Sip Reds, Whites, and More at These 25 Hudson Valley Wineries
The country's oldest wine-making region grows new grape varieties, produces award-winning wines, and hosts unforgettable events.
So what’s new on the Hudson Valley wine scene? Plenty, says Carlo DeVito. The unofficial cheerleader of Valley vino — he’s the owner of Hudson-Chatham Winery, co-founder of the Hudson-Berkshire Beverage Trail, and author of the Hudson River Valley Wineries blog — DeVito lists three factors that have had an impact on local winemaking. “Number one, there’s been a huge investment over the last three or four years in the Valley’s wineries,” he says, citing the “massive expansion” at Brotherhood Winery in Washingtonville (“it’s now the largest winery on the East Coast”) and the “sparkling new, state-of-the-art wine-making facility” at Whitecliff Vineyard & Winery in Gardiner.
The second improvement has to do with the grapes themselves. “A lot more vinifera is being grown in the Valley,” DeVito explains. “And farmers and winemakers have increased their knowledge. It took a long time for some to understand that there’s a direct correlation between what you do in the vineyard and what comes out of the bottle. So we are now growing great fruit — and there’s been a real improvement in quality. Hudson Valley wines are starting to get high ratings in publications like Wine Enthusiast.”
Finally, DeVito lauds local winemakers “who have really invested their time in making great wine.” Names on his honor roll list include veterans John Graziano (Millbrook Vineyards & Winery) and Steve Casscles (Hudson-Chatham), as well as newcomers like Valley native Kristop Brown, who makes wine for three different establishments: Clinton Vineyards, Glorie Farm Winery in Marlboro, and Robibero Family Vineyards in New Paltz.
Oenologists can experience all that Valley wineries have to offer at events like the Hudson Valley Wine and Food Fest, a local celebration that features more than 50 wineries and dozens of breweries, cider makers, and distilleries. Want more? Check out the happenings organized by the area’s wine trails or drop in for a tasting — all of the wineries are open to visitors, and most host special events during the summer and beyond.
“What many people don’t know is that the Hudson Valley was one of the great grape-growing regions of New York State long before the Finger Lakes or Long Island,” says DeVito. “And great fruit is what it’s really all about.”
Whether you’re a savvy oenophile, a seasoned sommelier, or an eager and curious amateur, you’ll enjoy visiting these Hudson Valley wineries. In addition to proffering distinctive and delicious wines (with some offering just a few vintages and others offering as many as 50), each one has its own ambiance. In addition to tastings, pairings, and tours, some offer lunch and dinner, others live music, dancing, and even wagon rides. Visit one, or make a weekend of it and visit several. Just make sure to appoint a designated driver!
Open: May-December, Sat-Sun
New Paltz, 845.255.1377
Located in the shadow of the Shawangunk Ridge, Adair produces more than 20,000 bottles of red, white, and fruit wines each year. All of the grapes used are locally grown. Most come from its 10-acre vineyard, with additional varieties sourced from a nearby farm. Tastings include a trip to the wine cellar, where visitors can see the custom-made stainless-steel fermentation tanks.
Sip this: Landmark Red, a hearty red with hints of berries and oak that is barrel-aged for 24 months.
Open: March-December, Fri-Sun
Located in a 40-acre apple orchard on the site of Orange County’s oldest farm (it dates back to 1700), Applewood currently sells wine favorites like Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, and barrel-fermented reds, as well as its Naked Flock hard cider. Summer weekends are busy here: Have lunch or snacks in the cafe while enjoying free concerts on select afternoons.
Sip this: Owner and winemaker Jonathan Hull suggests Traminette, “a hybrid white that’s very fruity; it tastes like a lychee nut.”
Don’t miss: Sampling the wines in the three-season tasting room, which overlooks a picturesque lake.
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Open: March-December, Thurs-Mon
Pine Bush, 845.744.2226
Fruit wines are the stars at Baldwin: The strawberry, black raspberry, and red raspberry wine (the latter is named Trilogy in honor of the owners’ triplet grandchildren) were all medal winners at the 2014 Finger Lakes International Wine Competition. The vineyard list includes several whites, off-whites, and reds, as well.
Sip this: Perfect for the fall season, Spiced Apple “comes in a Mason jar with a cinnamon stick,” says Wendy Landolina, a member of the Baldwin family. “It tastes like Grandma’s apple pie in a jar.”
