Tours, tastings and special events at the wineries of the Hudson Valley are very popular activities during visits to the region. Please check websites or call ahead to verify open hours if you're planning a trip, as most wineries change schedules depending on the season. Learn more about the history of wine making in the Hudson Valley.
The Adair winery is found in a 200-year-old Dutch-style barn that was recently designated a historic landmark. The cellar is on the first floor and the tasting and gift shop on the second. Most Adair wines are made from locally grown grapes, such as Seyval Blanc, Foch, Ravat and Leon Millot. A Chardonnay and Baco Noir are also produced from grapes grown in the Finger Lakes region. Directions: Located six miles south of New Paltz at 75 Allhusen Road. Take Route 32 and turn east on Allhusen Road. (845)255-1377. www.adairwine.com
Alison Wines & Vineyards is the Hudson Valley's newest producer of fine red and white wines created from noble French varieties. All winemaking and barrel aging takes place in a converted dairy barn, the oldest section of which dates to the mid 1800's. Parts of the barn are dug into a hillside, creating a natural barrel cave that is used for fermenting and aging wine. From the winery grounds you can enjoy panoramic view of the Catskill Mountains or shop in the adjacent Greig Farm Market. Directions: From the traffic light at the intersection of Routes 199 and 9 (the center of Red Hook) take Route 9 north for three miles. Make a left onto Pitcher Lane. The winery is one-quarter of a mile on the right. (845) 758-6335 for seasonal hours or http://www.alisonwines.com
Rivaling their French counterparts in blind tastings, Applewood's wines taste like wines twice their price. They include oak aged reds, barrel fermented Seyval/Chardonnay's, Hard Apple Cider and Autumn Mist, a dessert wine that the New York Times said "captures the essence of apple." Discover New York wines at Applewood where there is a wine for everyone. Directions: Located in Warwick off County Route 13, just 3 miles south of Sugar Loaf Crafts Village. (845) 988-9292, http://www.applewoodwinery.com/
Owners Patricia and Jack Baldwin founded their winery in 1982 on a vineyard site dating back to 1786. The Baldwins grow most of their own grapes, purchasing only 15 percent of what's needed to make the 10 varieties of wine they produce. They specialize in Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon but also produce a good Claret and Landot Noir. "The Wine Spectator" awarded their Landot Noir a 96, an exceptionally high rating, in their third year of production. Directions: Located on the Hardenburgh Estate, take Maple Avenue north from Route 52 in Pine Bush and turn left on Hardenburgh Road. The winery is on the right. (845)744-2226. www.baldwinvineyards.com
One of the country's oldest wineries, Benmarl produces two dry wines, an Estate Red and Estate White, along with several specialty wines and a sparkling Verdelet and Seyval Blanc blend. Hourly tours are offered. Admission fee includes parking, winery tour, wine tasting, art gallery, and use of picnic area. Directions: From 9W in Marlborough, take Western Avenue west, turning left on Highland Avenue. Watch for the Benmarl sign in about a half mile. (845)236-4265. http://www.benmarl.com
Owners Richard and Valerie Eldridge opened Brimstone in 1979. Their wines are made from hybrids and European varietals and range from a sparkling Seyval and Vidal to country wine blends. All but one are dry. Directions: Take Route 52 west from Pine Bush to Route 7 north. Brimstone Hill Road is one-half mile on the left. (845)744-2231. http://www.brimstonehillwinery.com/
Brotherhood is America's oldest continuously operating winery with a network of old subterranean caves, where wines are aged in a variety of oak vessels, some dating back to the 1840s. Brotherhood produces an array of wines, from basic table wines like Chablis, Blush Chablis and Burgundy, to fortified wines, dessert wines and premium varietal wines, like chardonnay, Riesling, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir. Directions: Take Route 208 north in Washingtonville, go right on Main Street and left to Brotherhood Plaza Drive. (845)496-3661. www.brotherhoodwinery.net
