Starting as a child at the age of five, Louis DiCrescenzo wandered between rows of vines, toddling along behind his grandfather as he worked the vines in their family vineyard in Monte San Biagio just south of Rome. Today, with four generations of winemakers behind him, Louis and his son Michael combine tradition and innovation to create high quality estate-bottled wines at Altamont Vineyard & Winery. With more than 20 types of grapes grown and harvested in the Helderberg mountains of Upstate New York, Altamont Vineyard & Winery produces a carefully curated selection of fine red and white wines. Visitors can take meandering tours of the picturesque winery and vineyard, cruising through the vines, heading to the wine room to see how it's all made, and sipping samples of the final result: adult juice boxes. The vineyard is also an ideal destination for events, private parties, tastings, and tours.
Four generations of Boydens have lovingly tended hundreds of acres of land that make up Boyden Valley Winery & Spirits. Plucked from more than 8,000 vines, these grapes are transformed into European-style wines, aged in French oak barrels in the on-site cellar. The results are 18 different products, including red, whites, and fruit wines as well as ice wines, hard cider, and cream liqueurs, which can be sipped by the glass on the patio, during tastings, tours, or at home.
The team behind Rare Earth Wine Bar doesn't adhere to a hierarchy. Owners and staff alike are proficient in every aspect of service, from recommending wine to washing the dishes. This sense of open-mindedness and community is evident throughout. They encourage visitors to try something new or to even peek into the kitchen to watch the chef prepare their dinner, ensuring it wasn't created by evil robots. And then, of course, there's the wine, available in adventurous flights or by the varietal. Their well-curated selection of vinos hail from California to Canada to New Zealand. And the staff is always happy to make pairing recommendations with their wide variety of food choices?from small, shareable plates to hearty entrees.
The chefs incorporate wine into many dishes, such as a poussin, or young chicken, braised in a Madeira reduction and a Delmonico strip steak seared with red wine, but all them were designed with wine pairings in mind. For example, the staff recommends sipping Bois Noyer merlot with the seared duck breast and Between the Lines pinot noir with the braised quail.
What happens when you mix a background in chemistry with a wine-making heritage and decades of industry experience? You end up with Gary Akrop, a vintner who really knows his stuff. For Gary, wine was once a simple hobby. But it eventually grew into a full-blown passion, leading him to establish Ledge Rock Hill Winery in the Adirondack Mountains in 2011.
There, he mixes scientific wisdom with decades of industry knowhow to produce limited batches of his handcrafted wine. Reds are the winery's specialty, each one made with grapes crushed onsite. And much like magic genies, each one is stored in oak barrels for months and even years at a time. Such precise barrel aging is part of a process that, when combined with quality fruit and expert skills, helps Gary and Ledge Rock produce wines of exceptional character. Whether sweet or dry wines are your favorite, a variety of the winery's best choices is always available for sampling in the warm, woodsy tasting room.
The Oliva family is most passionate about three things: great wine, great food, and great company, preferably all at the same time. Over time, these activities inspired Tony Oliva and his wife Debreen to begin making wine. Together they have traveled extensively to Tuscany and Napa Valley, studying the unique winemaking methods of each region. Armed with the knowledge to turn grapes into nectar, Oliva Vineyards now produces five vintages, including sparkling reds, ros?s, and blends.
The Oliva Vineyards tasting room welcomes guests to taste wines at their bar, which was built by Tony himself from wood procured at a local sawmill.
Saratoga Fit's Kim McGuire knows that the pull of the refrigerator can be strong. The AFAA-certified group fitness instructor spent her childhood battling chubbiness, low self-esteem, and the barbs of mean-spirited classmates. As a teen, she resolved to rebuild her life by reshaping her body and eating habits. Bolstered by support from her family, she lost the extra weight and resolved to help others do the same. Since then, she's spent more than a decade working in the fitness industry, earning personal-training certification and a tae kwon do black belt, leaving fat too scared to think about ever coming back.
These days, Kim specializes in boot camps, which melt calories and fortify muscles with a blend of cardio, strength training, and core-sculpting exercises. Here, exercisers of all levels challenge themselves in an atmosphere filled with motivation, accountability, and the encouragement from up to 14 others who share their desire to succeed and love of culottes. Free weights tone muscles in the arms, shoulders, and back, and BOSU balls facilitate body-weight exercises that chisel the abs. Using tools such as the USDA and ACSM nutrition guidelines, Kim also teaches the group how to eat smart and requires each participant to submit a log of their daily food and exercise choices to ensure they stay on track.:m]]