Forget Napa. Some of the best wine weekends can be had on the East Coast – just miles outside (or even inside) the Big Apple. If it’s time to dedicate your next weekend to wining out – here are 4 excursions to hit up close to home.
JITNEY JAUNTS & VINTAGE TOURS
Ride in style to Long Island’s North Fork with help from the Hampton Jitney – which will pick you up at one of its many Manhattan stops and drop you in the heart of wine country. A personal guide from Vintage Tours will meet you and whisk you away in a 14-passenger, air-conditioned vehicle to a day-long tour of 4 of New York’s most unique wineries. Vintage Tours provides lunch, tastings, and pit stops to local farm stands for fresh produce and baked goods. With a heavy buzz, you will be dropped back at the Jitney stop at the end of the day for your return trip to the city. Weekend transportation $75/person. Weekend wine tour $99/person.
More info at: http://www.jitneyjaunts.com/detail.cfm?item=80 & http://www.vintagetour1.com/
THE LITTLE WINE BUS ADVENTURE TOURS
New York’s Hudson Valley is not only home to dozens of vineyards, but it also offers a bountiful selection of outdoor activities that we – and Little Wine Bus Tours – think pair pretty well with vino. Start your morning by hopping on the Little Wine Bus, which will take you from Times Square into the Hudson Valley to embark on an adventure of your choice – kayaking, hiking, zip-lining, biking, skiing, yoga, antiquing, castle touring…you name it, they have it. Then it’s on to eating and drinking. The bus will start hitting the wineries where you’ll get to kick back and relax while sampling locally-made provisions. Weekend tours start at $155/person.
More info at: http://www.thelittlewinebus.com/hudson-valley-new-york-outdoor-adventure-wine-tours.shtml
WÖLFFER WINERY HARVEST PARTY and EVENTS
I say Wölffer, you say Rosé. The Hamptons summer crowd may be gone, but Wölffer Winery still hosts weekly events year-round at its beautiful Bridgehampton headquarters. On Sunday, October 12, join in for the always anticipated Harvest Party – where guests will be treated to lunch, complete with wine and ciders, as they engage in grape stomping, barrel-rolling, hayrides and more. If you can’t make the event – stop by the winery for Tasting Tuesdays ($15/person), Wölffer Wednesdays ($10/person), or the live music performances at Candlelight Fridays. Thinking ahead? Plan a wintery Hamptons getaway in time for the Festival of Lights on Saturday, December 6. Dig into hors d’oeuvres and sip on fine wines to the tune of holiday music as 15,000 LED lights are turned on to illuminate the vineyard rows. Purchase your Harvest Party tickets at $135/person.
More info at: http://www.wolffer.com/events
CITY WINE TOURS
Don’t want to leave the confines of our great city? Get a taste of Italy, Spain and Argentina – all without leaving the SoHo streets. City Wine Tours will designate a “wine ambassador” to lead you to three of the village’s hot spots where you’ll learn how to taste, pair and purchase with an intimate group no larger than 12. The tour starts with a glass of Prosecco and two tastings at City Winery, then moves on to Galli – where you will be schooled in the basics of wine tasting and learn how to find great values on restaurant wine lists. The last stop on this 2-hour journey is either Comodo or Puro Wine, where you’ll finish the day with boutique South American wines paired with savory cuisine. Purchase your ticket at $75/person.
More info at: http://citywinetours.com/nyc/wine-tours/soho/