Wineries and Vineyards, Orange County

Wine tours, wineries, and vineyards to visit in Orange County

Applewood Winery, Warwick

Open: March-Dec.; Fri.-Sun.
Orange County’s oldest working farm offers limited edition wines — Chardonnays, Cabernet Franc, barrel-fermented reds, and fruit wines produced from both their own, and other New York State, vineyards and orchards. Tastings, gift shop, café.
SIP THIS: Applewood’s new line of hard ciders — which will include a dry style and a warm spice style ­— arriving just in time for fall.
DON’T MISS: Shawangunk Bounty of the Hudson Wine Festival (July 28-29). Live music every weekend.

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Baldwin Vineyards, Pine Bush

Open: Apr.-Dec.; Thurs.-Sun.
Converted from an old dairy farm in 1982, this pastoral, 35-acre family-run vineyard and winery produces a variety of award-winning wines, from dry, creamy Chardonnays to fresh raspberry wines. Tours (with reservations), tastings, gift shop, picnic area and pond.
SIP THIS: Strawberry Wine ­— Baldwin’s internationally acclaimed fruity blend.
DON’T MISS: The Strawberry, Chocolate, and Wine Festival (every weekend in Aug., and Sept. 1-3). 845-744-2226;

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Brimstone Hill Vineyard and Winery, Pine Bush

Open: Year-round; Fri.-Mon.
This 41-acre operation, with 14 acres of grapes, produces nine table wines and one sparkling wine, made in the méthode champenoise. “We’re small, and we present ourselves as a place where you can talk to the wine-maker. I am frequently in the tasting room,” says owner and wine-maker Richard Eldridge. Self-guided tours, year-round tastings, gift shop, tented outdoor corporate and private events, including weddings.
SIP THIS: Riesling — the 2011 NYS Fair Bronze Winner. 845-744-2231;

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brotherhood winery

Brotherhood Winery, Washingtonville

Open: Year-round; daily (tours and tastings daily Apr.-Dec.)
Established in 1839 by French Huguenot émigré Jean Jacques, Brotherhood is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as America’s oldest continually operating winery. Its numerous award-winning wines are stored in the largest underground cellars in the U.S. Last year, the Grand Monarque Hall, a 19th-century stone building with soaring ceilings, reopened after being destroyed by a fire 12 years earlier. The hall is open for both private and corporate events, including weddings. Tours, tastings, gift shop, picnic area, restaurant/café/bar open Wed.-Sun.
SIP THIS: Riesling — Brotherhood’s best-selling white.
DON’T MISS: The Hawaiian Luau (July 28) and the Wine and Sangria Pig Roast Festival (Aug. 25).

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Demarest Hill Winery, Vineyard and Distillery, Warwick

Open: Year-round; daily
After migrating from Italy to America, wine-maker Francesco Ciummo started this 16-acre operation in the hills of Warwick Valley. Together, he and his wife, Orietta, produce wine, spirits (including brandy, sherry and limoncello), vinegars, and nonalcoholic wines. Daily tastings.
SIP THIS: Cherry Brandy ­— the 2012 Finger Lakes International Competition Silver Winner. 845-986-4723;

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Palaia Vineyards, Highland Mills

Open: Year-round; Fri.-Sun.
Located on what used to be a dairy farm, the Palaia grounds consist of more than 10 acres of vineyards and a 200-year-old restored barn that now houses the tasting room and winery. The winery produces traditional varietals — such as Pinot Noir and Chardonnay — as well as a number of signature red and white blends. Tastings, gift shop, live music and special events every weekend.
SIP THIS: Joyful Pink — a semi-sweet rosé with strawberry overtones; or Mead — Palaia’s wine made from local clover honey.
DON’T MISS: The Odd Couple, presented by the Vineyard Comedy Players (July 12-15); the Woodstock Festival — a day of music, food, and drink with vendors on site (Aug. 18). 845-928-5384;

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warwick valley winery

Warwick Valley Winery and Distillery, Warwick

Open: Year-round; daily
The Valley’s first fruit distillery since Prohibition, and manufacturer of the popular Doc’s Hard Draft Ciders, this 50-acre operation is expanding its distillery and will begin selling bourbon next month. Overlooking the pond and orchards, the post-and-beam tasting room is open daily. Corporate and private events, including weddings. “We’re a very unique destination and make a great day trip. You can come with the whole family and enjoy great food, great wine, and great music,” says Sales Manager Julie Bleach. Tastings, gift shop, apple and pear picking, bakery/café open Fri.-Sun., live music every weekend.
SIP THIS: American Fruits Pear Brandy — the 2011 Finger Lakes International Wine Competition Double Gold Winner.
DON’T MISS: Watkins Glen Revisited, a tribute to the Allman Brothers, The Band, and the Grateful Dead (July 21).

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