When you think of New York, a few iconic things come to mind, like the immense skyscrapers, the vast culture of the city, Broadway, and the dynamic nightlife. All of these things speak to the vibrancy of the city, but did you know that New York is also home to a variety of spectacular wine regions, dating back to the 17th century? In fact, the state of New York ranks third in grape production by volume after the well known wine producing states of Washington and California.
You’ll be interested to know that grapes and wine are a more than billion-dollar industry in New York State, where there are three primary species of wine grapes growing.
New York is home to six major American Viticultural Areas, which designates a wine grape-growing region distinguishable by geographical features defined by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.
One of the oldest regions in the New York area, and considered the most historically important, is the Hudson River Region. Specializing in Chardonnay, Seyval, Fruit Wines, and other Red Blends, the Hudson River Region hosts 49 wineries and produces 585 tons of grapes annually. They are credited with many of the innovations that have led to a prosperous and thriving New York wine industry.
When visiting this region of New York, there is much to explore, with 57 wineries and tasting rooms and 3 winetrails to choose from. There is also a great prospective for growth in this region, with only 500 acres of its 225,000 acres of potential vineyard land being planted. One can’t-miss winery in this region is Brotherhood, located in Washingtonville, which is the oldest continuously operating winery in the United States.
Besides the Hudson River Region, there are other wine regions you’ll want to visit in New York. First is The Finger Lakes, located five hours northwest of New York City, and best known for their Riesling. Next is a newer region, Long Island, that did not come to be until 2001. Long island AVA is best known for its Merlot, and Sauvignon Blanc and is also a key area for experimentation. And last is the developing Niagra Escarpment and Lake Erie region, best known for Riesling and Ice Wines.
As you can see, New York has a lot to offer a wine lover, with over 400 wineries producing 175,000,000 bottles of wine annually. With varied and expansive regions specializing in a variety of styles, you’ll want to visit and experience the wealth of the area.