Ah, vino — one of our favorite ways to consume grapes. Of course, our love for the fermented fruit would be incomplete without a day to celebrate it — enter, National Wine Day on May 25th. There’s no better way to celebrate all things vino than by visiting a local winery. Grab your cutest wide-brimmed hat and enjoy a red, white, or pink vintage all within two hours of Hudson County. Experience the full winemaking process, enjoy a dinner paired with New York blends, or visit a family-owned vineyard with roots in wine since the prohibition era. Whether it’s a large group event or an intimate day for two, any of these locations are sure to satisfy your craving and fill your wine glass to the brim. Read on to explore five local wineries to visit on National Wine Day.
Make Wine With Us | Wallington, NJ
(Photo credit: Make Wine With Us)
Make Wine With Us in Wallington is only a 30-minute drive away from Hudson County. Guests can choose the perfect grapes, bottle their own vintage, and even design a personalized label. The owners are American Wine Society-certified judges and their hands-on classes will leave you with the knowledge of an almost sommelier. Winemakers are able to choose from any varietal and blend they offer, both white and red, from the Lodi, California region.
There are four winemaking sessions during the year: crushing, pressing, racking (optional), and bottling. It’s important to attend each session, so plan ahead. When the process finishes, you’ll leave with 60 bottles of wine and in-depth background of the process. The total price includes participation for two individuals. Make Wine With Us is open seasonally by appointment — call 201-876-9463 or visit the website to find out more.
Red Hook Winery | Brooklyn, NY
(Photo credit: @redhookwinery)
For an only-in-New York experience, visit Red Hook Winery in Brooklyn which offers wine tasting and barrel tasting tours for guests. Red Hook Winery was founded in 2008 and has beautiful views of the Manhattan skyline and Statue of Liberty.
The Winery specializes in New York State’s wines: the harvest regions span across the state, from the North Fork of Long Island to the Finger Lakes region. All 150 labels of red and white wine are produced, from the grape to bottle, at the Brooklyn location. A guided tasting lasts 45 to 60 minutes and will educate guests about the winery’s history and operations.
Red Hook Winery is open Mondays, Thursdays and Sundays, from 12PM-6PM; and Fridays and Saturdays are 12PM- 8PM. The Winery is taking reservations for the tasting room and has both indoor and outdoor seating.
Tomasello Winery | Chester, NJ
(Photo credit: Tomasello Winery)
This next winery, Tomasello Winery, has multiple New Jersey locations. The two locations closest to Hudson County are its tasting rooms at Alstede Farms in Chester, NJ, and Abma’s Farms in Wyckoff, NJ. Tomasello Winery is a third-generation vineyard based in southeastern New Jersey that has tasting rooms all throughout the state. Founder Frank Tomasello, the current owners’ grandfather, was a berry farmer who started the winery after prohibition in the 1930s. He saw the repeal of Prohibition as a business opportunity and the rest is history.
Abma’s Farms is a relaxed, friendly atmosphere which, in addition to Tomasello wines, sells natural produce, poultry, eggs, and baked goods from the farm. Alstede Farms is a family-owned farm in Chester, NJ, and produces fruits, vegetables, and flowers grown using sustainable and organic production. Take your pick: either way, you’ll be enjoying delicious wine with beautiful scenery. Check out Abma’s website and Alstede’s website for the hours.
Torne Valley Vineyards | Hillburn, NY
(Photo credit: Facebook)
Torne Valley Vineyards less than an hour’s drive away from Hudson County and is a one-of-a-kind wine tasting spot and wedding venue in New York’s Hudson Valley. Brothers Jon and Stephen France founded the business in 2009, making Torne Valley the first fully functioning winery in Rockland County. The winery bottled its first vintage in 2013 and continues to craft various blends of red and white wine.
Its Victorian-style mansion on a 19th-century country estate boasts Ramapo River views, a grand ballroom, and an expansive lawn, making it a wonderful destination for a picnic. On warmer days, enjoy Torne Valley’s outdoor patio and chilled wines. The vineyard is open to the public on weekends from 11:00AM-5:30PM and the café offers a great small plates menu with live music. Check out the Vineyard’s Facebook page for the latest on musical acts and menu specials for each weekend.
Vinizzo | Sea Cliff, NY
(Photo Credit: Vinizzo)
Michael Izzo and his wife Kristie Loscalzo founded Vinizzo Winery and Tasting Room in 2013 in Sea Cliff, NY. Sea Cliff is a small village next to Hempstead Bay, about an hour and a half from Hudson County. Michael’s family emigrated from Italy in the 1960s and 1970s and amateur winemaking has been around in the family for as many generations as they can track. The Izzos consider wine more than a science, but a story which starts and ends with family: they all participate in the process from harvest to bottle.
Vinizzo features two homegrown wines: a 2016 Chardonnay and a 2017 Merlot. The tasting room also has a 2016 Californian Zinfandel on the menu.
The Izzo family invites you to visit the winery to taste your favorite vintage and experience first-hand the attention to detail with wine. For more information, check out the website or email firstname.lastname@example.org.