The Winery at St. George, Mohegan Lake
The distinctive, 100-year-old former St. George’s Church building in Mohegan Lake has taken on a new life as a winery. “We bought the old building in 2005 after it had been vacant for about 25 years,” says Tom DeChiaro, who heads the family-owned Winery at St. George.
DeChiaro grew up in Brooklyn and lived in Sausalito, California, near the Napa Valley wine country, working in computer science and engineering. “I loved the wineries there, so after moving back east, I decided to hone my wine-making skills and go into business,” he says. The Winery at St. George produces limited-edition Cabernet Franc, Seyval Blanc, and Noiret vintages, and offers many wines made using organic, locally grown grapes from a vineyard at the Hilltop Hanover Farm and Environmental Center in Yorktown Heights. “Our real passion, along with the wine-making itself, is to advance environmentally sound organic agriculture and help sustain open-land initiatives,” says DeChiaro.
Church congregation Patrons enjoy food and wine at the Winery at St. George, which is housed in a 100-year-old Norman church
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The winery is brand-new; it officially opened in the winter of 2012, in the historic French Norman-style stone building that features high ceilings and impressive wooden beams. “We’re a unique business model, in the sense that we’re a wine bar and restaurant, too,” DeChiaro notes. He says that, along with wine tastings (they also offer wine-tasting classes) — which often include Cabernet, Shiraz, and Merlot samples — the winery offers 35 wines by the glass and an additional 100 by the bottle. Food-wise, there’s a tapas-style light menu as well as everything from vegetarian steamed dumplings to cheese platters, salads, sushi, and more exotic choices such as sliced duck breast.
“We’re not a sports bar; we don’t have TVs,” says DeChiaro. “We want to encourage a lounge-like feeling where people can relax, meet, and chat. There’s cabaret-style seating for musical events.” The winery also has hosted art shows — even a Broadway-style play — and plans to present more eclectic programming this season. This year marks the 100th anniversary of St. George’s Church, and the winery is commemorating the event with a special Centennial Blend wine, which is set to be released as we go to press.
Next on their agenda: “Now that the inside of the winery is up and running, we plan to do some renovations on the exterior, such as adding a patio,” says DeChiaro. “It’s such a unique, beautiful location — we want people to enjoy it.” 914-455-4272; www.thewineryatstgeorge.com — Dale McKnight
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