Pros:great wine, apple picking, kid-friendly, FUN
My husband and I have visited Applewood Winery (http://applewoodorchardsandwinery.safeshopper.com)twice. Once in early summer and again this past weekend.
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The winery itself is pleasant to visit all year long. However, the tasting room is only open Friday thru Sunday 12-5 pm.
The staff is pleasant. The wine is really really good. They claim that their wines are as good as rivals twice their price, and I can believe it.
We have yet to find a wine that we don't thoroughly enjoy.
OBR (oak barrel reserve) - a delicious red wine. Both fruity and oaky. Dark and rich without being too bitter or too sweet. $10.50
Ruby's Kiss - a dessert red. Sweet but not cloying. $9.00
Apple Blossom Blush - sweet fruity and floral. Crisp without being too dry. A nice substitute for a White Zinfandel. 7.95
Stone Fence Hard Cider - my hubby really enjoys this. The closest i can come to desribing it is a mix of cider, soda, and mead. Sweet and Apple-y with a touch of bite and fizz. $4.75
I could go on and on.
At taste testing they are quite generous with the serving. You are given a clean wine glass - not a plastic cup like in some other palces I've been. Feel free to swirl and sniff and sip to your hearts content. And yes you can ask for another taste if you're not sure.
Do not go on an empty stomach though. I would say that after tasting 8 wines you have probably taken in 1/2-3/4 of a glass of wine. And I know that personally that's enough to go to my head if I haven't eaten.
All that being said, if I had to choose a time to visit it would be in September.
In September the winery becomes so much more:
Wine-tasting is still in effect on weekends. And then there is the addition of apple-picking, open 7 days a week until October or the apples are gone -- whichever comes first.
There is also a small market selling fresh pies, preserves, fruit butters, and MORE. And a donut stand. You can smell these wonders as soon as you park. Sweet and fluffy. They are $6.00 for a baker's dozen.
There is a small rose garden and a large wooden sign designed for families to come back to year after year and photograph their kids up against it to see how much they've grown.
In addition, there are friendly chickens and roosters about begging for bits of doughnut. A lovely pond and picnic tables about -- no one seems to mind if you pack your own lunch.
Considering this is a winery this is very kid-friendly.
Applewood also offers special events throughout the year.
Some examples from 2000: (taken from their web site)
BARREL TASTING/HERBS & WINE - Sat. May 6th & Sun. May 7th 12-5 pm. Barrel taste the 1999 reds and Chardonnay. Taste food prepared with Spring herbs with our wine. FREE
PICNIC FOODS & WINE - Sat. May 27th thru Mon. May 29th, 12-5 pm. Blush, Sparkling Hard Cider & cool crisp whites. Perfect matches with picnic foods. FREE
BAM!!! RECIPES FROM EMERIL LEGASSE- Sat. Aug. 5th & Sun. Aug. 6th. 12-5 pm. Experience the recipes of Emeril from his shows and books paired up with Applewood wines. Free!
GRAPE STOMPING or LUCY & ETHEL MOVE OVER!- Sat. Sept 16th 1-3pm - Stomp to the beat. The oldest tradition in wine making. Music, Contests, prizes. It's all free.
Theya re also a featured winery on the Shawangunk Wine Trail (http://www.shawangunkwinetrail.com/) which offers both free and at-cost events throughout the year. They have combined 9 area wineries into a tour that you can do on your own or as part of an organized event.
We are hoping to attend the Wreath Fineries in December. For $25 per couple ($15 per individual) we can visit all 9 wineries for tastings and free snacks (we were informed that its usually soups, finger foods, etc.) Plus we will leave the event with a grapevine wreath and 9 ornaments to hang upon it.
If you are in the area you MUST stop here. It is visually beautiful and a fun way to spend the afternoon.
The wine prices are very reasonable for the quality - and they offer a frequent buyers program when you purchase by the case (yes mix and match is allowed). Discounts are as follows : 10% on the first case, 15% on the 2nd and third and 20% on the fourth and thereafter.
This article had been placed under "New Jersey" in error. That epinion has been deleted and placed here where it belongs.
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