WILLIAMSBURG, Brooklyn -- Did you know there is a winery in the heart of Williamsburg, Brooklyn?
Brooklyn Winery is a boutique urban winery that creates a broad portfolio of wines each year. But that has plenty of challenges. From the farmers in the field to the winery production team, to the staff who pours wine - it takes a village to run this winery in the middle of a major city.
"It's a very confusing thought to have a winery in Brooklyn. People think that wineries need to be on a vineyard... and obviously, there are no vineyards in the streets of Brooklyn," said Jessica Petti, General Manager of Brooklyn Winery.
Brooklyn Winery opened in 2010, originally as a "make your own wine" facility. When winemaker Conor McCormack joined the team, they realized they had something bigger to offer. Conor was raised in Northern California and refined his craft in renowned cellars of the region before relocating to the East Coast to build and launch the winemaking program at Brooklyn Winery.
Brooklyn Winery sources grapes from boutique vineyards across the country. Assistant winemaker, Chuck Gergley, took us on an exclusive tour of the winery and showed us the winemaking process.
"We do everything from the grapes until we bottle it, so we bring it grapes from California, North Fork, Finger lakes," said Gergley. "Then we ferment them here, age them, bottle them... everything."
Harvest season starts in mid-August and lasts through late November. During this time, Brooklyn Winery's team begins the winemaking process, turning grapes into wine.
Aside from creating wine, Brooklyn Winery has also become quite popular as a top wedding venue - where everything is done in house - from the ceremony to the reception.
When they are not hosting a beautiful event, they also have a Wine Bar and offer wine tasting classes. Douglas Turner, the wine expert, and host of a wine and cheese class gave us a sneak preview at all the notes and yummy bites.
"It's a really fun way to learn about the wine and cheese pairings," said Petti.
What makes Brooklyn Winery so special is it is in the heart of Brooklyn. Not being out in the idyllic countryside - it takes a lot of planning, coordination, and dedication to making wine in the city.