Millbrook Vineyards and Winery, named the Hudson Valley’s flagship winery by the New York Times, has supplied bars and restaurants with wine kegs for about five years. It was a successful venture until COVD-19 intruded. So, like any good business, the Winery did a pivot, and lucky for us, because now wine kegs are available for home consumption. Let’s face it: who isn’t drinking more wine these days?
Okay, a lot of wine is what you get in these kegs. Figure 26 bottles, which is around 115 glasses per keg. But even if you aren’t planning to host any big backyard bashes this summer, you don’t have to worry about chugging your rose in a day or two. These kegs keep the wine viable for about 60 days.
“We’ve actually had some wines that are in kegs here for over a year and they’ve been fine,” says Dave Bova, vice president and general manager at Millbrook Winery (that’s not necessarily a recommendation, it should be added). Held inside a silver bag enclosed in a clear plastic casing, the wines stay fresh because the air never comes in contact with wine. The pump pushes the wine up through the tap system.
You can’t beat the price, either. Millbrook is offering kegs of its whites, Tocai Friulano Proprietors Special Reserve and New York State Chardonnay, plus a Hunt Country Rose, at $200 per keg ($7.70 per bottle). There are also kegs of the Pebble Ridge Pinot Noir and Hunt Country Red, at $220 per keg ($8.50 per bottle). You will need a tap, which is available for rent through the Winery. You’d have to return the tap, but not the keg: you can just place it in your recycle bin, because it’s made of 100% recyclable plastic.
Kegs are available for pickup only, but if you live in Dutchess County, you can take advantage of Free Delivery Fridays.
“We know it might be a bit of stretch for the consumer.” Bova says. “We don’t expect to sell a boatload, but we wanted to offer something different.”
By the way, Millbrook Vineyards and Winery is a lovely place to visit. While there are no tours, wine tastings or use of Tap Room or decks at this time, the Winery is open from noon to 5 p.m. for retail sales. Stroll the vineyard walking trail, picnic by the pond or just enjoy the wine you’ve purchased at the outdoor seating area.
Written by Lisa Green