Monday, April 30, 2012

An Afternoon at Brooklyn Winery

When we think of wineries, we often envision a cluster of barns and production facilities surrounding a tasting room, all nestled among a vast vineyard. But with the ability to buy grapes from growers, some wine producers have realized that if they don't need the vineyard, they don't need the farm, and can instead put their facilities closer to the bulk of the people who drink their wines. With that idea in mind, there has been a growth of urban wineries, like Brooklyn Winery.

In the trendy neighborhood of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, a couple of friends decided to try their hand at wine making. Taking over a storied space that has served as warehouse, manufacturing, and club, they blended it all together to create their own wine making facility, complete with tours and a tasting room. Importing grapes from Long Island, the Finger Lakes, and California, they've been producing their own wines for the last two years, and have just begun to release some of their work for us to drink in their bar space. Supplies have run out quickly, but they've kept the bar busy by selecting a very diverse and interesting range of wines from all over the world. With a small menu of interesting bar food, this is a great space to spend a few hours trying some well crafted wine close to home.
"Bar Snacks" at Brooklyn Winery
As an extra bonus, the winery does a lot to educate wine drinkers. Tours of the facilities show how they make their own wines. On the Sunday we were there, we watched quite a few people wander through the back rooms on the winery's tour (given at 2, 3, and 4PM at time of press) while we sat at the bar. Our own tour was busy and informative. Not sure what wines you like? Reasonably priced wine flights allow patrons to compare a range of the unique wines offered on the menu. Brooklyn Winery also offers wine class on the complexities of the wine world. Our afternoon was quite enjoyable, and we could have stayed for a screening of Mad Men that night. Alas, a few hours was more than enough, and it was back home for us.

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