Don’t miss: The Strawberry, Chocolate, and Wine Festival in July
Open: June-Sept, Fri-Sun; April-May and October-December, Sat-Sun
Paul Deninno, owner and winemaker at this Catskills winery, takes eco-consciousness to a new level. “Our grapes are grown organically,” he says, “and we use sheep for weed control and fertilizer.” Currently, there are 13 varieties available, ranging from bold reds to dry whites to sweet roses. The Red Fox Merlot, “has been aging in our cave for 18 months,” says Deninno, referring to the winery’s concrete underground room, which provides the constant temperature and high humidity that’s perfect for aging wine. Look for the house-brewed kombucha while you're there, too.
Sip this: “We are probably best-known for our Cabernet Franc, which we call Black Bear,” says Deninno.
Don’t miss: Live music, ping pong, and cornhole on weekends
Open: April-December, daily; January-March, Fri-Sun
Recognized as the oldest vineyard in America — vines were first planted here in 1845 — the 37-acre Benmarl Winery currently has “about 10 wines on the list — more whites than reds right now,” says General Manager Casey Erdmann. That’s not surprising, since the Baco Noir and Cabernet Franc, both estate wines, are Benmarl’s most popular. “You’re looking at the vines where the grapes are grown right here,” she notes.
Sip this: 2017 Estate Sevyal Blanc or 2017 Dry Rosé
Don’t miss: Movie nights, sangria fests, and more at the winery
Open: Year-round, Fri-Mon
Pine Bush, 845.744.2231
Throughout the course of its 30-plus years in business, the small winery has remained “fundamentally interested in producing quality wines with a French character at a reasonable price,” according to its website. The nine wines on its list include a sparkling white made in the French “méthode champenoise” (similar to Champagne), and Noiret, a relatively new hybrid red wine with a peppery accent.
Sip this: The Chardonnay, which is aged in oak and has a buttery finish and citrus overtones
Open: Year-round, Mon-Sat
Located at Goold Orchards in Rensselaer County, Brookview Station offers a medley of reds and whites, as well as three hard ciders. The fact that cider is becoming an important product “is one of the exciting things now happening for Hudson Valley wineries,” says proprietor Sue Goold Miller.
Sip this: The popular — and award-winning — Sunset Charlie, a blended rosè which Miller calls “our ‘dog wine,’ because it has a picture of our yellow Lab, Charlie, on the label.”
Don’t miss: “Wine-ing a bit” at the custom-made, 17-foot red oak tasting bar
Open: April-December, daily
Brotherhood, which produced its first wine in 1839, and has continued for the 176 years since, is widely considered to be the oldest continually operating winery in the U.S. In fact, it was in business even during Prohibition, when it made altar wine. Today, it offers about 50 vintages, says the marketing department’s Stephanie Wagner. “Our Riesling and Pinot Noir are crowd-pleasers, and our Cabernet Sauvignon won Best in Class at the New York Wine and Food Classic in 2014.”
Sip this: The Brotherhood Premium Dry Rosé or the Cabernet Sauvignon
Open: Year-round, Sat-Sun
Nestled in the foothills of the Berkshires in eastern Dutchess County, this family-run winery has nine table wines — including the popular Heavenly Daze, a red dessert wine — on its current list. Weekend tastings are free with any purchase, and include a variety of Valley-sourced cheeses and other foods; sample all of these offerings on its comfortable porch.
Sip this: Summertide, a semi-dry white made with Seyval Blanc grapes; it’s perfect for a picnic.
Open: April-December, Fri-Sun
This fledgling winery produced its first 10 bottles of wine in 2008 — one of the owners, Karen Graessle, stomped the grapes herself. In 2014, four of its vintages took home medals at the Hudson Valley Wine and Spirits Competition. Seven of its wines are estate-bottled, using only grapes produced in its own vineyard.
Sip this: Estate Divinity White, made from a hybrid of Cayuga White and Riesling grapes developed by Cornell Cooperative Extension; Clearview is one of only a handful of vineyards that grow this grape.
Open: October-December and April-July, Sat-Sun; July-September, Fri-Sun
Clinton Corners, 845.266.5372
Founded by Ben and Phyllis Feder, this esteemed winery celebrates more than 40 years in business. “It’s based on the small, estate-style vineyards in France,” says Phyllis (above; Ben passed away in 2009). Along with award-winning cassis, Clinton is known for its Seyval Blanc, which is “recognized as one of the best in the Valley,” she says. The landscaped grounds featuring a Dutch barn and pond make the winery “a real destination. A visit here is a beautiful, intimate experience.”
