Red Hook Winery – Winery/Vineyard Assignment

When someone is thinking about a winery, usually there’s an image of a vineyard accompanying the thought. Rows of vines, sprawled across the field with hills overlooking the horizon. Red Hook Winery, located in Brooklyn, New York, tells a different story. They are the only winery in the metropolitan area. As a result, they acquire their ingredients from outside sources due to the inability to grow their own.

Red Hook Winery was founded in 2008 by Mark Snyder, with the goal of using and highlighting quality vineyards of New York, running from North Fork Long Island all the way upstate to the Finger Lakes. Everyone knows about Californian wines, Napa and Sonoma Valley- but New York? Sure, there are a few AVAs out there, but there isn’t a solid reputation or style of wine when asked about New York wines. Through different acquisitions and innovative processes, Red Hook Winery is changing that.

Red Hook Winery is considered a négociant; all of the grapes they use are obtained from grape growers around the state. Trips are made as often as needed, or they have it shipped to them. The grapes are stored on premise, or at the warehouse in New Jersey. Viticultural and vinification practices aren’t a concern; they want to showcase each vineyard’s attributes. Grape varieties are abundant, since they are sourced from many places. Many bottles are made from Cabernet Franc, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, and so on. Pinot Noir is a tricky one; because of the humidity in Long Island, it’s very hard to grow. It’s not as difficult in the Finger Lakes, however, because of the sparsity, seldom do they sell that variety when they have it.

with winemaker Christopher Nicolson

There are three winemakers at Red Hook; Christopher Nicolson, Abraham “Abe” Schoener, and Robert “Bob” Foley. Each winemaker has their own unique history in the industry and cultivates their own styles in their wines. Chris focuses a lot on the process of making wine, to bring out the characteristics of the grapes relative to the time and place it’s from. Abe and Bob have a more philosophical approach to their work: low intervention, no new wood, minimal sulfite addition. It’s amazing how they can all use the same grape variety from the same source yet produce such different styles of wine.

winery room with the barrel room peeking from behind the window

When first entering the winery, you see a shelf featuring staff picks of the week and one with bottles for purchasing. Towards the left side is a cozy seating area for those who want to sit and enjoy. On the right is the bar that stretches on the side all the way to the back. Against the back wall you can see the barrel room, and a door leading to the winery. The back room is where all the magic happens; destemming, pressing, fermenting, and bottling. Most of their equipment are mobile, due to the amount of space they have. Planted against the wall are stainless steel tanks; these are used when they want a more pure and clean wine. The other space in the back is the barrel room; all the wines are stored here. The barrels are reused as often possible, and most of them are French neutral medium toast, helping in the malolactic fermentation for a more rounded, elegant and natural finish.

barrel room stainless steel tankone of the 2 bottling equipments

The winery room itself is nothing special. If I may say, it looks a little underwhelming. However, the production from that room is something else. When I did the tastings, each winemaker’s wine was so different; it’s hard to say that a Sauvignon Blanc from Chris is similar to Abe’s or Bob’s. What this place is doing is distinct; localizing ingredients, showcasing terroirs from different areas in New York in their works. Their wines are less costly than others, but with the quality you’d get from other regions. Soon, New York wines will be recognized at a different, more elevated level, and Red Hook Winery is one of the firsts to help achieve that mission.

white wine tasting



– Our Story. (n.d.). Retrieved from
– Punch. (n.d.). Christopher Nicolson: Resident Winemaker, Red Hook Winery. Retrieved from

Winery Visit Assignment

For this assignment I decided to visit a winery called “Make Wine with Us” in New Jersey.  The person who assisted me was Mr. John who is the owner of this winery. He has been in this business for about 10 years after he took it from his father.  My visit lasted around 35 minutes. Even though they were busy, all the staff were really amazing, friendly and patient. I really recommend this place to all my classmates. 

Make Wine with Us is a winery where you can make your own wine, they don’t sell wine to any retail store.  They make profit out of all of wines that they make for their customers. In addition, Make Wine with Us offers you the opportunity to experience the ancient process of winemaking through fun filled, and hands on classes. 

During my visit to this winery Mr. John explained me the process on how they make wine. The first thing that he does is select what type of grape he is going to use to make the wine, according to him to be able to make wine it has to be 750 pounds of grapes.  They also buy their grapes from retails from different places such as: California, South Africa, and Chile.

Every barrel represents a customer.  The person in this picture is a worker.   At that moment he was moving some of the barrels where the fermentation was made to the other side of the room.  Also, there were some customers that were waiting for their barrels to get down so they can taste their own wine and see if it was ready to buy it.

This winery can store more than 100 barrels of wine. Some of the wines are stored in these barrels for one or two years unless the client wants to come and taste the wine. In addition, most of the wine they make is red wine and 90% is dry. In this winery, they make wine twice a year (spring and autumn).

Here there are two pictures where you can see the difference in the clear little tubes.  Both tubes have a little bit of water, and to make sure that the wine is fermented both tube has to equal the amount of water as you can see in the second picture.  This a method that Mr. John uses to make sure that the fermentation is ready, so they can move to the next step. 


This are some of the equipment that they use to make wine.  According to Mr. John some of the wines that he makes take from one to two years to be ready. 

Visiting this place was an incredible experience. This experience opened my interest in knowing more about the wine industry. I really recommend Make Wine with Us to all my classmates and those who also want to learn about wine production.

Retail Wine Shop Assignment

Retail Wine Shop Assignment

For this project I visited the Astor Wine and Spirits at Lafayette Street. My visit lasted around 40 minutes.   It was an incredible experience, the staff and the manager were super friendly and patient. I really recommend this wine store to all my classmates.  This was my second time going to a winery store. And since I walk into the store I was super surprised by looking at all the types of wines that they have.  Mr. Bill who is a retail customer service representative was super friendly and knowledge about his job. He showed me how the wine store is designed, which is from old to new wines, what type of wines they have, I also asked him why he is working in a wine store.

The Astor Wine and Spirits store is designed by old and new world of wines. Their wines are also organized by regions and geography. Which I think is a good idea because you can see and explore the old world first and then see the new world of wines. They also sell organic wines which also interests me because I have never tasted an organic wine before. Mr. Bill walked me through all the entire store, and the region that more cough my attention was California.  I didn’t know that in this region produce wine until I found it at the class. 

This was an amazing experience, I really learned more about the different types of wines, and how a store can organize their wines. 

Shelf Talker:

This is a wine made from grown organically using natural compositing techniques and special preparations of herbal sprays.  It is vibrant and fresh on the palate. Provence has some of the best vine growing territory in the world, with a perfect mediterranean climate tempered by the cooling effects of the sea.

Red from Spain:

When we got to this region, one of the things that I remember that Mr. Bill said was that the most famous region of Spain is Rioja because they make the best wine. This a 2016 red wine from Spain.  

Sparkling wine from Italy

This is a sparkling rose made from Lambrusco di Sorbara grape that was harvested earlier to preserve acidity and freshness. Moreover, this Lambrusco rose is full of red berried fruit on the palate, and off dry and sparkling.  Its price is $9.96 and I think is affordable.  

                    Red wine from California:

The region I didn’t know was California. I discovered it in class. California has been making wine for decades. This is a red wine 2017 made with Pinot Noir grape; This wine has a good taste and a perfect balance in the mouth.