Wine connoisseurs assert that novice tasters should never pair red wine with fish, white wine with red meat, or excessive wine with jury duty. Lap up today's Groupon in moderate proportions: for $40, you get a private wine tasting and cellar tour for up to 10 people at Robibero Family Vineyards in New Paltz (up to a $150 value). Private tours and tastings are available Thursday–Sunday by reservation only.
The Robibero family cultivates handcrafted, small-batch grape varietals and blends across a verdant 42-acre vineyard. The cellar tour nets up to 10 people a behind-the-scenes glimpse into grapes' slow-motion transformation, which visitors can later attempt at home by teaching caterpillars to slowly metamorphosize into vintners. Upon emerging from the vino crypt, visitors sample Robibero's lovingly crafted wines within the rustically appointed tasting chamber or upon the outdoor terrace. While specific sipping sessions will vary depending on vino availabilities and visitor preferences, guests can expect to sample five varietals, which might include the peppery, berry-tinged 2008 syrah or the brisk, summery 2009 dry riesling ($16.99), which won a silver medal at the 2009 New York Wine & Food Classic.
After the tasting allotment runs dry, supplemental wines can be ordered by the glass ($6.50–$8), variety flight ($4), or St. Bernard–mounted barrel. In May, the family and pet-friendly winery begins to host wine sampling events featuring crafts, food, and live music.
Tour takers and wine-tasters must be at least 21 years old.
More than 770 Facebookers are fans of Robibero Family Vineyards.
Robibero Family Vineyards
Inspired by his grandfather’s legacy of superior wine crafting, Harry Robibero took the first step in rebooting the family tradition by buying 42 acres of property in the Hudson River Valley with his wife Carole in 2003. He couldn't start harvesting any grapes just yet, however—there was already an operational winery on the premises. He bided his time, waiting for the opportunity to fill his home's glasses and well-concealed flasks with his own cask-aged creations. In 2007, the original winery announced that it was vacating the acreage, opening the door for Harry to finally cut the ribbon on his family's very own vino haven.
After years of revamping the property, the family now welcomes visitors to savor red and white artisan wines by the bottle or glass while playing board games, watching sports on the 52-inch TV, warming up by the indoor fireplace, or listening to music during one of the winery's weekly events. The Robiberos also helm tasting sessions, in which oenophiles can sample a lineup of their expertly handcrafted libations. During the warmer months, they open the outdoor patio so that their guests can sip on sangria or wine while overlooking the lush vineyards speckled across the fertile valley.