New York State

Best wine destination in 2013: New York State.


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What do you get when you take two of Napa’s most cultish (and opinionated) winemakers and bring them together in a waterfront factory building and former turn-of-the-century Brooklyn brothel? You get The Red Hook Winery, brainchild of owner Mark Snyder of Angels’ Share Wines. Five years ago, Snyder had the foresight to unite Abe Schoener and Robert Foley with a Brooklyn-based venture. With each vintage, the two winemakers use the same fruit to make different wines. It’s wine geek bait: essentially, each vintage is an exploration of the two winemakers’ visions given the same baseline terroir. Since its debut, RHW has made 64 types of wine with grapes grown primarily on Long Island. Meanwhile, it has also has become a model for modern, urban winemaking.

Though the pier where RHW is located took a beating during Superstorm Sandy (and most of RHW’s stock was lost), the winery has reopened for business and is expected to continue making world-class wines. Look for stellar views of the Statue of Liberty and Governor’s Island (plus, Sixpoint Brewery is within walking distance). Red Hook’s tasting room offers three different tastings ($5-$12) pulled from a daily rotation of wines; also look for bites available for purchase from Brooklyn heavy-hitters A.L.C. Italian Grocery, Saxelby Cheese, and super-elite Cacao Prieto. For more substantial meals, check out the Brooklyn foodie landmarks in the neighborhood, like the The Good Fork, Red Hook Lobster Pound and Baked bakery. The winery is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm for tastings, and offers tours every hour on the hour, starting at 11 am (Pier 41, 175-204 Van Dyke St, Brooklyn, NY 347-689-2432;


Julia Sexton is a New York-based restaurant critic, food writer, and CRMA Award-winning blogger who has spent many lost weeks wandering the wine countries of the world.  Check out Sexton’s blog, Eat. Drink. Post. and, this fall, look for her book, Hudson Valley Chef’s Table, published by Lyons Press, a division of Globe Pequot Press.

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