Sip this: The 2017 Reisling, a multiple award-winning wine sourced with grapes grown from the Finger Lakes
Open: Year-round, daily
More than 50 products are offered by Italian native Francesco Ciummo, a self-described “winemaker, wine seller, and wine drinker.” Besides whites and reds, Demarest has a long list of distilled beverages — such as Italian favorites like grappa, anisette, and limoncello — as well as balsamic vinegar.
Sip this: Black Pearl, a full-bodied red, was a prize-winner at the New York State Fair; Chardonnay Supreme is made from select Long Island grapes and has a crisp, smooth finish.
Open: April-September, December Sat-Sun; October-November Fri-Sun
Ulster Park, 845.331.8642
“I do it all myself,” says Maryl Vogel, owner of this small winery best known for its dry red blends. About 25 varieties of wine are currently on its list, all of which are made using only New York State grapes. “My reds come from Long Island; the Chardonnay and whites are from the Finger Lakes,” she says.
Sip this: Black Bear, Vogel’s bestselling Cabernet/Merlot blend
Don’t miss: Sipping sangria (a weekend favorite) and munching finger foods on the winery’s new deck. “It’s really become a popular place to come and hang out,” says Vogel.
Open: April-December, Sat-Sun; September-October, Fri-Sun
“We grow different types of wine grapes on our 54-acre estate vineyard and farm,” says owner Doug Glorie about this family-owned boutique winery in Marlboro. Located in a 1913 mountaintop barn in Ulster County — “we have the best winery view of the Hudson River Valley,” he boasts — the winery makes over 20 different types of vino, including reds, whites, and fruit wines. “Our most popular, as rated by our customers, is Candy Ass Red,” says Glorie. “Our best wine is Cabernet Franc.” Guided wine tastings take place on weekends for $8 per person for six wines, tasting glass included.
Sip this: Mutiny, a hard, lightly carbonated apple cider. Ninety-five percent of the apples used in it are grown on Glorie Farms.
Open: Year-round, Wed-Sun
“It’s been a pretty good couple of years,” says Hudson-Chatham owner Carlo DeVito. Indeed, a number of his wines have ratings “in the 85- to 88-point range,” he says. “Everything is done by hand — no fining, no filtering — on a 100-year-old press,” says DeVito. “We’re as old-fashioned as you can possibly get.” Old fashioned, yes — but also unique: The winery’s Fieldstone Baco Noir is aged “with stones collected on our farm, and toasted oak chips from a tree that fell,” says DeVito. “It’s a really popular wine.”
Sip this: Empire — a combination of Merlot grapes grown on Long Island, Cabernet Franc from the Finger Lakes, and Baco Noir from the Hudson Valley — which DeVito calls New York State’s first “superblend.”
Don’t miss: Saturday wine tastings and onsite foodie events like chesecake pairings and farm tours
Open: Year-round, Sun-Thurs
Established in Europe in 1848, and still owned by the same family, Kedem specializes in kosher wines distributed by its parent company, New Jersey’s Royal Wine Corp. Approximately 25 wines listed under the Kedem label can be savored at the winery’s remodeled tasting room.
Sip this: Kedem Estates Classic Red, a fruity, light table wine
Open: April-December, Fri-Sun
A visit to this Orange County winery is unlike any other in the Valley. “We serve a six-course dinner on weekends, with live music and dancing,” says Vineyard Manager Robert Magnanini. “We serve Northern Italian cuisine. It’s a five-hour affair, with a wine-tasting beforehand.” The family-owned winery produces eight different wines, including Mirtillo, a cranberry wine (unique, says Magnanini, “I don’t know of anyone else who does that”), and grappa.
Sip this: The popular Rosso Riserva, a complex dry red
Don’t miss: The homemade tagliatelle pasta at dinner: “It’s what we’re known for,” Magnanini says.
Open: Year-round, daily
Ceebrating more than 30 years in business, this 120-acre estate “is something of a tourist destination,” says David Bova, vice president and general manager. “It is a very pretty area, it has that ‘wine country’ feel.” The 35 acres of French vinifera produce only the highest quality of New York wines, which range from Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc to Chardonnay and Riesling.
Sip this: Tocai Friulano, another estate white, uses a grape variety native to Italy.
