Millbrook Vineyards & Winery
26 Wing Road
Millbrook, NY 12545
Telephone: (845) 677-8383; (800) 662-9463
Open: Daily, 12-5, Summer, daily, 11-6. Tour times vary daily.
Tasting Fee: $10
Driving to Millbrook, you'll travel up a long hill, passing rows of vines along the way, before you arrive at the simple white dairy farmhouse-turned-winery. The tasting room is always busy, even during the winter, and beyond good Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir and Tocai Friulano, there's fresh bread and olive oil for guests to sample. There's also a guided tour through the vineyard, barrel room and fermentation room that ends with a tasting; make reservations in advance.
Brotherhood, America's Oldest Winery
100 Brotherhood Plaza Drive
Washingtonville, NY 10992
Telephone: (845) 496-3661
Open: Daily, 11-5, Jan.-March, weekends only, 11-5
Tasting Fee: $7
Founded in 1839 on the western side of the Hudson River, Brotherhood is America's oldest continuously operating winery, though it was more of a museum than a winery in the 1970s and much of the '80s. Past owners actually paved over the vineyards to build a visitors' parking lot. When executive vice president and winemaster Cesar Baeza, a Chilean winemaker who had worked for Heublein and Pepsi, bought the winery in 1987, he began shifting its focus back to wine, although tourism (mainly museum events and parties) continues to pay the bills. Guests can tour the hand-dug underground cellars of the winery, which are filled with old photos and equipment and look straight out of Europe. Baeza also planted new Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vineyards for sparkling wines and launched Vinum Cafe, a gourmet restaurant with an outdoor patio. Dishes include Prince Edward Island mussels in white wine, grilled lamb chops with ratatouille and seared salmon fillet over rice. Enjoy with a bottle of Brotherhood bubbly.