A Most Perfect Winey Autumn Day

This weekend, the New York, New Jersey metropolitan area had the pleasure of experiencing the crème de la crème of weekends as the thermometer hit 70 degrees and we were treated to warm sun and an over abundance of blue sky. With October weather like this, you’d better find something to do that incorporates the elements because old dude winter is about to have his way with us very shortly.

woman-drinking-wine-001After the torture of raking leaves for several hours, I was struck with the idea of heading to nearby New York State – where just 35 minutes away lies the Warwick Winery – a place I’ve always wanted to visit. Getting snookered on some local vino seemed like a fine idea on such a glorious day, so the wife, daughter home from college, and I hopped in the car and headed into the countryside.

Picture 12Tucked down a side road in what truly seems like the middle of farmland wilderness is the Warwick Winery & Distillery, just jam packed with locals like us who were looking for something different to do on a magnificent fall afternoon. Outside the main building was a sprawling lawn littered with blankets and lawn chairs as couples WineTastingWarwickValleyWinery2and friends enjoyed bottles of wine and barbecued delights prepared by the on site staff. As if the smell of liquid grapes and charring meats weren’t quite intoxicating enough, the scent of burning premium tobacco laced the air as many a patron partook in a mandatory Sunday afternoon cigar. I walked by one group where the husbands were firing up and I asked why no one brought a stick for me. Well, I kid you not, five different guys held out cigars, offering me some prime pickings to choose from, and there was just no chance I was going to say no! One incredibly magnanimous gent insisted I take one of the Padron 1964 Anniversary Maduros from his fist and like a giddy little kid on Halloween I gladly obliged to this most gracious gesture. My daughter grabbed my arm and said, “Dad, you’re actually just going to grub a cigar from a stranger?” I forgave the girl for not understanding the way of us Brothers of the Leaf, perhaps the most generous type of human on the planet. (Say, did I forget to mention that the cavalcade of most gorgeous ladies also made for a most happening day? How do I forget these details?)

At this point I was jonesing for some real crushed grape refreshment as we headed to the tasting room. For five bucks you got to taste six of their wines plus one alcoholic fruit cordial that they make (as well as keeping the wine glass.) It was a nice array of tasty whites and reds, but I particularly enjoyed a cordial that would pair most excellent with my cigar, an apple dessert wine that was matured in brandy casks. Damn that is serious good stuff and made a hell of a companion to my gifted maduro.


The winery was established in 1989 and became the first operating distillery in the Hudson Valley since prohibition. This part of New York State is known for their world renowned “black dirt”, a soil fertile and rich in nutrients that it produces some of the most amazing fruits and vegetables, including some of the finest sweet onions on this earth. And doctors have even proclaimed that this soil also produces red grapes whose tannins are extremely high in health benefits, especially for the heart. The owners were taught by area apple growers how to cultivate and nurture the local fruit and they might just best be known for the flavor packed Doc’s Draft Hard Apple Cider, made from some of the most delicious apples you’ll taste absolutely anywhere.

To top off this most perfect day, we purchased a gourmet cheese and fruit platter, with a loaf of fresh baked bread and pesto base olive oil for dipping. We found a picnic table in the shade, I stoked up my Padron, and dined like the royalty we were for that wonderful moment in time.

You think we had a nice day? Yeah, you could say it was pretty awesome. I’ll definitely take a trip back in the spring and this time make sure that I have cigars to offer some other poor bastid who didn’t remember to bring his stoags!

‘Til Next week,

Tommy Z.

JR Cigar Blog With the Zman

Looking for something?

Use the form below to search the site:

Still not finding what you're looking for? Drop a comment on a post or contact us so we can take care of it!