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Wineries flourish in Brooklyn

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Hundreds of oak barrels of wine are all stacked in one room. You might think this is Napa, California. But it's not. It's the Brooklyn Winery, located in what was once an old pickle factory in Williamsburg. Refrigerated grapes are brought in from the North Fork of Long Island and from the Finger Lakes and then aged in barrels.

"The wood is actually slightly porous, so allows to transfer into the wine, softening it over time," says winemaker Conor McCormack. He left his his job in Sonoma, California, for the chance to bring wine to Brooklyn.

"You're actually bringing the experience to the people as opposed to people having to make a trip out to wine country," he says.

These days urban wineries are becoming more popular, and they're popping up all over the borough.

"Brooklyn is a borough where you have a lot of young creative people and a food and wine scene that no longer really takes its cues from Manhattan," says Ben O'Donnell, an assistant editor at Wine Spectator Magazine. "So you it's a perfect place for a winery to flourish."

Alie Shaper, the owner, founder, and winemaker of Brooklyn Oenology Winery, says: "The idea was really to bring sort of the urban wine movement to New York City."

Shaper was at the forefront of the movement. Her wine is fermented at a facility on Long Island with grapes from all over New York State. One of the most popular kinds in her tasting room in Williamsburg is the Social Club White.

"It's called Social Club White because the neighborhood I was living in at the time, Carroll Gardens, there were a lot of these social clubs where the guys get together, maybe have a cigar, get away from home a little bit," she says.

At Brooklyn Oenology all the labels on wine bottles feature work from local artists.

"We designed them so you can lift and peel just like that," Shaper says. "It's a great party trick."

For barrel tastings with a spectacular view of the Statue of Liberty, check out the Red Hook Winery.

"This is where everything happens," Mark Snyder says. "This is where the grapes come in and we process the fruit."

Snyder says he opened this winery in 2008. Now it bottles 70 different kinds of wine.

"I think the concept of urban wineries is great because it brings consumers a little closer to the wine-making process," he says.

Many barrels were destroyed during Superstorm Sandy, but Snyder says with the help of the community business is back and better than ever.

"We do tastings, tours, seminars on different styles of wine," he says.

And the best thing about these urban wineries, besides the taste of all the delicious wine? Location, location, location.

"You can basically visit the whole state just by coming to see us just off the Bedford L train," Shaper says.

http://bkwinery.com/

http://www.brooklynoenology.com/

https://www.redhookwinery.com/

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