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.
In the mid-18th century, distillers at Albany's first distillery, the Quackenbush Still House, crafted rum from Caribbean molasses, Hudson River water, and wild yeast. Instead of Quackenbush's large wooden fermenting vessels, The Albany Distilling Company's distilling duo, Matt Jager and John Curtin, rely on sleek, modern equipment to create their Quackenbush Still House rum. Updated gear, yeast, and water aside, Matt and John stick to Quackenbush's original recipe to yield the rum's smooth, butterscotch-flavored finish.
Their other small-batch spirits likewise pay homage to recipes of old, from the slowly processed Coal Yard New Make whiskey to Ironweed, a Prohibition-style whiskey aged in oak. Available throughout New York state, The Albany Distilling Company's libations are also served twice weekly at the distillery's very own tasting room.
A 17-foot-long red oak bar stretches along one of the rustic wooden walls inside Brookview Station Winery. Here, guests can sample vintner Ed Miller?s award-winning wines, which he makes from red and white grapes and locally grown fruits. Located at Goold Orchards, Brookview Station is perhaps best known for its apple wines, including Whistle-Stop White, a semi-dry white wine named 2007's Best Hudson River Region Wine by the Hudson Valley Wine & Grape Association. However, according to the Times Union, the winery has recently trended toward the use of other fruits, producing notable ferments such as The Conductor?s Cassis, a black-currant cordial handcrafted in the traditional style of French artisan winemakers. Visitors can graciously waft Miller?s wares at wine tastings held seven days a week.
From the Garden's menus are small for a reason. The restaurant is truly committed to only using seasonal, locally sourced ingredients, featured in weekly five-course meals. A recent "Autumn Flavors" menu, for instance, highlighted savory-sweet butternut squash in ravioli with brown-butter sauce, and finished with a cranberry-apple cake with a cherry drizzle. There are typically two available entrees?one with meat and one without?as well as thoughtful, moderately priced wine selections. Wednesday nights are devoted to wine dinners, during which From the Garden's sommeliers discuss food pairings and which grapes are the cutest.
If the way to a person's heart is through their stomach, then it follows that the way to a neighborhood's heart is through its restaurants and bars. The Sip embodies this philosophy, planning events that take groups on rousing tours of local hotspots. During these upscale bar crawls, patrons sip curated samples of wines, beers, and cocktails paired with light appetizers and whatever wild berries they find along the way. All of this imbibing is also done in the name of a good cause: a portion of the The Sip's proceeds goes to various charities.
Across five locations in Massachusetts and New York, Homebrew Emporium's resident experts educate local brewers in the ancient ways of beer. Inside each store, visitors will find an array of equipment, ingredients, and accessories ranging from complete home-brewing kits to hop pellets in a variety of styles. Classes teach greenhorns the ropes on how to perfect a home-brewed beer, prepare bottles and kegs, and throw an epic party to drink it all.