WESTFIELD - Johnson Estate Winery is now selling a variety of New York-produced spirits in addition the nearly three dozen estate wines.
In a new section of its remodeled tasting room, over 20 premium whiskies, bourbons, vodkas and gins produced by the best distillers in the Hudson Valley, the Finger Lakes and Brooklyn, will be offered for tasting and sale. Finger Lakes Distillery is also custom-distilling a special "Concord" vodka, made entirely from Johnson's estate-grown Concord wine, which will be released later this summer.
As the oldest estate or farm winery in New York, Johnson Estate is delighted to see the reemergence of high-quality New York distilleries which are producing rye whiskey, vodka, apple jack brandy and other traditional and distinctive beverages. Prior to the Prohibition era, over 1,000 New York farm or craft distillers produced fortified beverages from New York's grains and fruit, especially apples. Today, there are just over 30 young distilleries in New York State, and over 220 nationally, a fraction of what existed almost 100 years ago. The enactment of the New York Farm Distilleries Law in 2007 has encouraged the establishment of craft distilleries which utilize New York State raw materials resulting in a dynamic, "new" burgeoning industry of small craft distillation enterprises.
"Visiting wineries is most often a group activity", owner Fred Johnson said. "Over the years, we've noticed that often one or two members of a party will not necessarily be wine enthusiasts, but are along for the fun and adventure of it. We want to offer these customers something new, different and, perhaps more to their liking, and are proud to introduce our customers to a variety of the best spirits now being distilled in the Empire State."
Over 20 varieties of New York spirits will be available for purchase by the bottle in the winery and customers may sample flights of three half-ounce shots, complemented by a selection of smoked nuts or cocktail olives, while they wait for their friends to finish sampling and selecting wines at the main wine tasting bars.
Johnson Estate will continue to be intensely focused on growing the best grapes and making the best wines possible from those estate-grown grapes. However, the winery is also pleased to offer these New York spirits as well as other locally produced foods and beverages in its retail tasting room. The winery retails Grower's Concord Grape Concentrates, Red's locally-made maple syrup, and when in season, Westfield-grown garlic from Ribbon Road Farm.
Johnson Estate Winery is located just west of the village of Westfield in Western New York along the shores of Lake Erie. For more information, visit www.johnsonwinery.com, or www.facebook.com/johnsonwinery, or call 800-374-6569.