Grape expectations? Whether you’re a connoisseur or just want to taste some good wines and learn a little more about them, a New York wine tour is sure to please. Discover award-winning wineries, from Long Island's North Fork to Lake Erie Wine Country.
New York wines win international medals in all categories. The right combination of climate and geography makes New York perfect for growing grapes—more than 35 different varieties across the state. Wine trails run around sparkling lakes, along the seashore, beside rushing rivers, up mountains and down quaint country roads. The diversity of landscapes mirrors the diversity of the wines—from fruity, aromatic native American varieties, to classic European varietals, to the French-American wines that blend the best of both worlds.
New York wine trails and regions host year-round events and provide information on local wines, attractions, restaurants and places to stay. Here’s just a sample:
Along with the celebrated wines, the Long Island Wine Council Trail highlights fresh local seafood and produce. Pellegrini Vineyards and Clovis Point Wines, international-medal winners, are among more than 40 acclaimed wineries on the North Fork of Long Island. Wineries in the Hamptons include Channing Daughters Winery and Wolffer Estate Winery, known for fine artisanal wines.
Four Finger Lakes wine trails—surrounding Canandaigua, Cayuga, Keuka and Seneca lakes—celebrate with special events like the Finger Lakes Wine Festival at Watkins Glen every July. In Canandaigua, the New York Wine & Culinary Center highlights New York’s wines, breweries and farms with delicious events and tastings. The Lake Ontario Wine Trail follows the Great Lakes-Seaway Trail, one of New York’s most popular scenic byways.
Cold winter temperatures along the Niagara Escarpment and Lake Ontario produce world-famous ice wines, made from grapes frozen on the vine. Try them in cozy tasting rooms along the Niagara Wine Trail, near the magnificent Niagara Falls. The Thousand Islands-Seaway Wine Trail also presents breathtaking scenery.
Just north of Manhattan, visit the Hudson Valley, one of America’s most historic regions. More than 30 wineries build on the tradition of the nation’s oldest vineyard, Benmarl Winery, and America’s oldest winery, Brotherhood Winery—now offering a wide variety from a traditional Cabernet to celebrity housewife Teresa Giudice’s sparkling Fabellini. On the Shawangunk Wine Trail, named for the scenic mountain range, 12 family-owned wineries create specialties like sparkling wines, vinifera and French/American varietals, and fruit wines. Follow the Dutchess Wine Trail past farms and orchards to several wineries within a 15-minute drive of one another.
The Hudson-Berkshire Beverage Trail through the Capital-Saratoga and Hudson Valley regions presents award-winning wines, beers and spirits beside the majestic Hudson River. In Central New York, the Cooperstown Beverage Trail features Bear Pond Wines and Rustic Ridge Winery as well as handcrafted beers and local cider.
For more information on New York wineries, see the New York Wine & Grape Foundation. Before enjoying New York’s great wines, please remember to choose a designated driver.