City Winery was founded in New York City in 2008 with the lofty goal of bringing wine country to Manhattan through unique culinary and cultural experiences. It did that—and much more—and has since expanded its model, bringing urbanity to wine country in the Hudson Valley.
City Winery Hudson Valley is perched on the outskirts of the charming village of Montgomery, with views of the Shawangunk Mountains, and within easy reach of Storm King Art Center, Dia Beacon, and Bannerman Castle. It’s also one of the best places in the Valley to grab seasonal farm-to-table food by the fire, sip artisanal wine, catch top regional comedians, and listen to world-class live music. It’s a perfect blend of wine country and city life.
“The nice thing about our space is that we have a lot of room to play,” says Travis Van Caster, City Winery’s winemaker. “For visitors, the setting is extraordinary. It’s a 130-year-old building right on the Wallkill River. The property itself is 23 acres, and you really feel like you’re away from everything. A lot of our visitors are from the city looking for an escape, and we also get amazing support from the local community. We have some very cool shows with great musicians and comedians. The vibe is very urban and fun.”
It’s also one of our favorite places to come to unwind during the holidays. The former cotton mill and knitting factory manages to walk the line between city slick and rustic chic, the perfect setting for hootenannies like Hung With Care: A Queer Holiday Burlesque Spectacular (November 25 at 8 pm), and The Rock and Roll Playhouse: Holiday Show (happening on December 11 at 12 pm). This family-friendly show allows the whole family to rock out to the Beatles, with games, songs, movement, and stories.
Getting into the Spirit
The wine at City Winery is carefully crafted, sourced from some of the best regions in the country and around the world.
“The City Winery model is unique,” says Van Caster. “We find the very best grapes we can for every varietal produced. We get Napa Cab, Willamette Valley Pinot, and Finger Lakes Riesling. It means that during harvest we are super busy. We try to offer experiences visitors can’t find anywhere else during the holidays. We have behind-the-scenes tours that explain how we source the grapes and make our wines, and we also have pairing dinners with wines that are finished and those in the process of being made.”
And if you have wine lovers whose stockings need filling, City Winery is offering a delightful array of options for the discerning gift-giver. Several are available at City Winery in Montgomery, but if you’d rather buy online, they also have you covered.
“With the holiday packs, we picked some of the best wines we produce,” says Van Caster. “They’re classics, and they’d be a great gift for friends or as a corporate gift.”
I think we can all agree that any of these gift options would be a welcome break from the typical sausage log or box of ho-hum, mass-market chocolates.
Ready for Giving—In-Store and Online Gift Sets
White Wine Gift Set: Three popular whites (Montgomery Mills Sauvignon Blanc, Harmony Drops Chardonnay, and Rosé is a Rosé ), gift wrapped (individually, if ordered online, or in a special carrier if purchased onsite) with a City Winery branded wine key. All together, it’s $70, or $90 online with free shipping and a custom message card.
Red Wine Gift Set: Three hand-selected reds (Knit Syrah from Lake County, California; Spring Street Pinot Noir from Santa Barbara, California; and Big City Cabernet Sauvignon from Yakima Valley, Washington State), gift wrapped (individually, if ordered online, or in a special carrier if purchased onsite) with a City Winery-branded wine key. All together, it’s $80 onsite, or $90 online with free shipping and a custom message card.
For a gift that will truly impress, order the Holiday Gift Basket (online only). This heaving holiday gift basket set includes two wines (Pinot Noir from Santa Maria Valley and Cabernet Sauvignon from Guenoc Valley, both up-and-coming regions in California), plus a corkscrew, four City Winery branded cups, Rhythm Organic Beet Chips, Rind Straw-Perry Snacks, Cabernayzyn’s Dark Chocolate Cabernet Sauvignon Grapes, and City Winery’s new Guatemalan Hueheutenango Dark Roasted Coffee made at their New York City site. The gift basket is $159 which includes free shipping.
“The traditional holiday pack is a meat and cheese basket, filled with items that aren’t necessarily hand-selected or bespoke,” says Van Caster. “Ours is just the opposite. And all of the wines we chose for the basket are from terroir that we have personal connections to. Take the Pinot from the Santa Maria Valley, for example. I spent a harvest there working with many of the vineyards that grew the fruit that are in this wine. It’s a beautiful wine. The coffee we make ourselves, and the snacks are artisanal, thoughtfully made and delicious. The overall vibe of the gift pack is personal and hand-picked, which is what you want as a gift giver.”
And, we might add, what you would want as the recipient.
For more on City Winery Hudson Valley and to order online, visit the website.
Photos: Courtesy City Winery