotherhood Winery is easily the oldest operating vineyard in the nation. Not just in NY. That’s saying something. But while they may have been working for generations in the Hudson River Valley (almost two centuries, actually), one try of any of their specialty spiced wines, and you know you’ve got an innovator on your hands. Creativity. Invention. That’s their trademark, utilizing everything from ginseng to strawberries and even wildflower honey. Care to take a look?
- Hunt Country Vineyards — This rounds out the list nicely as we head back to Finger Lakes (surprised?). They’re by no means the last word on wines against all these first-place finishers, though. In fact, Hunt Country just might be the champion with their over 20 major awards throughout the United States, sporting a range of 24 wines, plus memorable excursions onsite including music concerts, twilight picnics, a harvest festival, and even dog walks. We rest our cases (wine cases) on this one.
Quite the exhaustive list, yes….
But You and I Enjoy Exploring These Ten New York State Wineries Regardless
Just another massive reason why New York’s doing fine with the wine. So divine. Go ahead and click the links and learn more about these fabulous New York state wineries. And don’t forget to visit Cali and tell everyone over there about it.