Greenwood Winery, at 6475 Collamer Road (Route 298), opened to the public several weeks ago. Construction of a bar and bistro, adjacent to the tasting room and wine-processing building, will soon begin.
DeWitt’s first winery? A winery in the suburbs? It’s not as strange as it sounds. Grapes are now being grown in an estimated 80 percent of New York’s counties.
And wineries are popping up all over New York State: along Lake Ontario, in the Thousand Islands, near Watertown, on the Tug Hill Plateau, near the Adirondacks and Lake Champlain.
Greenwood Winery is an artisan winery owned and operated by local real estate developer Tom Greenwood. Wines are made from grapes grown in DeWitt and in the Finger Lakes. The tasting area shares space with sparkling new storage tanks and crush pads.
Most of the grapes Greenwood is growing are cold-hardy varieties developed by developed by Cornell University and the University of Minnesota: Traminette, Noiret, Chancellor, Marechal Foch and others.
In a Riesling rut? Looking to branch out from your nightly Merlot? Eight wines are available for tasting: four whites, a blush wine and three reds. Our $5 tasting included our choice of five wines and came with a souvenir glass.
I’m no wine expert, not by a long shot, but I do know what I like. I particularly enjoyed the Traminette, a crisp white wine that reminded me of the sunny Gewurztraminers I’ve enjoyed in the Finger Lakes, as well as two reds, the Noiret and Enthusiasm (Chancellor). The reds are dry but not bone dry. They’re full-bodied and flavorful, with a clean, smooth finish.
They definitely have a place at home, as we transition from light summer meals to heartier fall and winter fare, like soups, stews and braised meats.
They also have a place right at the Greenwood Winery, which has tables and Adirondack chairs on a patio overlooking the small vineyard. Wines are available by the glass, and bottles range in price from $10 to $14.
There’s also a small market section with local and regional food products, like Thousand Island River Rat cheeses and mustards, artisan breads, olives and cured meats – and other items that pair nicely with wine. A small farmstand holds tomatoes, cucumbers, summer squashes and other produce for sale, all from Greenwood’s nearby farm, we were told.
Stroll around the vineyards and you’ll lose awareness of the car and truck traffic on Route 298.
Enjoy a glass of wine and a little picnic on the patio.
You’ll think you’re in wine country instead of the wine suburbs.
Note: Greenwood Winery won a Gold medal for its Baco Noir at the recent New York Wine and Food Classic, considered the Oscars of New York State wine. It was not available to taste when we visited – one more reason to visit again.
Greenwood Winery is at 6475 Collamer Road (Route 298), DeWitt, a couple miles east of Carrier Circle. Tasting room hours are 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, noon to 6 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. For information call 315-399-0835.