On Sunday Christine and I drove up to New Paltz for a great country afternoon and dinner. We started out at Robibero Vineyards, which had some great wines. Unfortunately, their reds were rather expensive. However, the dry rose called New Yorkie and the Seyval were both really good and reasonably priced. It was really nice to meet both of the wine makers, who were working the tasting room that day.
Next we went on to Tuthilltown Spirits for a tour. We had an appointment, which is supposedly important. The tour was pretty interesting, but dragged on a tad at times with a bit of excess personal history. If they could aim for a 40 minutes tour instead of an hour, that would be better. They showed us the full process though, which was great to learn about. Luckily production wasn't running that day so we weren't on top of everything. After that we did a tasting, where you get three quarter ounce servings. I chose the half moon gin, the baby bourbon, and the four grain bourbon. The four grain bourbon is over forty bucks for a 375 ml, but it is quite good. It has corn flavor like a bourbon, but has some mellower and smoother notes you'll more often see in a Scotch. I didn't buy any though, as it seemed a tab overpriced and I have a bunch of whiskey. We did get the Half Moon Gin though. Christine also tasted an Apple "Vodka" which I thought should be called a Eu de Vie or a Brandy when I tasted it. I certainly recommend visiting this place. They also sell syrups, bitters, and some other random stuff.
Whitecliff Winery. This place was great and we joined their club. The guy working there was really educated and their wines are served in some pretty nice restaurants in NYC, eg Gramercy Tavern.I also really liked their whites, and their reds were great if one likes a lighter bodied red. I recommend their club if you live nearby, you just buy 6 bottles twice a year and you get free tastings and a wine discount. They don't ship unless you ask them to. The guy at Whitecliff recommended a great BYOB restaurant in New Paltz called Main Course. We decided to go there and had a really good meal. The entrees were reasonably priced and we drank a bottle of wine we got at Robibero with no corkage fee.