Wineries | Wine Trails | Wine Tasting
Find list of wineries in Westchester County. Find list of Hudson Valley Wineries, Hudson Valley Wine Trails, and Hudson Valley Winery Tours. Visit the wine tasting rooms where you can taste award-winning wines. Learn about the history of wine making as you tour the wineries in the Hudson Valley. Find winery locations, tasting menus, wine tasting options, and more about the wineries in Westchester County and the Historic Hudson Valley.
Visit the wineries in Westchester, New York. Book a room at one of the charming bed and breakfasts in Westchester and dine in one of Westchester's excellent restaurants. In the evening, see a play, go to an outdoor concert, or, just relax with friends, curl up with a good book, whatever you do, don't forget your glass of Hudson Valley wine.
Wineries in Westchester County are the Winery at St. George in Mohegan Lake, and Prospero Winery located in Pleasantville, New York.
Visit one or more of the wineries in the Hudson Valley and learn about the history of each winery. Book a trip to visit the wineries in the Hudson Valley. For a great day out on the winery trail, plan a tour of several wineries. Before embarking on your trip to the wineries in the Hudson Valley, read all about The Art of Wine Tasting.
Plan a vacation in the Hudson Valley of New York. The Hudson Valley offers a wealth of historic sites, magnificent scenery, and many outdoor activities. Activities in the Hudson Valley include boating on the Hudson River, hiking and biking trails through stunning landscape, birding and nature study in hundreds of peaceful sanctuaries and parks throughout Westchester County and the lower-Hudson Valley. The towns of the Hudson Valley are home to many award winning golf courses including Van Cortlandt Park Golf Course, America's oldest public golf course and the golf course at Mohonk, a 107 year-old historic landmark golf course.
The Historic Hudson Valley is home to the oldest wine making and grape-growing region in the United States. Brotherhood, America's Oldest Winery, is located in Washingtonville, New York in Orange County. Winemaking is an ancient and honored art, and nowhere is this more evident than at Brotherhood. The winery was established by a European émigré, John Jaques, who produced the first commercial vintage in 1839. Brotherhood has been in continuous operation since that time, making Brotherhood Winery the oldest winery in America. Brotherhood Winery is listed in the New York State Register of Historic Places and is listed as a National Historic Landmark.
Plan a winery tour in the Hudson Valley and experience the charming wine tasting rooms where you can taste some of the valley's award-winning wines. Tour the winery, meet the owners, and learn about the art of making wine. Have a delightful lunch outdoors, or end your day by dining al fresco overlooking the beautiful vineyards.
Visit the wineries in the Historic Hudson River Valley. The Hudson Valley offers more than 30 wineries, magnificent scenery, the majestic Hudson River, and the Hudson Highlands as a backdrop to the vineyards. See the stunning scenery that inspired a generation of artists, now known as the Hudson River School of Art, America's first artisitc fraternity. Taste the wines, visit the winemakers, learn about the history of each winery and about wine making.
Between visits to the wineries, go boating, hiking, birding, and take in the amazing landscape of the Hudson River Valley. Stop at a local farms in Westchester County where you can buy fresh produce to enjoy on a picnic out in the invigorating and refreshing air.
Experience kayaking in the Hudson River, historic sites, or just relax at one of the beautiful parks in Westchester County. When its time to eat, have a picnic at a nearby park and enjoy the produce from a local farm. Dine on freshly baked bread, cheeses, fresh fruit, and your favorite bottle of Hudson Valley wine.
The Art of Winemaking
Types Of Wine
Varietal refers to the grape variety used to make a particular wine. Serious wine-producing countries and states regulate the amount of a particular grape that make up a particular wine. In California and Washington any wine referred to by the name of the grape (Chardonnay, for example) must be at least 75% of that grape; most varietals in Oregon must be 90% of the named grape; and Alsace requires 100%.
History of Wine
The ancient Egyptians recorded the harvest of grapes on stone tablets and the walls of their tombs. The Egyptians loved wine and imported what they could not grow. The Egyptian Pharaohs were especially fond of wine. Some of them were buried with bottles of wine in order to make their journey to the underworld more tolerable. Wine was a social drink in Ancient Egypt and great importance was given to its production and consumption. The Egyptians were not the first to grow wine, but they were the first to record the process of wine making and celebrate its values.
Wine in ancient Greece was praised and immortalized by poets, historians and artists. Wine also played a role in the religion of Ancient Greece associated with the god Dionysus. Like the Egyptians, ordinary citizens did not consume wine. It was considered a privilege of the upper classes.
During the “Dark Ages”, wine production was mainly kept alive through the efforts of monasteries. As the Church extended their monasteries, they began to develop some of the finest vineyards in Europe. Although most wine production was done in monasteries, some religious believers diluted their wine with water in order to make it "safer" for them to drink. Since most of Europe lacked a reliable source of drinking water, wine was considered to be an important part of their everyday diet. During this time, people also begin to favor stronger, heavier wines.
