Cheers to a complimentary wine tasting – the very best type of wine! Here is a list of 12 New York State Wineries offering free wine tastings.
12 New York State Wineries Offering Free Wine Tastings
I live in an area where you can throw a rock and hit a winery. Along Lake Erie and Lake Ontario great wineries – both large and small – grow vineyards of grapes that produce some pretty wonderful New York State wines. And many of you may be familiar with another little area called the Finger Lakes which also produces a bottle of wine or two. And I haven’t even mentioned Long Island or the Hudson Valley wineries yet!
Needless to say, New York State produces a lot of wine. Chardonnay, Riesling, Cabernet Franc, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Noir, Gamay, Muscat, and Merlot, not to mention inexpensive table wines and some very fine ice wines! These are just a few of the types of wines produced in New York State.
Hubby and I have talked about taking a four day trip to the Finger Lakes this fall (ok, the last few autumns, the difference is this year I have reservations) – to do some leaf-peeping, stop at a few wineries, kick back and relax. My brother often does a short jaunt to the Finger Lakes and told us all about his little adventure last fall when he came back with 77 bottles of Finger Lake wines. Ummm yeah.
So I began my research by looking for New York State wineries so we’d know which Finger Lake we’d like to stay near. Every time we go out for a ride for produce, we notice a new winery has popped up along the Niagara County Wine Trail. Turns out Niagara County isn’t the only place they are popping up in NYS! Apparently there are around 400 wineries located in New York State across the different wine regions. After my brother told me “all the wine tastings are free!” I started looking at the websites to see if they really are free.
Turns out they are not.
So, after viewing around 350 websites and calling a few hundred wineries (seriously folks, these wineries need to state how much their tastings are and what you get for your money on their websites) I found a total of 12 NYS wineries that currently offer free tastings! Every time one confirmed “free tasting” I let out a shout! I felt like I had won the lottery.
Well after spending days (seriously, it was DAYS) tracking down this information, I decided to share it with all of you and save you the time-suck of tracking down NYS free winery tastings.
At the bottom of the list, I noted a few that, while charging a tasting fee, were exceptional in their dollar-value. If you decide on a New York State Winery Tour, make sure you call ahead for costs. While many were $3/5 or $3/6 tastings, and a lot of wineries refunded a portion (or all) of the tasting fee if you purchased a bottle of wine at the winery, some of the tasting fees were downright crazy: $14/3 or $15/3! Since a taste is an ounce, and there are approximately 25oz in a 750ml bottle, that would work out $125 a bottle. That is some pretty steep priced wine to expect people to walk into a barn and buy a case of… but maybe that is just me.
A few more wine tasting tips:
● If you are arriving in a large group (8+), call ahead to be certain the winery can accommodate a group of your size.
● If you have a dog with you, call ahead to be certain the winery allows dogs (if not posted on the website). Many do, but not all, so when in doubt: CALL!
● Double-check the wine tasting hours. They may differ from the winery hours. Also, winter and summer hours vary greatly at the wineries.
● New York State does not allow outside alcoholic beverages to be taken into a winery. If there is a picnic area, realize that no outside booze is allowed. (And clean up after yourself!)
12 New York State Wineries Offering Free Wine Tastings List:
● Chateau Renaissance Wine Cellars Complimentary tastings
● Chateau Renaissance Wine Cellars Hours of Operation (lower left)
7494 Fish Hatchery Rd
Hammondsport, New York 14840
● Merritt Estate Winery Free year-round wine tasting in our Tasting Room
Merritt Estate is located in the largest grape-growing region east of the Rockies and the largest Concord grape-growing region in the world. (Chautauqua County, Lake Erie)
2264 King Road
Forestville, New York 14062
● Pleasant Valley Wine Company Wine tastings are free as are self-guided tours
● Pleasant Valley Wine Company Hours of Operation
(first bonded winery in the United States)
8260 Pleasant Valley Road
Hammondsport, New York 14840
Minimal Wine Tasting Cost:
● Noble Winery Cost: $1 for 3-5 tastings
8630 Hardscrabble Road
Westfield, New York 14787
● Lime Berry Winery Cost: $3 for 9-12 wines (depends on stock) and you receive a commemorative glass
64 Shethar Street
Hammondsport, NY 14840
● White Springs Winery Cost: Print the front page with the coupon on the bottom for B1G1 coupon + other discount
4200 Route 14 South
Geneva NY 14456
Oh and my best find!? This winery has a CSA!!
This information is current as of June 16, 2014.
How many grapes are in a bottle of wine?
These calculations are based on Seyval Blanc grapes grown in Tidewater Virginia in 1981. Figures will vary with variety, vintage, and vineyards.
● One bottle of wine = 668 grapes = 3.5 clusters = one vine = 5 bottles = one gallon one acre = 600 vines = 250 cases (12 bottles of wine in one case).
● Annual consumption by one consumer = 1/2 bottle per day = 121,910 grapes = 182.5 bottles = 821 clusters = 1/16 acre per year.
Do you know of any New York State Wineries that off free wine tastings that are not listed?
Helpful New York State Winery Resources:
● Canandaigua Wine Trail Passport
● Keuka Lake Passport
● Lake Erie Wine Country Visit Visa
● Niagara Wine Trail Vino Visa Passport
● Seneca Lake Passport Programs
● Thousand Islands Seaway Wine Trail Savings Passport
● Upper Hudson Valley Wine Trail Passport
● NYS Wine Travel Card (Finger Lakes, Niagara and Lake Ontario Wine Regions)