Established in 1972 by New York City novelist William Wetmore, Cascade Mountain maintains an emphasis on reds, but produces a significant amount of whites with grapes purchased from other local vineyards. A Private Reserve Red is made from Cabernet Sauvignon with Leon Millot and the Dry Red Wine is a combination of Leon Millot and Baco Noir. Cascade's whites include a Seyval Blanc and a Private Reserve White, a blend of Chardonnay and Seyval Blanc selected as the official reception wine for the United States Mission to the United Nations. Visitors take self-guided tours which end in a tasting room and gift shop. Cascade also offers a restaurant featuring regional specialties like goat's milk cheese, smoked trout, salmon mousse, duck pates, locally raised fowl and vegetables in season on its luncheon menu. The more formal dinner menu features several courses and matching wines. Open daily, but reservations are suggested for the restaurant. Directions: Found on Flint Hill Road. Take Route 22 three miles north of Amenia. Turn left on Webatuck School Road and follow the signs to winery. (845)373-9021. www.cascademt.com
Seyval Blanc is the mainstay of Clinton Vineyards. Formerly a graphic designer in New York City, founder Ben Feder also produces a sparkling wine, Seyval Naturel, and occasionally, when the growing season permits, a German-style Riesling. The winery is housed in a 19th century dairy barn and Clinton has won statewide as well as national awards. Open holidays and weekends. Directions: Located just off the Schultzville Road, west of the Taconic Parkway, north of Clinton Corners. (845)266-5372. www.clintonvineyards.com
Owner Felipe Beltra produces clean country wines from a variety of grapes, including Seyval Blanc and Concord. He makes and sells all of his wines, which range from dry to sweet, by Christmas. Established in 1981, Beltra was given help by Ernest Herzog, owner of Royal Kedem Winery, to purchase a barn that was sitting idle on the company's property. This 150-year-old barn now houses El Paso production. Directions: El Paso is found on Route 9W four miles south of Kingston. (845)331-8642. www.elpasowinery.com
Open daily from April to December. Reservations needed for the restaurant, which may leave you feeling as if you've stepped into an Italian cantina, complete with dancing to live accordion music. Begun in 1970 by Richard and Galba Magnanini, a father-son team, the Magnaninis sold their grapes to Brotherhood Winery until 1983, when they decided to open their own winery and restaurant. They produce six country wines including a Seyval Blanc and DeChaunac, and four hybrid blends that range from dry to sweet. Directions: Located at 172 Strawridge Road. From Wallkill, take Route 300 east one mile, turn right on Plains Road and right on Strawridge Road. (845)895-2767. www.magwine.com
Visitors get a good look at the 70 acres of vineyards as they wind their way toward the large barn that houses the operation, established in 1981. Owner John Dyson, former New York State Commissioner of Agriculture, grows about 25 varieties of European grapes, more than any other winery in the state - nearly half are Chardonnay, about one third are Pinot Noir. The sales and tasting rooms overlook the vineyards and offer a scenic Hudson Valley view. Millbrook produces Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Hunt Country Red, a blend of several red grape varieties. Open daily. Directions: From the Taconic Parkway, take 44 east to 82 north, 3-and-a-half miles to Shunpike Road. Turn right, winery is another 3 miles. (845)677-8383. www.millbrookwine.com
The valley's second oldest winery, Regent is situated on a rocky overlook used by the Continental Army as its second line of defense after West Point during the Revolutionary War. Visitors enjoy beautiful vistas of the river and valley. The original vineyards are now overgrown and the winery's stone buildings, courtyard, clocktower and house are arranged in the style of an Italian manor. Originally called the Hudson Valley Wine Company, it was begun in 1904 and renamed Regent Champagne Cellars in 1987. Sparkling wines such as Brut Champagne and fruit-flavored Blueberry, Raspberry, Peach, Almond and Strawberry are produced here. Directions: Take Route 9W about two miles south of Highland and turn east on Blue Point Road. Address is 200 Blue Point Rd. (845)691-7296.
