Millbrook Winery sits on a high hill above rows and rows of grapes, commanding an incredible view of the valley. The winery has grown steadily over the years, and this summer a two-level addition was added to make more room for the growing number of visitors who arrive at Wing Road to take a tour and tasting and hopefully leave with a trunk full of wine.
David Bova, the general manager and vice president, took a few moments from overseeing the winery’s grape harvest in California to answer a few questions.
TMI The winery is usually swarming--where do all of these people come from?
Bova We now see over 25,000 visitors to Millbrook Winery during the calendar year. We are 31 years old and have established a quality reputation, not only for our fine wine products but also for the winery as a “place” to visit. Our 115 acre property, with 35 acres of vineyards, is designed to give our visitor a real and natural vineyard and winery experience…you don’t need to go to California for that any longer. Our tour starts in the vineyard where we explain how our grapes are grown, we then move to the winery and discuss how the grapes are turned into wine from start to finish. We spend a lot of time with our visitors explaining the winemaking process. By having this consumer-focused model for 31 years where we explain the winemaking process, then actually taste our wine products, describing the technical winemaking terms on the tour, this has helped us build a reputation as a great place to visit. We have been voted Best Hudson Valley Winery by Hudson Valley Magazine for the last 22 years.
TMI Please describe the new space.
Bova We doubled the downstairs wine tasting room to better spread out our visitors during a tasting. It’s still a fun environment with a lot going on at once. Very festive. We also added a new space upstairs which we call our “Vineyard Tap Room and Terrace” which provides us a four season room which faces our beautiful vineyard. In the Taproom we installed a fireplace and a wine on tap bar (very popular now) so we are very excited to have this new space. The Vineyard Tap Room combined with our upstairs Loft area area, is a perfect place to have a wedding reception or graduation party. We intend to rent these spaces upstairs and still continue with our public tastings downstairs. So far, people love the new space especially the new outdoor decks that are facing the vineyard and covered with a retractable awning in cases the sun is too hot.
TMI Who worked on the project?
Bova We worked with local contractors, including Michael Sloan as Architect, DJ Reilly as GC, Eric Flynn of Hilser Flynn Electric, Bottini HVAC, and Tom Hennessey, who did all of our land work. Erin Rollins also help with interior design decisions. It was a great crew who kept the project on budget.
TMI I missed your grand opening. Was it a big event?
Bova We had our grand opening on August 31 with the Dutchess Regional Chamber of Commerce for a ribbon cutting followed by their Afterhours event. We had over 240 attendees, which I am told was their largest ever. We are in the process of planning other events for the fall and winter. The Taproom is now open on weekends for wine service.
TMI Any future plans for improving or growing the winery?
Bova We may need to build additional production capacity sometime in the future but right now we are at the size we want to be at with capacity for 15,000 cases a year.
Millbrook Winery is open seven days a week from noon to 5 p.m.