The story begins in the orchard. In 1989, Warwick Valley Winery purchased an orchard and began to learn how to cultivate fruit. Local apple growers and extension agents taught them the basics and contributed to their early success. Their first product, in fact their entire business, started as a result of an abundant apple crop that lead them to experiment with hard cider. They were soon hooked, and their doors opened to the public in the fall of 1994. Years of experimentation and hard work led to the development of their acclaimed Doc’s Draft Hard Apple Cider, made using the finest fruit available.
Black Dirt’s flagship bourbon just notched a Double Gold medal at the prestigious San Francisco World Spirits competition. Sample Black Dirt Bourbon in the tasting room alongside local beer, Doc’s Ciders, and the (in)famous Warwick Valley Winery Sangria.
The passion for creating wines and ciders soon evolved into an idea to begin distilling and to open the first distillery in the Hudson Valley since Prohibition. It was their belief that the fruits grown in the fertile Hudson Valley could be made into the highest quality fruit brandies and liqueurs. In 2001 they developed New York’s first fruit micro-distillery. Using the same principle that had brought them success with wine and cider, they created a line of fruit brandies and liqueurs — American Fruits — made to capture and preserve the essence of fruit at its peak ripeness.
Black Dirt Distilling, LLC, was formed in 2012. While Black Dirt Bourbon and Black Dirt Apple Jack were born at the Warwick Valley Winery & Distillery, since 2013 they have been produced in a 4,000-square-foot distillery on a 60-foot column still. The distillery now produces up to 50 barrels a week.
The post-and-beam tasting room at Warwick provides visitors a unique environment to explore many offerings of wines, ciders, brandies and liqueurs. Overlooking a goose pond and the orchards, its bucolic setting is perfect for enjoying some great wine, music and food from their Pané Café, which serves fresh bread, pizzas, sandwiches, and salads all weekend long.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Black Dirt Bourbon Barn
In 2017, Black Dirt Distillery opened the Black Dirt Bourbon Barn at the most popular tourist attraction in the Hudson Valley: The Woodbury Commons Premium Outlets in Central Valley, NY. The tasting room/bar/retail space features a selection of New York’s finest spirits, cider, beer and wine – and not just those made by Warwick Winery and Black Dirt Distillery – that can be purchased by the glass or bottle.
Enjoy tasting flights, an extensive cocktail list, or a rotating tap and wine selection alongside New York cheeses, charcuterie, pickles, and more. If you like the cocktail you’re drinking you will be able to buy everything you need to make it at home, including the equipment!
As the only store in the Woodbury Commons to feature exclusively local products, the Black Dirt Bourbon Barn is fulfilling the important role of serving as an ambassador for the Hudson Valley’s wine, craft beer, and craft spirits renaissance to an enormous new international audience. But it’s also a great place for locals to decompress after a day hunting for bargains at the outlet malls.
Open year round
New Year’s Day, Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas
Live music every weekend.
MEET THE WINEMAKER
Jason A. Grizzanti is a renowned New York State winemaker, pomologist, viniculturalist, businessman, and the innovator behind the Empire State’s first fruit micro-distillery. Jason is a principal and chief operating officer in charge of production at the Warwick Valley Winery in the Hudson Valley’s picturesque apple capital.
Under Jason’s direction, the facility has garnered critical acclaim and awards for its fruit distillates including an 87 rating from the Beverage Tasting Institute for Grizzanti’s Pear Brandy; a Gold Medal at the New York Wine and Food Classic for his Pear Liqueur; coverage in Forbes Life magazine for the bourbon barrel-aged Apple Liqueur; a Gold Medal-winning Ruby Port; and Best of Show recognition at the Hudson Valley Wine Competition for Jason’s American Fruits Sour Cherry Cordial.