Wineries and Vineyards, Ulster County

Wine tours, wineries, and vineyards to visit in Ulster County



Adair Vineyards, New Paltz

Open: May-mid-Dec.; Sat.-Sun.
These 35-acre grounds, with 10 acres of vines, have a freshwater stream, and views of the Shawangunks. The tasting room is housed in a 220-year-old barn that is now a registered National Historic Landmark. “One hundred percent of our grapes are grown either in the backyard or just four miles away,” says owner and wine-maker Marc Stopkie. “That’s what we’re known for.” Tastings, gift shop, picnic area.
SIP THIS: Black Currant Kirruge, Adair’s best-selling blend made from local currants. 845-255-1377; www.adairwine.com

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Benmarl Winery, Marlboro

Open: Year-round; daily Apr.-Dec.
Known for its grape-stomping, this 37-acre operation boasts the title of oldest vineyard in America, and is committed to producing small-batch wines that capture the character of each vineyard from which they are sourced. Tours, tastings, gift shop, hiking trails, picnicking, corporate and private events, including weddings.
SIP THIS: 2010 Estate Cabernet Franc — Benmarl’s award-winning red.
DON’T MISS: Harvest Grape-Stomping Festival (Sept. 22-23, Oct. 6-7).

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El Paso Winery, Ulster Park

Open: Apr.-Dec.; Wed.-Sun.
Initially founded in 1977 by an old-world Spanish wine-maker, this family-owned winery (housed in an old, converted barn) reopened in 1998 and features a wide variety of wines, all made from New York grapes. “It’s homey, down to earth. I think that’s what people like about it. Ninety-nine percent of the time, my husband and I are the ones working, so folks know who we are,” says owner Maryl Vogel. Free tastings, gift shop, local cheeses and other snacks, new deck.
SIP THIS: Freshly-made, award-winning Sangria — El Paso’s weekend specialty.

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glorie farm winery

Glorie Farm Winery, Marlboro

Open: Apr.-Dec.; Sat.-Sun.
Established in 2004, this family-owned, boutique-style winery produces just 700 cases of wine each year. Try 16 different wines (including reds, whites, peach, and their famous blackberry) in their panoramic tasting room. Located on Glorie Farms — a fruit farm that grows raspberries, blackberries, plums, peaches, pears, apples, and grapes — the winery uses estate-grown fruits to create its products. Tastings, gift shop, corporate and private events, including weddings.
SIP THIS: Synergy, a new Bordeaux-style blend; or WORLD, a wine designed to express peace ($1 from each bottle will be donated to a Hudson Valley charity).
DON’T MISS: Wreath Fineries at the Wineries (Nov. 17-18, Dec. 1-2, 8-9). 845-236-3265; www.gloriewine.com

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Kedem Winery, Marlboro

Open: Year-round, Sun.-Thurs.
Located on 35 acres, this winery is part of Royal Wine in Bayonne, N.J; selling only kosher wines, vinegars, and jellies. Tastings, gift shop.
SIP THIS: Bartenura Moscato, a sweet sparkling white and Kedem’s best-seller. 845-236-3651; www.royalwine.com

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Magnanini Winery and Restaurant, Wallkill

Open: Apr.–Dec., Sat.-Sun.
This small, third-generation family winery produces 6,000 gallons of wine each year, with a focus on French hybrids. They also make several grappas (grape-based brandies), including one made from local honey. All wines retail for $9 a bottle at the winery. The main attraction is a reservations-only, six-course meal and wine tasting at the Northern Italian restaurant. Visitors are invited to stroll the grounds and picnic. Tastings, corporate and private events, including weddings.
SIP THIS: Seyval Blanc, a dry white wine made from French-American grapes.
DON’T MISS: Oktoberfest (Oct. 14). 845-895-2767; www.magwine.com

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robibero family vineyardsGroup shot: The Robibero family

Robibero Family Vineyards, New Paltz

As the name suggests, this boutique-style winery is, indeed, a family affair. Owner Harry Robibero and his wife, Carole, opened the 42-acre facility in 2010, at the site of the former Rivendell Winery. Everybody pitches in — mom and dad, daughter Tiffany, and her fiancé Ryan Selby, who serves as assistant wine-maker. Visitors are likely to meet a four-legged family member, too. Snickers, a toy Yorkie, “has the run of the place. We pride ourselves on being pet- and child-friendly,” says Harry.