Since 1987, Rivendell Winery has been one of the favorite and most visited wineries in the Hudson Valley. Founded by the Ransom Family, Rivendell wines have attracted the attention of wine critics and aficionados. A range of popular wines under the Libertyville Cellars label have recently been released. Located on 55 scenic acres, the winery is a popular destination for wine tourists in the valley, boasting a glass enclosed tasting porch with panoramic views, a fireplace and a full calendar of wine and food oriented events every month of the year. Rivendell is located midway between New York City and Albany, at Exit 18 off the New York State Thruway. 714 Albany Post Road, New Paltz. (845) 255-2494. www.rivendellwine.com
Offers two sites for visiting. Marlborough-on-Hudson is where the grapes are grown and the wine is produced. This facility is open Fridays and Sundays. Royal Kedem's Milton operation is open daily except Saturdays. Here visitors can enjoy the wines in a tasting room and shop inside a 130-year-old train station overlooking the Hudson River. Royal Kedem is owned and operated by the Herzog family, the sole supplier of wine to Emperor Franz Josef I of Austria in the mid-1800s. The family, lead by Eugene Herzog, fled Germany in 1948, coming to the United States with only $3,000 and their wine formulas. Eugene and his son Ernest purchased the Royal Wine Company in 1958, adding the word Kedem, which is Yiddish for "forward" or "renew our days as before." After Ernest died in 1989, his son Michael took over as winemaker and manager. Royal Kedem produces more than 25 kosher wines, made from local hybrid and native American grapes in varieties ranging from dry to sweet. Directions: Marlborough facility - found on Route 9W a little over a mile north of Marlborough; Milton facility - three miles north of Marlborough on Route 9W, just south of Milton. (845)795-2240. www.royalwines.com
Situated on 100 acres in Southern Orange County, Warwick Valley Winery is especially known for its Chardonnay and its Cayuga Blanc. Owner Joe Grizzanti also produces award-winning apple and raspberry ciders. The winery boasts an orchard open for apple picking in the fall and its stables, complete with horses, offer a picturesque setting to enjoy the fruits of its labor. A bakery and ice cream parlor are also on the premises. Directions: Located on Route 94, just north of Route 17A. (845)258-4858. www.wvwinery.com
Owner Lou Fiore purchased what was once a dairy farm operated by the Christian Brothers Order from Ireland and turned it into a winery producing Chardonnay. He opened West Park in 1983. Students and faculty from the Culinary Institute of America, just across the river in Hyde Park, put on elaborate dinner parties featuring candlelit tables, classical music and gourmet meals. Directions: Located on Route 9W just south of West Park, about six miles south of Kingston. (845)384-6709. www.westparkwinery.com
Whitecliff Vineyard sits on 70 acres opposite the Shawangunk Mountain chain located west of the Hudson River (near New Paltz) and 60 miles north of New York City. It is one of nine wineries of the famed Shawangunk Wine Trail and is following in the tradition of French Huguenot settlers who brought wine making to this scenic valley over three centuries ago. Whitecliff is working with European vinifera varietals such as Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc and Riesling, and quality hybrids like Seyval Blanc and Vignoles, including small plantings of Pinot Noir and Merlot. They are pioneering use of Gamay Noir grape in the Hudson Valley for a true Beaujolais-style Nouveau. Visitors are invited to sample wines in the tasting room and enjoy a spectacular view of the Shawangunk cliffs from the deck. Directions: From Gardiner, follow Rt. 44-55 west to County Rt. 7, turn left, go about 2.5 miles and turn left on Mckinstry Rd, and the winery is located ½ mile on the right. 331 McKinstry Road, Gardiner, NY. 12525. Phone: (845) 255-4613. Fax: (845) 255-0628. www.whitecliffwine.com
A boutique winery in southern Orange County specializing in estate wines with a focus on varietal expression, Silver Stream produces between five and six wines per year in lots of 200 to 300 gallons per variety. Silver Stream is a small operation with the intent to maintain a focus on a few handcrafted wines. For directions and hours go to the web site www.SilverStreamWinery.com.
For more information on wineries in the Hudson Valley, go to www.hudsonvalleywinecountry.org.