New York State’s 10 Best Wineries and Vineyards

by Sam Kimball
Move over Napa, because New York has some great wine regions of its own.

The Finger Lakes, Hudson River Valley, Niagara, and Long Island all feature competitive wineries who create exceptional products.

There's no longer a need to travel across the country to tour world-class vineyards: they're in our own backyard.

Here's our list of New York's best vineyards.

Move over Napa, because New York has some great wine regions of its own.  The Finger Lakes, Hudson River Valley, Niagara, and Long Island all feature competitive wineries who create exceptional products.  There’s no longer a need to travel across the country to tour world-class vineyards: they’re in our own backyard.  Here’s our list of New York’s best vineyards:


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Spring Lake Winery

This western New York vineyard located near Niagara Falls is one of the outstanding locales on the Niagara Wine Trail.  The winery features 78 acres for private outdoor tastings at a spring-fed lake, perfect for a couples’ escape or even a wedding if you’re really serious!  Spring Lake specializes in Rieslings, but they also have excellent Zinfandel, Merlot, and Chardonnay wines.  The special feature of this vineyard is the vintage 1940’s train you can board at the nearby town of Lockport to take a historical journey through the Niagara countryside and eventually stop at the winery for lunch.  Website

Hunt Country Vineyards

Part of the distinguished Keuka Lake Wine Trail, Hunt Country is a true farm winery, family-owned and managed, producing an entire range of 24 wines.  Open year round, the tasting room  is bright and airy, and the wines you taste are always your choice.  Since 2010, their wines have won over 20 major awards in competitions across the country.  Best of all, you can enjoy a variety of entertainments at the vineyard if you’re looking for a memorable excursion, including chamber music concerts, twilight picnics, dog walks, and the annual Harvest Festival.  Website

Benmarl Winery

Nestled in the lush green hills of Marlboro you will find Benmarl Winery. Overlooking the historic Hudson River Valley, its 37 acre estate lays claim to the oldest vineyard in America. The winery also holds New York Farm Winery license no.1. Although their history runs deep, it is their tireless commitment to quality and consistency that has made Benmarl one of the premier wineries in the region. New York wines are making a name for themselves on the world stage and we are proud to be a leader in this movement. Matthew Spaccarelli, the winemaker, is a rising star in the wine world. Website

Whitecliff Vineyard & Winery

Whitecliff is an artisanal family-run winery created from the ground up by owners and founders, Michael Migliore and Yancey Stanforth-Migliore. They have one of the largest vineyards in the Hudson Valley, with over 20 varieties of grapes planted for their continuing effort to refine growing and winemaking. The winery is situated directly underneath the Shawangunk Cliffs, with spectacular and dramatic views. What’s more the wines are award-winning; they have brought the Best White In Show award home from the San Francisco International Wine Competition. Website

Bully Hill Vineyards

This vineyard not only has an extensive and intriguing history to explore, but also a museum, art gallery, restaurant, and gift shops in which to wonder.  The Bully Hill family philosophy of winemaking is to combine “wine with laughter”, embodied in everything from their curious bottle labels to the boisterous personalities of their tour guides.  Being one of the largest and oldest wine producers in the Finger Lakes region, Bully Hill blends an extensive professional knowledge of the craft with a very welcoming demeanor.  Website

Red Newt Cellars

A recipient of Wine & Spirits Magazine’s 2011 Winery of the Year, Red Newt focuses not only on crafting world-class wines, but to expertly pair them with locally sourced cuisine.   There are several wine and food tastings at Red Newt to demonstrate this emphasis, including a designed three-course meal to bring out the best qualities of both food and wine.  There are also weekly events to experience such as the Cooking Class Series where the chefs unveil some if the magic and teach some of their recipes to a small class.  Website

Standing Stone Vineyards

Perched on the eastern shore of Seneca Lake, Standing Stone is another must-stop on any Finger Lakes wine tour.  Predominantly producing white wines, Standing Stone was the first winery to produce the newly recognized Saperavi wine in the USA after the grape variety was officially recognized.  Tours of the vineyards can be unguided or with a guide, including a barrel cellar tour where you’ll have the novel option to taste wine right out of the barrel!  Website

Brotherhood Winery

Recognized as the oldest operating winery in the United States, this vineyard in the Hudson River Valley has been producing wine for nearly 200 years.  Brotherhood features many specialty “spiced” wines including one flavored with ginseng, a May wine with sweet strawberry flavors, and a wine similar to mead made from wildflower honey.  The gorgeous old-world styling and spaciousness of the winery grounds offers an excellent venue for weddings, corporate events, and dinners.  A visit to Brotherhood is essential for any lover of wine. Website

Dr. Konstantin Frank

Overlooking the crystal clear waters of Keuka Lake, The Dr. Konstantin Frank winery offers breath-taking views year round. Situated in the former home of Dr. Konstantin Frank, their main tasting room is both cozy and welcoming. Vast windows surround the tasting room, peeking out to beautiful Keuka Lake and some of the oldest vinifera vineyards in the United States. Visitors may also enjoy their newly constructed tasting room located directly next to our main tasting room with panoramic views of Keuka Lake. Website

Duck Walk Vineyards

The high vaulted ceilings, custom tasting bars, and expansive outdoor patio of Duck Walk give visitors a true Long Island Wine Country experience.  You could consider this the “luxury” winery and tasting destination of this list, located in the heart of the Hamptons with quick access to all manor of resorts and leisure activities.  Despite its surroundings, most of Duck Walk’s award-winning wines can be purchased for under $15.  Great for an economical, yet romantic date activity.  Website



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