Don’t miss: Weekend lunch at the pondside Vineyard Grille & Cafe, followed by a stroll along the Vineyard Walking Trail. Both sites offer “beautiful views,” says Bova.
Open: Year-round, Fri-Sun
Highland Mills, 845.928.5384
Housed in a 200-year-old restored barn, the winery offers tastings Friday through Sunday (five wines for $6). Big draws are the live music on weekends and brunch every Sunday. On the way to the tasting room, check out the display of Palaia’s distinctive wine labels, which feature old-time photographs that date back to the 1800s.
Sip this: Crimson Clove, a spiced wine that's best served warm in winter and poured over ice in summer
Don’t miss: Live music every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
Open: Year-round, daily
New Paltz, 845.255.9463
Established on the site of the former Rivendell Winery, Robibero is a welcome retreat in New Paltz. “We’re small,” says Ryan Selby, who — along with his father-in-law, Harry Robibero — is one of two winemakers. Bitty it may be, but this winery is big on quality: Its New Yorkie Dry Rosè — named for the family’s Yorkshire terrier — is a top seller in the Valley.
Sip this: Selby’s “personal favorite” 87 North, a blend of Vidal Blanc and Cayuga White.
Don’t miss: Holiday events like Independence Day barbecues and Halloween candy and wine pairings
Open: Year-round, Fri- Sun
A biochemist-turned-winemaker, Stoutridge’s Stephen Osborn owns a gravity flow winery, or a winery that refrains from using pumps or filters. “We’re not doing it this way to be trendy,” says Osborn of his process. “We just want the fermentation flavors to come to the forefront of the wine.” The winery produces about 25 varieties, of which 16 are currently available for sale only at the winery (“we can’t do distribution because the wines are not stable,” says Osborn).
Sip this: Stoutridge Frontenac, a smooth red, or Hudson Heritage White
Don’t miss: A wine tasting with the winemaker. “The great thing is you can really learn about wine,” he says.
Open: Year-round, Sat-Sun
Awarded the distinction of becoming the first fully functioning winery in Rockland County, the vineyard resides on a historic 19th-century country estate. On weekends, guests can enjoy a small-plates menu at the Vineyards’ restored Victorian mansion, and, after a tasting, take a stroll around the beautifully landscaped grounds overlooking the Ramapo River.
Sip this: Sweet Summertime, a blend of Cayuga, Vidal Blanc, and Vignoles grape varietals. With hints of peach and citrus, this vineyard favorite is best served cold or as the perfect foundation for your summertime sangria.
Don’t miss: Weekend wine tastings and local music
Open: Year-round, Fri- Sun
Open for business since 2006, this 15-acre Columbia County spot makes a splash on the local wine scene with its unique origin story and family-focused mentality. The current lineup includes four whites, three reds, one rosé, as well as Bloomé, a floral dessert wine, and Crème de Cassis, made from currants and honey both produced on the estate. Husband-and-wife team Ben and Kimberly Peacock currently oversee the business, which was started by Kimberly’s father, Ray Tousey.
Sip this: Riesling, an estate-bottled white wine with apricot and peach notes
Open: Year-round, daily
When it opened its doors in 1994, Warwick Valley offered three wines and one cider. Today, more than 20 types of alcohol are available at this Orange County mainstay — which launched its own distillery in 2012 to produce bourbon, applejack, and other hard liquors. Which wine is most popular? “That depends on your definition of wine,” says co-owner Jeremy Kidde. “If you use a broad definition, it would be our Doc’s Draft Hard Apple Cider,” which comes in flavors as classic as apple and pear and as bold as pumpkin and sour cherry. The winery’s traditional and fruit wines also have an enthusiastic following.
Sip this: Black Dirt Red, one of the winery’s bestsellers, which is made from 100-percent Baco Noir grapes
Don’t miss: Weekend music and Black Dirt Distillery Tours, during which visitors can score and inside look into production
Open: June-October, daily; May, November-December, Thurs-Mon; January, Sat-Sun
Operated by the Migliore family, Whitecliff boasts one of the Valley’s largest vineyards, which is home to more than 20 different grape varieties. Customers clamor most for Awosting White and Red Trail, a pair of hybrid blends.
Sip this: The Oaked Seyval Blanc, a dry dinner white that pairs wonderfully with poultry and pasta
Don’t miss: The Valentine's Day pairing party in February and the Red Wine and Chocolate event in November