Often referred to as the “Napa Valley of the East,” New York State is home to numerous wineries. The State’s many lakes as well as soil and climate conditions make it an ideal location for growing grapes for wine and other purposes such as grape juice, grape jelly, and more.
Though most wineries are open year-round, spring, summer, and fall are an ideal time of year for a little wine tasting. New York is home to a number of wine trails – a group of wineries located along a designated route. Some wine trails across the State include, Finger Lakes Region Wine Trails, Lake Erie Wine Country, Lake Ontario Wine Trail, Adirondack Coast Wine Trail, Hudson Valley Wine Trails, Long Island Wineries, Niagara Wine Trail, and more. And, a new wine trail was announced last summer, the St. Lawrence Wine Trail in northern New York, bringing the total number of official New York State wine trails to 18.
Many wine trails offer “passports” or a document that allows you to try wine at all locations along the trail so you don’t need to worry about paying the tasting fee at each one you visit.
New York is also home to the oldest winery in America, Brotherhood Winery located in Washingtonville, NY, in the Hudson Valley
Make it a Getaway
To make the most of your wine tasting adventure, plan on taking two or three days to travel and enjoy a few of New York’s wine trails. There are numerous campgrounds located around all of these trails. And, whether a camper or not, many campgrounds offer varying lodging options from cabins to deluxe cottages and everything in between. Find a campground here! If you don’t want to drive while on the wine trail, many of the campgrounds located close to a trail can help you with finding a car or bus service for a day trip on a wine trail. Or, many of the individual wine trail websites offer information on available transportation.
It’s More than Just Wine
If wine is not your thing, many of the trails in New York State offer other options including breweries, distilleries, restaurants, shops, and more. If breweries are your thing, NY has over a hundred - from big breweries such as Southern Tier Brewery to many smaller craft breweries. To find a brewery near you, visit the New York State Brewers Association. If you're in the Central New York area or looking to visit, the Brew Central website also has a listing of area breweries, as well as a listing of locations for other spirts such as vodka, gin, and bourbon.
And, wine Trails are designed to appeal to people with varied interests - even if you're not into drinking. Most wineries have a gift shop offering unique, often locally-made foods and drinks, as well as gift-related items.
It’s Festival Time!
As summer approaches and the weather gets warmer, so do the start of festivals around New York State. Many of these festivals take place at wineries all across the State. To find upcoming festivals, the I Love NY website Festivals page has a listing of all festivals, and to help narrow it down, just do a search for wine, winery or some other related term. Once you find a festival you might like to attend, go that festival’s page and on the right there will be a map under which it says: What’s Nearby and you can then take a look at a map and see what campgrounds are nearby.
Whether you're into wine or not, New York's numerous wine trails are a great way to visit different areas of the state and see the beauty of the region. If you're already going to be camping, they make a great day trip, or if you're looking for a place to stay while going on a wine tour, campgrounds make a great place to stay the night!