Home to over 35 varieties of grapes and over 350 wineries, New York State is the third largest wine producing state in the country and a goldmine for anyone looking to enjoy some delicious, well-made wine. The Long Island region of New York State is home to many beautiful wineries. While visiting the stunning white sand beaches of the area, be sure to check out any one of the great wineries, like McCall Wines, the New York Wine and Grape Foundation's Winery of the Year for 2013. . The Hudson Valley offers magnificent landscapes and a friendly culture that welcomes tourists from all over the country. Millbrook Vineyards and Winery, called "the Hudson Valley's flagship winery" by The New York Times, is conveniently located just 1.5 hours from both New York City and Albany. While in Eastern New York, be sure to visit the Dutchess Wine Trail and the Shawangunk Wine trail and sample some of the region's best wines.
It is no doubt that the Finger Lakes region of New York is the wine leader in the state. The small, yet mighty, Canandaigua Wine Trail, the 35 wineries of Seneca Lake Wine Trail, and the Cayuga Wine Trail, are wonderful gateways to many of the region's amazing wineries. The Greater Niagara region, home of the mighty Niagara Falls, is a must-stop destination. The Niagara Wine Trail offers visitors a great chance to check out the region's wines and vineyards. Lake Erie Wine Country features a surprising group of wineries that are both award winning and easily accessible. For more information about New York State wineries visit Taste NY.
In the early 19th century, New York was known as the "Hops Capitol" of the country and established a strong connection with the beer industry. That connection continues today with New York State currently home to over 100 different breweries and microbreweries. Many breweries and brewpubs offer tours of their operations, and many of them are featured on beer and craft beverage trails across the state, like the Cooperstown Beverage Trail, New York State's first official cuisine trail. One of the trail's original four members, the award-winning Brewery Ommegang, began brewing Belgian-style ales in 1997 and annually hosts the "Belgium Comes to Cooperstown" beer festival.
It's not all about wine in the Finger Lakes. The Finger Lakes Beer Trail highlights some amazing breweries in the region that are a must for all beer enthusiasts. Delight in the variety of craft beer, wine, spirits and ciders on the Adirondack Craft Beverage Trail. To find more of New York's great breweries, visit Taste NY.
Hard cider has strong and deep connections to American history. Long ago in the Northeast, hard cider was more popular than beer. Cider is making a comeback into American culture and is quickly becoming a household staple for craft beverage drinkers. New York is currently home to 60 cider producers and apple wineries.
In the Finger Lakes, Beek & Skiff Apple Orchards produces seven premium flavors of its delicious 1911 brand hard ciders. In Central New York, Harvest Moon Cidery at Critz Farms offers six varieties of hand crafted hard ciders made from apples grown and pressed right on the farm. And, at Fly Creek Cider Mill & Orchard you can taste hard ciders and apple wines, another feature of the New York cider making tradition.
While the Finger Lakes are typical known as wine country in New York, it is also home to great distilleries as well. Finger Lakes Distilling in Burdett, NY is a farm distillery offering tours and samples to their guests. The Hudson Valley is home to New York's first whiskey distillery since prohibition, Tuthilltown Spirits Farm Distillery in Gardiner is a must stop for any history buff. With over 70 distilleries in the state, there are plenty of opportunities to try the delicious spirits that New York State has to offer. For more information on New York State distilleries to visit, check out Taste NY.
Despite such a large Wine and Beer industry in New York, distilleries refuse to take a backseat in the craft beverage industry. In fact, New York has the second highest number of distilleries in the nation, which are found in every corner of the state. While visiting the NYC area, be sure to check out one of the many distilleries based in Brooklyn, including Industry City Distillery, Kings County Distillery, New York Distilling Company, and The Noble Experiment NYC. They are all available for tours and tastings.