Last Tuesday night Kay and I were talking about things to do this Labor Day Weekend. Saturday we planned to head to her parents for a BBQ, and Monday I wanted to allocate to staying home, doing a few chores, and relaxing before the workweek. Sunday we were both open to doing something. Since she’s not too familiar with New York she asked, “Are there any good Wine Trails in the area?” That got us looking at trails in lower New York.
We found this great website Hudson Valley Wine Country .org. They have an interactive Google Map of the local wineries and even a “Plan A Tour” page where you can select certain wineries and, through Google Maps, plan a route for you with distances and times.
So Sunday we went along the Shawangunk Wine Trail to the Warwick Valley, Demarest Hill, Applewood, and Brotherhood Wineries. (The interactive Google Map doesn’t list Demarest for some reason. It was a pleasant surprise though.)
The Warwick Valley Winery has a beautiful setting. Upon driving up and parking there is a huge open lawn where you can have a picnic and throw a frisbee around, as well as a seating area next to their market. You can also grab a drink or bite to eat indoors and visit their store. They have live music certain weekends as well. I would highly recommend this place for a good lunch date. After doing a wine tasting we ended up purchasing several bottles of delicious wine and cider. The trip was off to a great start.
We then passed a sign for the Demarest Hill Winery. For some reason this isn’t listed on the Google Map we looked at but decided to stop by anyway. (Good call on Kay’s part. I love how spontaneous she is!) As we pulled into the parking lot it started to pour. We grabbed our umbrellas and ran inside. Francesco Ciummo, the owner and founder of the winery, was inside tending to a group of tourists from Italy who came in for a tasting. After chatting with one of the lovely ladies Kay and I joined in for some samples. He was very generous, giving us 9 tastings whereas a normal tasting only consist of 7. We purchased several bottles, with Kay and one of the outgoing Italian ladies enjoying his Peach white wine the best.
Next we stopped at Applewood Winery. Outside there was live music and a patio with people enjoying delicious food and wine. We went inside for a tasting and walked out members of the Wino Club. (This is an actual club you can join. You’ll receive 2 bottles every quarter, discounts on their wine, and free tastings for up to four guests.) The selection here was great. After enjoying three wineries worth of tastings though we decided to let our brains catch up. We walked through their market and ordered two really delicious pizzas and some chips and guacamole dip.
Unfortunately we really didn’t get to explore our last stop, the Brotherhood Winery. We arrived 10 minutes late to their last tasting session. The “village” they have going on looks very big. They had live music and food offerings as well. We did stop in the store to pick up a few bottles to taste ourselves, but we definitely plan on going back for a longer experience.
It was a really fun day. One of the reasons we joined the quarterly wine club at Applewood was to spur ourselves to go enjoy a day like that every so often. Overall I would definitely recommend venturing on this wine trail and give yourself a good amount of time to soak it all in.