A few weeks ago, I received an invitation to a casual wine tasting and an introduction to the wines of the Finger Lake region of New York State at the Brooklyn Winery. Until that point, I did not even know that there was a winery in Brooklyn. Well, I can now report that the Brooklyn Winery is amazing – it has a fully operational winery, a wine bar and restaurant with a delightful ambiance, delicious wines and fabulous tapas, knowledgeable and outgoing staff and special tasting sessions!
I arrived early for the 7pm event, and sat in the main bar restaurant area. It is lively and inviting at the same time. The menu looked great.
A few minutes later, we were escorted to a large open industrial-like room for the tasting. The tables were set up in a horseshoe, 8 wine glasses at each setting. There were orchids decorating the wall, a table with an assortment of cheeses, salamis and hams, and a wide glass door from which you could see into the working winery.
Four wineries were represented at the event – three from the Finger Lakes area of upstate New York, Bully Hill Vineyards, Heron Hill Vineyards and Dr. Konstantin Frank Wines and the Brooklyn Winery itself.
We were treated to a tasting of two wines from each winery – one red and one white, each one being unique and delicious. Bully Hill served Grower’s Red (made from Native American grape varietal) and Verdelet (a white made from a French-American hybrid grape variety). Heron Hill served Eclipse Red 2010 (a full bodied Cab Franc, Merlot, Cab Sauvignon blend) and Reserve Riesling 2012. Dr. Konstantin Frank served a light red Lemberger 2011 and a Sauvignon Blanc 2012. The Brooklyn Winery served a North Folk Blend 2011 (a rich Merlot and Cab Franc blend from the North Fork region of Long Island) and Stainless Steel Riesling 2012. The wines were reasonably priced, most in the $15 – $20 range.
I definitely had 2 favorites, but I won’t kiss and tell.
So too, each presentation was unique. Each speaker was passionate about his wine. This photo was of the grandfather of the Bully Hill presenter.
I learned about the long history of wine-making in this region of upstate New York, for well over a century! How the topography and water in the Finger Lakes district is perfect for wine making. How the Erie Canal made the transport of wine from this region and hence the growth of the wine industry in the Finger Lakes area, possible. I was even educated on what went down in the Finger Lakes during the days of the Prohibition.
After the tasting, we were led through the glass doors and given a private tour of the wine-making facilities.
The Brooklyn Winery is located in Williamsburg – a simple 10 minute ride on the L train to Bedford Avenue. Whether visiting for a curated tour and tasting, or for a lovely social evening to discover new ambiance and delicious wine just outside Manhattan, I truly recommend a visit.