A Guide to Wine Tasting in New York

New York offers seven wine grape-growing regions to help you decompress from your workweek or appreciate a lovely vacation with friends and family. The first plantings began in the 17th century in the Hudson Valley.

Today, the provinces include Finger Lakes, Long Island, Hudson River, Upper Hudson, Lake Erie, Niagara Escarpment, and Champlain Valley. Each area designates wine trails to help you get to the next tasting room, totaling 400 wineries.

A favorite is Finger Lakes, which centers on four leading lakes, specializing in Riesling, Sparkling Wines, Pinot Noir, and Ice Wine, and Cabernet Franc and Chardonnay have made a name for themselves as well.

Long Island has superb reds, such as the classic Bordeaux blends (“Meritage” in the USA), Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.

In some of the USA’s oldest and historically significant wine areas, the Hudson River region produces outstanding wines using European, French-American, and Native American grapes.

The Upper Hudson region is a colder climate surrounded by the Catskills and Taconic Mountain ranges, offering robust reds and unique whites.

Outside New York, the Lake Erie region, also known as Chautauqua, is the largest grape-growing territory. The area harvests concord grapes for its juice primarily. However, the province also grows European and French-American wine grapes.

One of the warmest climates in New York State makes Niagara Escarpment ideal for growing grapes and fruit.

The area offers Riesling, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Gewurztraminer, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Saperavi.

Champlain Valley rests on the border between New York and Vermont along the Adirondack Coast, growing the hardy “Minnesota” grape. Wineries produce Syrah, Marquette, red blends, whites, Roses, and sweet wines.

New York has a lot to offer for wine enthusiasts, here are some of the finest locations you will find while exploring wine tasting in New York.

The Best Places to Go for Wine Tasting in New York

  1. Kemmeter Wines
  2. Brimfield Farm Winery
  3. Home Range Winery
  4. Benmarl Winery
  5. Vesco Ridge Vineyards
  6. Arrowhead Spring Vineyards
  7. Chateau Niagara
  8. Hid-In-Pines Vineyard

1. Kemmeter Wines

kemmeter wines

Open daily except Sunday, nestled in the Finger Lakes between Geneva and Penn Yann, Kemmeter Wines considers its wines and grapes as gifts from nature.

The owner and winemaker Johannes Reinhardt lets the fruit mature fully to express its personality.

The tasting room offers primarily a variety of Rieslings with a unique offering of their Estate Pinot Cuvee from 2013, 2015 and 2018.

A wonderful, charming red with notes of vanilla, caramelized pears, and lemon zest. The winery has upcoming releases, such as Kemmeter Estate SanSan Gewurztraminer.

You can taste the winemaker’s passion for wine with every sip. Perfectly balanced and classically styled in each bottle. The winery requests you make an appointment before visiting the tasting room.

2. Brimfield Farm Winery

brimfield farm winery
Image: brimfieldfarmwinery

Settled in Central New York, Brimfield Farm Winery offers some spectacular views of the northern Mohawk Valley Region. Sipping wine and looking West then East is breathtaking as you unwind, watching the seasons unfold.

Step back in time to the most intimate setting when you visit the winery’s century-old barn, where you can enjoy tasting some of the best wines. The Hughes family has owned Brimfield Farm Winery for over 100 years.

The winery works closely with a winery in the Finger Lakes area, producing sweet to dry, red and white wines. You can sample the wine seven days a week, starting in April through the Fall.

The winery hosts events to support local musicians and small businesses. They also offer their mezzanine for private parties of up to 30 people.

3. Home Range Winery

home range winery
Image: homerangewinery

Comfortably resting on the East edge of the Hudson Valley, this rustic winery will please your palate with delightful wines produced in small batches.

Bring your picnics, spread out on the expansive meadow, and take in the pastoral moment.

Owners Peter and Susan grow and cultivate grapes, making wine while maintaining an idyllic and scenic homestead.

The winery loves to create white and fruity wines for everyone’s liking. The fruity wines incorporate raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries from the farm.

Tastings happen from April through early November, Thursdays, and Fridays from 3 PM to 7 PM, and on weekends from 1 PM to 6 PM.

Home Range Winery often invites food trucks and hosts other events. As part of Harvest Hosts, the winery can accommodate overnight guests if you travel with an RV. You must have your own water and power.

4. Benmarl Winery

benmarl winery

Established in the vibrant green hills of Marlboro and overlooking the Hudson River Valley, visit Benmarl Winery.

