Autumn is here, and if there is one place that looks glorious at this time of year, it is Hudson Valley, the oldest winemaking region in the United States. Within easy reach of New York City, wine lovers can look forward to a delightful trip to Hudson Valley Wineries on the wine trails in this area.
Fall also means apple picking and pumpkin picking and there is plenty of that here. Friendly hospitality, tasting a range of delicious award-winning wines, relaxing with the owners of the wineries, listening to live bands, plenty of hiking and biking across nature’s charming trails and historic sites – what’s not to love?
Hudson Valley Wine country offers 25 wineries and we’ve picked five of the most beautiful to get you started on your wine tour. Just don’t forget to pack your wine suitcase, as you are going to want to bring quite a few bottles of limited edition wines when you return home! You’ll also want to pack your camera to capture the pretty foliage and gorgeous views. Take home an unforgettable wine tasting experience with something to appeal to every palate, live performances, music festivals, farmers markets, knowledgeable “sommeliers” and, of course, memories.
Hudson Valley wine country is known for its variety of wines ranging from Vinifera blends, fruit wines, dry wines, sweet dessert wines, hard ciders and meads, to name just a few. You will find Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Riesling and Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir.
Now let’s visit the vineyards that make them!
Located barely an hour’s drive from the George Washington Bridge, Applewood Winery is a family-friendly, pet-friendly, charming vineyard where you can go apple picking, pumpkin picking and wine tasting with activities for kids. You can pick apples to your heart’s content and eat their popular apple donuts. Don’t miss their award-winning pumpkin hard cider, followed by each of their limited edition wines including Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, barrel fermented reds and their range of fruit wines and hard apple cider.
Their wine tasting room is considered one of the best in the area and each wine is especially paired with appetizer bites. Wine tasting includes a small Applewood Winery keepsake glass as a memento. If you visit during the weekend, you’re likely to enjoy a live band in their lovely backyard.
Their wines are available only at the vineyard and their online store, so don’t forget to take back a bottle or two in your wine carrier.
Spread across 42 acres, this family-owned winery is located in the Shawangunk Mountain ridge and a quick scenic drive from New York City. As one of the area’s newest wineries, the Robibero family’s aim is to offer exclusive artisan wines produced as limited editions. Expect a pet-friendly and family-friendly place with a beautiful indoor tasting room that thoughtfully features a large-screen television. There is a huge deck outside from where you can enjoy breathtaking views of the vineyard and the landscape around it. Should you decide to picnic outside, they have you covered with picnic benches where you can relish lunch. Yes, you can carry your own food.
At Robibero, you’ll get to meet Kristop Brown, gifted winemaker and responsible for the winery’s premium and vintage wines. The entire Robibero family is friendly and ready to personally take you through a wonderful wine tasting experience. You get to keep the wine-tasting glass as a memento.
Taken over by the Miller family in 1957, the 37-acre Benmarl Winery in Marlboro is considered the country’s oldest professional vineyard with its picturesque steep terraces where hybrid and vinifera European wine grapes flourish. It is a fabulous location overlooking the Hudson river valley and is known for its prized wines, namely Baco Noir, Cabernet Franc, Riesling and Merlot. This winery is especially known for its dry wine, its amicable staff and an onsite bed and breakfast with views of hills and trees as far as the eye can see.
This is America’s oldest winery and listed in the National Register of Historic places. You will be enchanted by the fairy tale setting with its Grand Monarque Hall towers, Vinum Café, Chapel, Gift shop, its courtyards and its archetypal front. Besides the captivating tour of the winery, you will really love the underground cellars that were manually excavated in the 1800s. Today, it houses more than 100 oak barrels in which their wines are aged.
If you visit during fall, you’ll love their guided tours. The winery is quite like a little village. You can opt for wine tasting with their friendly staff in their attractive tasting room or spend time in their courtyard. While you can’t choose which wines to taste, they take you through a good selection of red, white, dry and sweet wines. During the weekends, there are lots of activities. Brotherhood is known for its esteemed Riesling, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, Shardonnay and Pinot Noir. They also offer specialty blends including Sherry, Port and method-champenoise sparkling wine. A nice blend of vintage and the modern, you’ll find plenty of parking space and a nice wine store where you can buy.
Palaia Vineyards & Winery
Another award-winning winery in the Hudson Valley wine region is Palaia Vineyards, known for its Cabernet Franc, Traminette, Lemberger, Seyval Blanc and Noire and Pinot Noir. The highlight of this historic place is its 200-year-old barn, with its tasting room and gift shop, a 40-foot stage where there is live music practically throughout the week featuring popular musicians and actors. Wine tasting is accompanied with a choice of gourmet cheese and fine cuisine carefully paired with the wines. The service is great and the staff also help you with finding accommodation. The vineyard is open to private parties and events. You’ll also find the original farm house and carriage house on the vineyard.
Palaia has a wonderful 60s ambience and besides their quality wines with labels featuring ancestors from the family, you can also expect to sample a variety of mixed drinks in a wine base. Look out for their tie dyed shirts when you browse their gift shop which features watercolor paintings and other handcrafted wine memorabilia.
One thing is certain – you’ll return home from your Hudson Valley region wine tour with a full wine carrier and probably start making plans to visit another set of wineries in the area. You don’t have to travel far from New York to enjoy a fantastic wine tour!