My dearest, dear friend came to visit us in NNY this past weekend. Liz is my bosom friend. We jive on a number of levels, but one of the main reasons I think we get along so well is because we adventure at the same pace. I very distinctly remember visiting Liz in Germany while she lived there, and standing together, staring at the wall of her apartment, where she had posted a map of the country. We were planning our weekend, and it was wide open with possibility. Welll…… we could go down HERE and HERE and HERE and then Paris is only like, 400km away, so…. Or we could go up this way and…. Or, or, or… I have a lot of stories to tell you about me and Liz.
Aaaanyway, this was not an adventuring weekend. Sorry if you were expecting otherwise, I probably misled you with that intro. We stuck closer to home and caught up. There was a lot to catch up on. We had to break up the chatter to venture out to one of my favorite places nearby, though. The Tug Hill Vineyards. Where we continued the chit-chat over a wine tasting. I hear the Finger Lakes are where its at for New York wine and I do hope to be able to head down that way before our time is up here. But, Northern New York has a handful of wineries that are worth a look too. If you read last week’s post and are adventuring to either Whitaker or Gleasmans waterfalls, located near Lowville, NY, reward your outdoorsy-ness with an apres-waterfall stop at my favorite local winery there.
Tug Hill Vineyards have, IMHO, the best selection of NNY wines. I’m no sommelier, but their wines are a lot less “grapey” than many of the other vineyards around. When wine tasting, I keep myself entertained by writing down the first thing that comes out of my mouth upon first sip. Try it sometime, keeps things light. I like their sparkling rosé a whole lot and you can find my other favorite, their White Out red at many local wine shops. Their location is gorgeous, with sweeping views over the vines and farmland to the Adirondack foothills. The grounds themselves are lovely. Their patio, dining and tasting rooms overlook a large, grassy yard, where they host weddings and other festive occasions, but we like to use for romping purposes with our little guy. They’ve always seemed quite open to romping children. And adults, lets be honest.
Tug Hill Vineyards also host a delightful weekend brunch on their wrap-around screened porch, as well as dinners and other tasting events throughout the warmer months. While these might sound like fancy occasions, the atmosphere is always what we like to refer to as “north country casual”. Meaning, wear your jeans, tshirt and a pair of earrings and you’ll be dressed up.
Another thing I appreciate about Tug Hill Vineyards are their U-pick berry fields, open when the fruit ripens in late summer. We were surrounded by blueberry farms where I grew up in Michigan, and going blueberry picking in July and August is a fond tradition I’ve enjoyed since childhood. It has been really special to be able to bring my son to pick blueberries here in New York for three years in a row. They have other fruits available to harvest yourself, but we’ve always gone for the blueberries.
So, yeah, I’ve really come to enjoy and appreciate Tug Hill Vineyards. It combines a few of my favorite things: wine, food, the great outdoors. I just think they do a really nice job of creating a welcoming place that isn’t overdone, but has a lot to offer. We’ve been going for long enough now that it holds a few of the best memories from our time here in Northern New York. It was the perfect place to spend a late afternoon sampling wine, breathing fresh air and catching up on life with my dear friend and fam.