It's no secret that the Hudson Valley is booming with wineries, distilleries, and breweries. Maybe that's because the Hudson Valley is the oldest wine region in the United States. Or maybe it's because of our proximity to New York City. And of course, it could be the quality of the wine being produced in this upstate region of New York state.
And now we are hearing more and more about the producers in the Catskills. If you did a quick Google search for wineries in the Catskills you'd be a little confused. A lot of the search results will yield Hudson Valley wineries. And then the more you search the more confusing it gets. I guess the real question is where are the Catskills in relationship to the Hudson Valley? And are some of the Catskills located in the Hudson Valley? Being a lifelong resident of this area I consider there to be an overlap. However, in my area I see the Shawangunk Mountains as the meeting point. As I refer to the Catskills it'll be everything west of the Shawangunk mountain range.
In a historical sense of the Catskills you would think of the long legacy of kosher hotels and resorts. And the most popular wine being served for decades was Manischewitz. I'm gonna talk about the new Catskills!
This map of the Catskills will narrow our options down a bit. Places like Eminence Road, Bear Pond winery, Middleburg Winery, Blue Sky Farm and Winery and the Vineyard at Wyndham. And we can't forget Basahkill Winery located on the base of the western side of the gunks in Sullivan County. All of these wineries are spread out a bit compared to the Shawangunk Wine Trail in the Hudson Valley.
Some of these wineries grow their own grapes and/or others rely 100% on the bounty of New York State grape growers. And then some grow their own estate Grapes and Source from regions like the Finger Lakes and Long Island.
Bear Pond Winery being the northern most winery in this region is located in Oneonta. They are located on the Cooperstown beverage Trail. Here you will find wineries, breweries and cideries. This trail includes the famous Ommegang Brewery and has a total of eight stops in that area. Don't forget the Baseball Hall of Fame while you are there. And for luxury accomadations look at the The Otesaga Resort Hotel right on the lake.
In the north eastern part of the Catskills you have Middleburg Winery, Located in Middleburg New York. They make about 20 wines here but include New York State varietals and hybrids as well as Riesling and Cabernet Franc.
Don and Tonda Dunbar Found this property in 2014 and planted 400 grapevines as a retirement project. And in 2017 they added an additional 800 vines. All of their wines are made from their estate grown grapes only. So be patient if they're out of your favorite wine. The tasting room is open from Friday to Monday. Their website also says you're welcome to visit by appointment only on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
While you're there check out the Schoharie County beverage Trail. There's around a half a dozen stops including our favorite vodka producer, 1857.
The Russ Family started Blue Sky Farm in the late 90s. They have since added a winery. But not your traditional winery. They added the word winery to their name after a few years in business. They were a “you” pick blueberry farm. After a surplus of blueberries one year the Russ family start experimenting making blueberry wine. Yes, blueberry wine! It was such a huge success that they had to expand the farm. Now you can find their blueberry wine in many retail liquor stores in the Catskills. They make four different styles of wine from dry to sweet. There once again are 100% blueberries.
Next stop is the Vineyard at Wyndham. This winery is located on 4 acres overlooking Wyndham Mountain. And this is about a 30 minute drive from the Kingston, New York I87 Thurway exit. This part of the Catskills is very popular for skiing. However, this winery is definitely making their mark as a destination here. Each winery seems to have their own theme or twist. Here you will find that they make their own wine as well as sourcing Some of the best rated wines throughout New York from the Finger Lakes to the North Fork of Long Island. This tasting room is set up to enjoy flights of their house wine or you can enjoy other great New York wines like Dr Frank, Sparkling Point, Paumonok, Hermann J. Wiemer, Silver Thread, and others.
This winery currently operates only on reservations. To keep with a New York theme they do offer local cheese and charcuterie. Grab a bottle, some cheese and enjoy the view.
Andrew Scott and Jennifer Clark started the home wine making hobby in 1996 in New Jersey. Both of them were commuting to Manhattan as most people do in Metro NY area. However, the home wine-making passion kept growing. And in 2007 they moved the hobby to a barn in upstate NY. And this Long Eddy location quickly obtained a New York State winery license. And in 2008 was their kick off vintage of Eminence Road.
Eminence Road sources all the grapes from well-known vineyards in the Finger Lakes. They've created a style of sustainable, natural, unfiltered and natural yeast wines. They currently make about a dozen different wines in very small batches. Each wine average is between 25 and 100 cases. This winery does not have a tasting room and does not accept visitors. The good news is their wines are available throughout the state at fine Wine shops and restaurants.
Paul Deninno purchased a plot of land on the Bashakill Preserve in hope of opening a boat launch. Paul had also just gotten back from Napa. And in hopes of leaving his day job he was throwing around some ideas. And Bashakill Winery was born in 2005. Paul's passion for wine quickly turned into award winning vintages! He grows grapes on his property which is a microclimate and he sources grapes from trusted growers in the Finger Lakes and Long Island wine country.
Bashakill Winery instantly became a fun spot to hang out at. Paul would have bottling parties that were a huge hit. His outdoor pizza oven's attracted people. And he incorporated live music into the mix.
Paul's wife Samara now runs the kitchen and produces amazing casual food. It's probable some of the best food you can find at a winery.
Paul also started brewing beer a few years ago. Pending upon the time of the year you will find his beer or other local craft beers on draft. His Lavender infused wine is a huge hit and his Cabernet Franc is consistently amazing every vintage.
Go to their website for their tasting room hours. They are closed during the winter and get very busy in season. It is guaranteed to be a great time! They are also very close to the Shawangunk wine trail we can find another dozen wineries or so.
As I mentioned in the beginning the Catskills are a hotspot for all kinds of beverage producers. That's just a rundown of the current wineries. Enjoy your time in the Catskills! And remember, if you need transportation to the wineries, give us a call!