14th and 15th Century
17th and 18th Century
Despite their strained relations with the British, the French wine industry soared in the 18th century. Many people feel that this was when the wines of Bordeaux really began to flourish. The merchants who frequented the Bordeaux region came from Holland, Germany, Ireland and even Scandinavia. As a result, Bordeaux was able to successfully trade wine for coffee and other much sought after items from the New World, which helped cement the role of wine in the growing industry of world trade.
During the early 19th century, when the British were fighting the Napoleonic Wars, they were unable to get a steady supply of wine from France, and instead turned to Portugal. Port became the favored wine in England during this time.
The wines of New World began challenging those of the Old World in the 19th century. Thomas Jefferson was convinced that the lack of fine wines in America was driving his fellow citizens to drink too much hard liquor. This idea carried on after his death and influenced the way Americans viewed wine. Ohio was the first region in America to successfully grow grapes for wine. Its glory soon faded, however, and California soon took its place.
Although the 19th century is considered to be the golden age of wines for the Bordeaux and Burgundy regions, it was not without tragedy. Around 1863 many of the French grapevines began to suffer from a mysterious disease. It was soon discovered that this disease was the caused by the Phylloxera aphid. Some French winemakers at this time, moved to the Rioja region in northern Spain, and taught the Spaniards to make wine from local Tempranillo grapes.
The last 90 years have seen a revolution in the wine industry. The scientific background of wine making has developed greatly, allowing for many things that were once impossible to be accomplished. An example of this would be refrigeration. Before the 1940s, wine was supplied to people according to their geographic location. After the development of refrigeration, it was easier for wineries to control the temperature of their fermentation process. This enabled high quality wines to be produced in hot climates.
Modern wine makers can now achieve total control of every stage of wine making, from harvesting and crushing to bottling. Though recent advances in technology have benefited the wine industry, they have also led to the temptation to produce more wine at the expense of quality. Wine makers face the challenge of producing wine for a larger market without losing the character and individual flavor of their wines. More countries are producing more varieties of wine than ever before. Advances in technology will ensure that this trend will continue, with more countries producing more wine, and better wine.
A well-cared-for vineyard will often outlive the person who planted it. Adequate soil preparation is very important. This preparation should begin at least a year before the vineyard is to be set out. It should be designed to subdue weeds, to improve the physical condition of the soil, and to add humus. This is easy to do before the vineyard is established but is difficult to do after the vines are in place. A soil sample should be taken to determine potassium, magnesium, soil pH and organic matter so that adjustments can be made before planting. The need for keeping a relatively high organic matter content in the soil cannot be overemphasized. A high humus content not only is essential for holding moisture, but it also improves the physical condition of the soil.
General Winery Operations
Before wine is removed or harvested in the vineyard, the amount of sugar in the grape must be measured. The acidity level must also be measured before harvesting the grapes from the vine. Two common methods are titration (grams of tartaric acid per 100 mL of juice) and pH.
Once the sugar is measured, the wine maker can estimate the alcohol concentration of the finished product. These methods have all been developed to aid the vineyard in giving the winery the best possible grape for the desired purpose.
Although in most cases the winery is aware of the amount of sugar in the grapes they are crushing, sometimes winemakers wish to add sugar to the must to either enhance flavor or raise the alcohol concentration. The act of adding sugar to the must after crushing is called chapitalization. Chapitalization is illegal in California and in southern Europe. Adjustments may also be made to the must’s acidity.
Racking, Fermentation, and Aging
Fermentation is typically initiated by adding 1 to 2 percent by volume of cultured yeast to the juice or must. Although there are many different kinds of fermenting vessels used throughout the global wine industry, in the United States, most modern wineries use stainless steel tanks. The fermentation process is regulated closely by managing the temperature of the vessel and yeast. This requires that refrigeration jackets or heat exchangers be installed on the fermenting vessel.
The most common way wine was aged in the past, and the tradition persists to this day is via barrels. Barrel aging is typically used for red wines and adds vanilla, spicy, and sometimes smoky flavors to the wine.
Blending, Fining, Filtration and Bottling
Fining Agents are used to take out undesirable particles, which tend to make the wine "hazy". By fining the wine, the wines clarity is greatly improved. This is critical to white, blush, and sparkling wines where clarity is very important to the average consumer.
Wine is then filtered to further clarify and stabilize the wine.
The last step before the wine leaves the winery is bottling. Most wines are aged in the bottles for a few months up to a few years depending on the wine and the winery.
Source: For the complete article "The Art of Winemaking", see www.winecountryguide.com, 2006.