Long Island is a true destination for those who enjoy a craft beverage, or a great glass of wine, but upstate New York has dozens of wineries, breweries and distilleries to discover during a weekend getaway. Some unique offerings at these wineries and breweries include farm-to-table meals, live entertainment, organic farms and a museum, tastings and private tours of the grounds. Here are five spots worthy of exploration and overnight stays for those itching for a long weekend escape.
Heritage Hill Brewhouse
Located on a 177-year-old property and family farm outside Syracuse, this site has spectacular views due to its elevation, where guests can peer out at the nearby city, three lakes, parts of nine surrounding counties. Offering a list of beers that range from IPAs and lagers to sour brews and stouts, it’s also an organic farm that raises its own grains (used in the beer) and beef (for its barbecue restaurant). Kids come through and visit the farm animal petting zoo or tackle playgrounds, and there are trails for running, hiking and biking. Armed with an event barn and an al fresco stage, guests can also visit the “Brewseum,” a museum that focuses on the brewing history of the central New York region.
INFO 3149 Sweet Rd., Pompey; 315-677-7060 (text only), heritagehillbrewery.com.
Equipped with a restaurant and an indoor pool, Embassy Suites by Hilton Syracuse is less that 6 miles from Syracuse Hancock International Airport, which receives flights to and from JFK and LaGuardia airports, just in case you’d rather fly than drive; 311 Hiawatha Blvd W., Syracuse; 315-303-1650, hilton.com. Rates start at $138.
Hopshire Farm and Brewery
Found in a tiny village within the Finger Lakes Region, it uses locally grown items like grain and hops, plus ginger, honey and maple syrup to brew its suds. With seating inside and out, it offers a five-beer tasting flight for $10 and has a brew menu that includes IPAs both hazy and traditional, Belgian beers, malty options and a honey ale. Live music is a regular Friday night event, as is Sunday brunch, yoga on Tuesdays and trivia on Wednesdays. Its 35-acre space allows for a roomy lawn, and it has a CSA farm that come this summer will feature a monthly “Vittles and Fiddles” local music showcase served up with a farm-to-table meal.
INFO 1771 Dryden Rd., Freeville; 607-279-1243, hopshire.com
For a unique place to crash, The Statler Hotel at Cornell University is not only located on the Cornell grounds, but is an independent hotel staffed by students from the Ivy League school’s School of Hotel Administration (under professional guidance). Featuring restaurants and a lounge, it also offers guests access to the sites and activities found around the campus.; 130 Statler Dr., Ithaca; 607-254-2500, statlerhotel.cornell.edu. Rates start at $270.
Listed in the National Register of Historic Places as the oldest continually operating winery in the United States, this Hudson Valley spot has some deep history in more ways than one, as it has a network of underground cellars that hold more than 200 oak barrels that are available for $25 private tours that include guided tastings; public five-wine tastings are $15 per person.
INFO 100 Brotherhood Plaza Dr., Washingtonville; 845-496-3661, brotherhood-winery.com
Among the several hotels in the general area, Hampton Inn and Suites by Hilton Newburgh Stewart Airport has an indoor pool and is about a 20-30 minute drive from the Woodbury Common Premium Outlets (498 Red Apple Ct., Central Valley; 845-928-4000, premiumoutlets.com); 1 Crossroads Ct., Newburgh; 845-567-9100, hilton.com. Rates start at $154.
With Seneca Lake, the largest of the Finger Lakes, as its backdrop, this wine spot also sports a craft brewery (Wagner Valley Brewing Co: wagnerbrewing.com) on the premises and a cafe that opened for the year in March. On its wine front, its 2021 Dry Rosé of Cabernet Franc — billed as the winery’s crisp, fruit-aromatic summer star — is a recent release and wine tastings are held at its Vantage Point on Seneca space, but brew fans can also look forward to beer tastings at the brewery. Look to the summer for a live concert series that runs until sunset.
Also on Seneca Lake, Lakeside Resort and 3812 Bistro has lake views and a restaurant but also offers a campfire lit in its common area each night (weather permitting) and natural trails to explore.; 3812 Rt. 14, Watkins Glen; 607-535-4232, lakeside-resort.com. Rates start at $128.25.
Mazza Chautauqua Cellars and Five & 20 Spirits & Brewing
Laying claim to be the first combination winery, distillery, and brewery in New York State, there’s clearly a lot to try. New releases are coming soon on all three of its fronts, including its “Flame Cranium” seasonal spring beer on the way; new cocktails are mixed throughout the season as well. The spring will also see recurring events, such as “Thursday Night Pints” and the “Sunday Sesh” music series. Visitors can also look forward to live music on the weekends and a number of food trucks on the scene.
INFO 8398 West Main Rd., Westfield; 716-793-9463, enjoymazza.com
Less than 9 miles away, Webb's Year-Round Resort is a lakeside hospitality spot that has an indoor pool, restaurant and mini-golf among its amenities, but unique among most places to stay, it also happens to have its own on-site candy factory.; 115 W Lake Rd., Mayville; 716-753-2161, webbsresort.com. Rates start at $99.