About this Business
From Our Editors
Michael Dorf stood with his brother Josh, smiling over the barrel filled with wine from grapes they'd just crushed, fermented, and pressed. He claims that despite tastings and classes, he'd never begun to understand wine until this moment. As his understanding grew, he laid the foundations for City Winery: a full winery facility, restaurant, and concert venue inside urban New York City then expanded to build his flagship in Chicago. He now watches over more than 400 international wines and 20 house wines. Inside the winery, these wines—made from nine US and international varietals—age inside stainless steel tanks and American and French oak barrels. Here, winemakers lead winemaking classes, letting visitors join the crushing and fermenting process, and showing them how make private barrels with labels of their own design.
These monolithic tanks and barrels can be seen through floor-to-ceiling windows from most of the restaurant's rooms, where servers ferry Executive Chef Andres Barrera's dishes, each globally influenced, wine-focused, and locally sourced. The culinary team crafts small and large plates of artisanal cheeses, seafood, and flatbreads—which they make using the winery's own wine lees as yeast. In the restaurant and Barrel Room tasting bar, winemakers pour housemade wines piped fresh from the cellar through 19 taps, while visitors bask in the glow from hard wood and floor to ceiling windows. Private dining rooms gather guests around long communal tables, stretched between exposed brick walls. In the concert venue, they host more than 300 concerts with world class musicians such as David Crosby, Sinéad O'Connor, and Bebel Gilberto to entertain audiences under the glow of tabletop candles.
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