$5 for 6 wines
Less than 5,000 cases
Jan and Joe Palaggi
The owners of Palaia Winery are from the Woodstock generation and – as the peace symbol on all their labels attests to – they aren’t afraid to show it. A family run winery with a tasting room in a 200-year-old barn on land once owned by Aaron Burr, Palaia is affectionately known as the Hudson Valley’s “hippie winery,” thanks to their laid back style and informal attitude when it comes to tasting wines.
There’s live music at the vineyard four times a weekend in the Sweet Clover room, and outdoor festivals on a 40-foot stage in the summer and fall. The kitchen provides pizza, wraps, paninis, salads, baked pretzels, breads, pot stickers, breaded ravioli, and more. There’s also a creative dessert menu with such offerings as the Cinnamon Girl (red wine poached pear compote with cinnamon pitas,) and Have You Ever Been Melon (the winery’s own Magical Mead poured over fresh melon.) Local craft beers and craft spirits have been added to the tasting menu as well as wine and sangria slushies.
“The first word that comes to mind when thinking about Palaia Winery is eclectic. There’s a kind of haphazard charm to the place with a spacious tasting room and a slightly bohemian well-loved and fun space. The tasting included a mead which is not something you find in most wineries and something I was not going to pass up.”
Palaia’s wines are easy drinking blends with both dry and semi-sweet choices, as well as five types of mead to try. With such a range of flavors, the tasting room staff can figure out which wine you’ll like best after just a few questions. The labels are also color coded to reflect Palaia’s vibrant tie-dye personality, so if you come in for a tasting and can’t remember which wine you enjoyed, you might remember from the label color. Or, perhaps, by their colorful names, such as Pinkish Floyd or Zappa Franc.
Palaia’s offerings are accessible to everyone from people just starting to explore the world of wine to seasoned tasters who have been on the road for years. Between the music playing, the wine flowing, the friendly staff, and the overall relaxed vibe of the place, Palaia Winery will make sure that your mojo is rising by the time you leave.
Palaia’s delicate, dry Magical Mead has won so many awards that they’ve stopped entering it in competitions. It is still sweet, with a lovely honey flavor, but is not syrupy like some other meads. It goes really well with apple pie or a sharp cheddar cheese, or both!
Fruit puree is added to make Palaia’s four other Meads: Raspberry, Black Currant, Strawberry, and Peach. These meads are on the sweeter side, but the tartness of the fruit also comes through.
New Year’s Day, Easter, Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas Day
Palaia’s winemaker Joe Palaggi is from Hazleton, PA. He learned to make wine from his grandfather, but as his interest grew he took classes and seminars to improve his skills. At first he made wine at home, then with the purchase of the farm he began increasing his production. Today he makes about 3,500 cases a year.
Joe still has a full time job outside the winery, so the day-to-day tasks of running a vineyard fall to his son and his wife Jan. Joe can hardly wait to retire so that he can start working full time at the winery.