From Four Sisters Winery, we drove along Route 46 to Brook Hollow Winery. This part of 46 is completely different than the 46 I grew up with. The drive was nice and the road was sprinkled with farmer’s market stores and unique restaurants.
As we approached Brook Hollow Winery, we turned left onto a dirt and gravel road. We headed down hill and past an orchard on the left. As we drove a little further, there it was on the right, a big red beautiful barn. A door was open that looked like it leads to a country store. We pulled straight ahead and parked besides another barn-like building. The wine tasting room was on the back side of the first barn. We walked into the small tasting room. As we entered, there was a gentleman at the counter on the left, siphoning wine from one container into another. I was excited to catch a glimpse of the process. The other gentleman in the room greeted us and said they were preparing for wine making classes that evening. He invited us up to the bar on the left to taste the wines. He said there was a charge for the tasting, but if we brought our glasses back next time, there’s no charge. By the way, this guy was wearing a shirt that said “Out of Wine, Life is Crap.” I thought it was funny. As we approached the counter, we noticed that it was topped with old labels. We asked about them and he said they were very artful vintage labels from Mr. Fresh packages of grapes. How cool. If you go, you have to check it out. We love stuff like that. This guy really shapes the character of this place and we enjoyed it.
The sommelier said all his wines are dry. I’m thinking this is right up Tom’s alley as my tastes are slightly sweeter. We began with the first dry white on the list, Cayuga White. It was light and crisp. The next wine was Tundra Mist, which was the same wine, but grown in different soil. This wine is used as a fundraiser for the wolf preservation that is just up the road from here. Again, how cool. He said he grew this wine in different soil so that you can taste the difference it has on the resulting wine. It seemed like the flavors were richer and almost more mineral. It tasted a bit earthier – definitely an interesting wine. We moved onto Rieslings with the Riesling Dry first. This wine was dynamic by presenting a sweet, tart and dry taste at the same time. Riesling Semi was next. This one had table sugar added to it which gave it bigger flavor. The Rieslings were my favorite among their selection.
We switched to the Reds and started with Merlot. This wine is flavored with French Oak chips giving it a smooth and smoky flavor. Next was Blackstar which featured a Cornell grape, Leo’s Cabernet Sauvignon, and Chambourcin with dill and olive. Some say they can taste the dill on this one. It was certainly distinct. Then we tried Cabernet Sauvignon a smooth wine which is flavored with American oak that provides a vanilla taste and a lovely aroma that smells great. Cabernet Franc followed with a peppery and grape taste. It seemed light in body, but heavy in flavor. The sommelier mentioned that this would go great with ANYTHING grilled and that’s when I tasted that this wine has as grilled flavor to it. This was very unique. Tom loved this one. Of course, I knew he was picturing it with a steak. Last of the reds was Chambourcin, that was described as tasting like chocolate covered cherries. I tasted a hint of that and noticed its light and smooth quality. Lastly, we tasted their fruit wine, Cranberry. This is made from their heirloom cranberries. What I noticed about this one is that it definitely tastes like cranberry, but in a much lighter way than cranberry juice.
We left with a bottle of Cabernet Franc. I enjoyed this place, the atmosphere and the people. Since my taste is on the sweeter side, I didn’t enjoy the wines as much, but I still think Brook Hollow Winery is worth the visit. What I most enjoyed was the character of this winery along with the educational experience.
3 Wine Glasses (Out of 5)