NYC wineries and vineyards: 4 pioneering urban wine makers

NYC wineries and vineyards: 4 pioneering urban wine makers

The city is even home to the world’s first commercially viable rooftop vineyard.

Sip wine and play games at Rooftop Reds in the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
Sip wine and play games at Rooftop Reds in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Photo Credit: 2K Games

Long Island and the Finger Lakes may be New York’s winery destinations. But New York City is home to four fully-operating wineries and vineyards that have all opened within the past decade. Here’s a breakdown on NYC’s pioneering winemakers.

City Winery

Founded by Michael Dorf (The Knitting Factory) in 2008, this winery, restaurant and music venue offers a sensory overload. Locations have since opened in Chicago, Nashville, Atlanta, Boston and D.C., and a spinoff, City Vineyard, is also at Pier 26 on the west side. (The SoHo space is slated to relocate in the city by 2020).

To drink: Wines are made from grapes sourced from all around the world, including California, Oregon and Argentina. Try one of the dozen or so wines on tap at the Barrel Room tasting bar and restaurant, or even make your own blend with the winery.

To eat: Whether coming in for dinner, a concert or Sunday brunch at the Barrel Room, you can find a full menu. Highlights include the duck tacos and farro risotto.

Info: Barrel Room open daily at various hours; 155 Varick St, 212-608-0555,

Red Hook Winery

Also founded in 2008, this winery from Mark Snyder highlights the viticultural potential of New York State. Fruit is sourced from both the North Fork and Finger Lakes regions.

To drink: Tastings include four 2-oz. pours ($18), with wines by the glass and bottle also available. Explore the winery’s unique line of skin-fermented wines, as well as the four different bottlings of food-friendly cabernet Franc. Unique tastings of wine directly from the barrel are also available by appointment ($35/person).

To eat: Find snacks like Raaka chocolates, meats and cheeses to pair with your wine.

Info: Tasting room open daily, noon-6 p.m., free 15-minute tours Sat. & Sun. at 1 p.m.; 175-204 Van Dyke St., Red Hook, 347-689-2432,

Brooklyn Winery

Conor McCormack’s eight-year-old winery makes small-batch wines in a variety of styles, from barrel-fermented riesling to Reserve cabernet sauvignon, using grapes sourced from vineyards on both coasts. Indulge at the wine bar or tasting — when the wedding favorite isn’t closed for private events.

To drink: Grab a hand-selected flight of wines at the wine bar to test an array of local favorites, then commit to a glass of your favorite. Adventurous drinkers can sip on skin-fermented riesling or Malvasia Bianca, while lovers of local reds can grab a North Fork blend.

To eat: Munch on bar nuts, hand-cut French fries with lemon pimenton aioli or a curated cheese plate for wine pairings. For fuller bellies, try the roasted cauliflower with burrata and buttermilk fried chicken.

Info: Check website for public hours and upcoming tours and tastings ($35); 213 N. Eighth St., Williamsburg, 347-763-1506,

Rooftop Reds

The city’s (and the world’s) first commercially viable rooftop vineyard showcases the potential of urban viticulture. The Brooklyn Navy Yard vineyard and wine bar, founded by Devin Shomaker, first opened to the public in spring 2016. More than 40 planter boxes of Bordeaux varietals line the rooftop, with picnics, hammocks and lawn games decked out throughout the space.

To drink: Rooftop Reds currently produces eight wines at its Finger Lakes winery, using grapes grown on its vineyard there (the first Brooklyn vintage is slated to be out in late 2019). Chardonnay and dry rosé are always classic go-tos. Wines from other Finger Lakes producers are also on offer.

To eat: Taco Tuesdays, pizza and movie nights and pop-up dinners are among the vineyard’s gastronomically-focused activities (don’t miss a dinner and screening of “Sideways” on Sept. 28, the vineyard’s first collaboration with Nitehawk Cinema). You can also BYO food.

Info: Closed Mon., open Tues.-Thurs., 4-9 p.m., Fri., 4-10 p.m., Sat., noon-10 p.m., Sun., noon-8 p.m. (online reservations required), tours and tastings Wed., 7 p.m. ($25, includes cheese pairing); 299 Sands St., Building 275, Brooklyn Navy Yard, 703-582-8609,

Vicki Denig