A vacation in Ellenville would not be complete without a tour of the majestic Shawangunk Wine Trail, which connects 13 farm wineries in Ulster and Orange counties. Set against the backdrop of the Shawangunk Mountains and the Hudson River, the 80-mile route conveniently passes right by Ellenville, which means you can wake up in Ellenville, grab a coffee and pastry from Cohen’s Bakery on Center Street, enjoy a scenic drive through the ‘Gunks and be at your first winery by mid-morning. Just remember to pace yourself, and don’t risk driving drunk. There are plenty of transportation services in the area—you can find a complete list of taxis, shuttles and limousines.
Before you begin your tour of the Shawangunk wineries nearest Ellenville, be sure to pick up a Hudson Valley Wine Tasting Passport and you will receive one regular wine tasting at each of the member wineries.
61 Brimstone Hill Rd., Pine Bush; 845-744-2231 or brimstonehillwinery.com
Just 15 minutes south of Ellenville on Route 52, Brimstone Hill may not look like much, but this 10-acre vineyard has a fabulous reputation for its delicious experimental wines, including a sparkling wine that will help you savor the last weeks of warm weather.
176 Hardenburgh Rd., Pine Bush; 845-744-2226 or baldwinvineyards.com
A stone’s throw from Brimstone, next to the Wallkill River, Baldwin is a second-generation winery that hosts a strawberry, chocolate and wine tasting each weekend throughout the summer and fall. This decadent experience includes drinking wines paired with strawberry and chocolate desserts while listening to live music.
8331 Mckinstry Rd., Gardiner; 845-255-4613 or whitecliffwine.com
After tastings at Brimstone Hill and Baldwin, head north on Bruynswick Road seven miles to Whitecliff in Gardiner. One of the Shawangunk trail’s larger vineyards, Whitecliff grows 20 different kinds of grapes. Its diverse selection includes something for every type of wine drinker, plus bourbon for those who prefer spirits. The friendly staff is incredibly attentive, plus, you can bring your best dog friend or simply steal a cuddle from the vineyard pup.
714 Albany Post Rd., New Paltz; 845-255-9463 or robiberofamilyvineyards.com
Robibero Winery in New Paltz is only four and a half miles northeast of Whitecliff. Sample the vino, make s’mores at the fire pit and then take a nap among the vines at this small vineyard.
40 Mountain Rd., Marlboro; 845-236-3265 or gloriewine.com
From Robibero, head southeast 15 miles to Marlboro, where you will find Glorie awaiting. Warning: it is hard to leave this laidback winery once you arrive. Glorie Farm began as a fruit farm before expanding into a small winery that produces roughly 2,000 bottles a year. They offer a mix of red, white and fruit wines, but are perhaps best known for their Cabernet Franc.
156 Highland Ave., Marlboro; 845-236-4265 or benmarl.com
Three miles down the road from Glorie is Benmarl Winery, set on 37 acres with breathtaking views of the Hudson River Valley. Benmarl is full of history (it is one of the oldest farms in New York State), and offers a dry rosé we could drink all year long.
10 Ann Kaley Ln., Marlboro; 845-236-7620 or stoutridge.com
Whether you love the funky earthiness of natural wines, you are a natural wine newbie or you simply want to learn more about how natural wines are made, Stoutridge Vineyard, also located in Marlboro, is a fascinating place to visit. The friendly staff will explain the natural wine process, while giving you a tour of the vineyard before or after your tasting.
After you have sipped your way across the ‘Gunks, head back to Ellenville and cap your day with a glass of sangria, fine scotch or coffee at one of the fabulous local bars, restaurants and taverns—and while you are at it, start planning your tour of Ellenville’s lively dining scene.