Just south of Albany is the beginning of the Hudson Berkshire Beverage Trail. Here you’ll find Brookview Station Winery, located on Goold Orchards in Castleton. Although the orchard is 108 years old, the winery is still a baby: Sue Goold Miller (a third-generation owner of Goold Orchards) and her husband, Ed, began wine-making in 2005 and opened the winery a year later. Their apple wine, Whistle Stop White, took home the Best Hudson River Region Wine award at the 2007 Hudson Valley Wine Competition; a semi-dry wine, it’s great for the summer. Their pear wine is just as good. The winery is named after a small train station in Brookview, NY, where Sue’s grandparents arrived in 1910. Visit in the fall for apple-picking, then take home a fresh-baked apple pie and taste their wines and ciders. Goold Orchards hosts its 30th annual Apple Festival on Oct. 13–14 this year.
Located on Golden Harvest Farms, this is the home of apple-based Core Vodka. Give it a taste — and their applejack, brandy, and whiskey, while you’re at it.
The Chatham Berry Farm LLC
A nice stop for local produce and pick-your-own berries.
Hudson Valley Distillers
Just a stone’s throw from Tousey Winery is a 170-year-old converted barn where artisanal vodka, applejack, whiskey, and fruit brandies are produced in small batches.
A free, 300-acre outdoor sculpture park founded in 1992 by Francis Greenburger.
Thirty minutes south on the trail, in Ghent, you’ll find Hudson-Chatham Winery. Be careful: Sometimes the GPS we all count on doesn’t pick up NY-66, so try State Route 66 or some combination thereof. Winemaker Steve Casscles strives for great quality and is always thinking outside the box. These days, they have more estate wines than ever before. Try their Baco Noirs, all made from the same grape but from different vineyards; note the differences the terroir brings to the wine. Also unique is their Chelois and their new line of solera-aged dessert wines. Hudson-Chatham Winery hosts several events throughout the year, including their famous Sangria Festival. The winery has a tasting room here and in Tannersville and Troy.
From Ghent, take a beautiful, 25-minute drive south, to Tousey Winery in Germantown. Owners Kimberly and Ben Peacock have come a long way since they moved from Copenhagen in 2009 and took over the winery from Kimberly’s dad, Ray, a bee farmer who produced Crème de Cassis. They are dedicated to producing wine with locally sourced grapes: Today, 85 percent of their grapes come from their own Hudson Valley vineyards. Wines not to miss are the Queen of Clermont (a white blend), Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, and The Loic, a sparkling blanc de blanc. New this year is their 2017 rosé and Sauvignon Blanc. The café is open for dinner Thursday through Saturday and offers cheese boards, salads, and sandwiches. Book the private tasting room for a group of six or more. At their not-to-be-missed Halloween party, they release the Grim Reaper — a dark, smooth, red wine.