The 37-acre estate claims to be the oldest vineyard in the USA, holding the New York Farm Winery license number one.

History runs deep here with the winemaker’s tireless commitment to consistency and quality. The focus is on handcrafted wines from their grown Cabernet Franc and Baco Noir while sourcing Merlot from Long Island north fork and Riesling on Seneca Lake.

Wine tastings call for a reservation that includes a flight or glass of wine with seating at one of the outdoor tables. Flight is $15.00 and comprises four wines of your choice from a long list of favorites. The kitchen serves on weekends.

Other wines your palate can enjoy are Petit Verdot, Marlboro Village White, Dry Rose, Malbec, Marlboro Village Red, and Marlboro Village Blush.

5. Vesco Ridge Vineyards

vesco ridge vineyards
Image: vescoridge

Along the Adirondack Coast Wine Trail, you’ll find Vesco Ridge Vineyards in a serene area to relish the bold and refined flavors of red, white and rose — sweet to dry.

The vineyard cultivates and serves wines to sure guests return for another delightful and unwinding experience.

The vintners inspire to create an authentic and welcoming tasting room filled with incredible wine that titillates your palate. But take the time to learn about the story of the origin of each wine you sip, including 14 varietals.

Added to the ambiance of the vineyard, they host several events, such as Run for Wine, Riesling to Relax and Yoga and Wine. Or you can enjoy a walk through the vineyard, taste wine indoors, or relax on the Terrace Patio.

You can visit between May and December, Wednesday through Sunday, from 12 PM to 5 PM. January through April, open by appointment only.

6. Arrowhead Spring Vineyards

arrowhead spring vineyards

Celebrate wines in the spacious indoor area or on the expansive patio with breathtaking views of the surrounding vineyards.

Arrowhead Spring Vineyards wines reflect the thoughtfully selected soils and climates from where they originate.

Offering respect to the land and maintaining excellent stewardship, the winery upholds its commitment to sustainable farming and seeks more understanding of our natural living systems.

Visit and enjoy the results of traditional winemaking with a completely natural environment and minimal intervention.

Wines produced from the estate are Merlot, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Syrah. The Chardonnay comes from local vineyards.

Hold a corporate party, small event, or wedding for 100 guests—the timber-frame, climate-controlled building overlooking well-maintained and lush vineyards acres.

Arrowhead Spring Vineyards offers daily tours for $37.80 as a learning experience, barrel sample, and flight of wine. Visitors also leave with a souvenir glass.

7. Chateau Niagara

chateau niagara

Nestled on the bank of 18 Mile Creek, Chateau Niagara has 31 acres of sterling farmland.

In Newfane, the vineyards grow quality wine grapes, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Riesling, Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer, and Blaufrankish. Saperavi and Turan are their exotic varieties.

Influence by the lake plains of Lake Ontario, the winery owners Jim and Kathy Baker sets long-term goals to please the palate with classic styles and innovative wines.

The results are award-winning wines from the 2016 Kagor Bronze to the 2020 American Fine Wine Competition.

Tasting Room hours are Thursday through Monday, from Noon to 5 PM. Note, they cannot accommodate groups larger than eight people.

Come to the winery’s PicNique, a summer celebration — European style. It’s a fun way to celebrate wine, feast on foods from their gardens, and stroll around the vineyard.

8. Hid-In-Pines Vineyard

hid-in-pines vineyard

Rested among an inviting pine forest in New York’s Champlain Valley is a charming and impressive winery. I

n 2006, Hid-In-Pines Vineyard was a humble operation and had bloomed into three intimate yet beautiful vineyards, spreading seven acres wide.

The cold-hardy grapes breathe life into the vineyard with the winery’s deep love and appreciation for the land and quality growing conditions. The vineyard yields 25 varieties of wine, from sweet to dry, including every kind in between, for your enjoyment.

The varieties come from brainstorming with Elmer Swenson and the University of Minnesota to help shrug off the cold, harsh country.

The grapes include Marquette, St. Croix, Frontenac, La Crescent, La Crosse and St. Pepin. Hid-In-Pines received the 2012 International Cold Climate Competition Petite Amie — Silver Medal and St. Pepin — Bronze Medal.

Visit the family-run winery and appreciate the rustic wine tasting room constructed from knotty pine to echo the area’s quality. The tasting room opens in April for an all-week tasting from noon until 5 PM.

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