ORANGE COUNTY, N.Y. (August 24, 2015) — Orange County is the “toast” of the Northeast region when it comes to craft spirits. Tasting rooms around the county offer sips of outstanding wine, beer, distilled liquor, and hard cider, a great way to spend the day or weekend.
The Hudson Valley region was the nation’s first wine producing region and may have even brewed the first beer. Microbreweries are expanding in Orange County and along with cidery and distilled spirits makers, an appealing blend and variety of locally created adult beverages is available for tasting and purchasing.
“There’s such an interesting combination of locally crafted wines, spirits, ciders, and brews to choose from in Orange County,” said Susan Hawvermale, Orange County Tourism director. “As summer fades into autumn, visiting any of these sites makes for a spectacular day or weekend getaway.”
For visitors who don’t want to drive, Hawvermale recommends taking advantage of a tour on the Little Wine/Distillery/Cidery/Beer Bus.
“Whatever libation is your passion, owner Tania Dougherty makes your trip a memorable one,” she said. “She operates one of the most popular crafts/sprits tour companies in the nation, with visitors from around the world experiencing the richness of Orange County’s adult beverage industry. Her fun and lively bus trips begin from either midtown Manhattan or from Hudson Valley locales.”
To learn more, visit www.thelittlewinebus.com. 917-414-7947.
Orange County’s award-winning wineries have a reputation for excellence. Brotherhood Winery in Washingtonville is America’s oldest winery and features the largest underground wine cellars nationwide. Excavated by hand in the late 19th Century, the dimly lit cellars house over 200 oak barrels and feature a crested vault containing some of the oldest vintages in the nation. Brotherhood’s knowledgeable guides reveal the secrets of these mysterious vaults and keep visitors enthralled with tall tales of folly and tragedy. The tour acquaints everyone with the complete wine making process. Afterward, visitors can test their wine tasting skills in Brotherhood’s modern showroom. www.brotherhood-winery.com. 845-496-3661.
Palaia Vineyards in Highland Mills is named for winemaker Angelo Palaia who emigrated from Italy and passed his winemaking skills down to his son and grandson. Taking the basics he provided, Palaia uses modern winemaking techniques to create outstanding and unique products. The vineyard is a former dairy farm which is now home to over 10 acres of vineyards, with more planned in the future. The 200-year-old barn has been restored over the last three years and is now a winery on the lower level, with storage and a tasting room above, preserving the look and feel of the historic building. Reservations can be made for special vineyard and winery tours, and there are year round events. www.palaiavineyards.com. 845-928-5384.
The Newburgh Brewing Company in Newburgh is housed in a renovated 1850s box factory and features special brews along with local wines and beer-paired foods in its restaurant. Its owners honor the rich history of Newburgh, the city where George Washington lived during the Revolutionary War more than 200 years ago. On tap are its Cream Ale, Checkpoint Charlie Berliner Weisse, Newburgh ICA, Paper Box Pale Ale, and other brews with equally inviting names representing the brewery’s passion for excellence. www.newburghbrewing.com. 845-569-2337.
New York State’s only distillery sourcing all of its ingredients from its own farm is the Orange County Distillery in Goshen, a fifth-generation farm in the county’s fabled Black Dirt Region. In just a week’s time, the distillery can pull a sugar beet out of the ground and turn it into vodka, just as it can take a bushel of corn and turn it into whiskey. Visitors can taste the sugar beet vodka, corn whiskey, and bourbon in the handsome facility at this unique farm-to-bottle distillery. www.orangecountydistillery.com. 845-651-2929.
Orchard Hill Cider Mill in New Hampton features a farm cider mill using its own apples with a tasting room offering a selection of ciders, wines, beer, and spirits from around New York State. Using traditional fermentation and distilling methods, its products are made with a minimum of intervention, respecting the natural expressiveness of its fruit. Handcrafted, artisanal hard cider in small batches is produced at this mill. From picnics to black tie events, its farm-to-table beverages are the perfect complement to a menu. www.orchardhillnyc.com. 845-374-2468.
Be sure to visit Orange County Tourism’s Facebook page: Orange County Tourism NY. It’s a fabulous guide to up-to-the minute postings of area events and activities, great times, memorable experiences available to visitors.
Also visit Orange County Tourism’s new website: www.orangetourism.org.
About Orange County Tourism
Orange County Tourism, based in Goshen, N.Y., is the county’s tourism headquarters and a participant in the I LOVE NY program. A comprehensive listing of area attractions, lodging, and events can be found at www.OrangeTourism.org. For a free copy of the Orange County Travel Guide, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800-762-8687.