Located about 10 minutes outside of New Paltz, the winery features a 90-foot outdoor deck with a panoramic view of verdant Hudson Valley fields. “Visitors say they love to relax on the deck and sip wine there in the summer,” Harry says. Wooden picnic tables are also sprinkled amid the greenery. “People like to stop by after a day of hiking or visiting the New Paltz area,” Harry notes. “We get quite a mix: local people and visitors from all over. A lot of them are from the tristate region — New York, New Jersey, Connecticut — and Pennsylvania, too.”

robibero wine

robibero cellarA bottle of Seyval Blanc framed by a panoramic view; at right, the well-stocked cellar

Robibero produces premium artisan wines, handcrafted in small lots and mostly sold in the Robibero tasting room and online; a select few local retailers and restaurants also feature their wines. Among customer favorites is 87 North, an award-winning, slightly sweet blend of Vidal Blanc and Cayuga White. It features a distinctive label: a map depicting the highway route through New York City and up to New Paltz along — you guessed it — the New York State Thruway.

Another prize-winner, the Dry Riesling, is also popular. Other top Robibero wines include Rabbit’s Foot — a red that’s 75 percent Baco Noir, 15 percent Merlot, and 10 percent Cabernet Sauvignon; Pinot Noir; and Syrah. Oenophiles head straight for the winery’s tasting room, which features comfy couches, tables, board games, and a big-screen TV. There’s free Wi-Fi, and a fireplace for cold-weather visits.

Upcoming events include live music on weekends, and special happenings throughout the summer and fall, ranging from a Sangria Festival (see page 91) to a Haunted “Hallowine” party and a pet parade. The family keeps a careful eye on growing the business. “We want to focus on expanding the vineyards; it’ll take time,” says Harry. “And I’d love to open a wine cave. Maybe in five years or so.” He adds, “We’re still a very small operation, and it can be a challenging business. For us, working half a day means working 12 hours,” he laughs. “But we love it.” Or, as the Robibero Web site puts it: “We are not chasing our dreams. We crush them and put them in bottles.” — Dale McKnight

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stoutridge vineyard

Stoutridge Vineyard, Marlboro

Open: Year-round; Fri.-Sun.
With underground wine cellars built into a hillside to take advantage of passive geothermal energy, Stoutridge is the epitome of “green” wineries. The facility runs on 100 percent solar power and adheres to a “slow wine” philosophy, avoiding the use of pumps, filters, and fining agents for minimal intervention and gravity-flow production. Many of the ingredients used in their wines and spirits are grown locally, and all are from New York State. Tours, outdoor patio, picnic area.
SIP THIS: Hudson Heritage White — an 85 percent Seyval Blanc blend. 845-236-7620; www.stoutridge.com

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whitecliff vineyard

Whitecliff Vineyard and Winery, Gardiner

Open: Year-round: daily, June-Oct.
One of the largest vineyards in the Valley, this 70-acre, family-run operation offers views of the Shawangunk Ridge and produces over a dozen wines annually. Their 2009 Riesling won double gold and best in show at the 2010 San Francisco International Wine Competition, beating out 1,300 white wines from 27 countries and 28 states. Whitecliff recently built the second geothermal winery processing facility in the state, giving the winery the capacity to expand production to 10,000 cases each year, nearly double their current 5,500 cases. “We’re totally focused on the production of fine, complex, European-style wines,” says owner Yancey Stanforth-Migliore. Private tours, tastings, outdoor tented weddings, light snacks and cheeses, deck seating.
SIP THIS: Awosting White — Whitecliff’s award-winning and best-selling white wine.
DON’T MISS: Vertical Tasting and Sale (July 4);Winery Tours with the owner (Oct. 7, 14, 21, 28). 845-255-4613; www.whitecliffwine.com

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