In 1810, a French Huguenot emigre named Jean Jaques purchased land in New York’s bucolic Hudson Valley and began planting grapes. By 1837, Mr. Jaques needed more land, so he purchased a plot in the quiet village of Washingtonville, NY, and planted another vineyard. By 1839, his first underground cellars were dug and Mr. Jaques fermented his first wine vintage. Those cellars, the oldest and largest in America, are still in use today at Brotherhood Winery.
The Jaques family made wine at the Washingtonville facility for almost 60 years, selling much of it to Jesse and Edward Emerson, two New York City wine merchants. The Emersons, Finger Lakes vinters themselves, understood the high quality of Mr. Jaques’ wine and used it to improve a blend of wine from an organization called The Brotherhood of New Life – an experiment in utopian communal living in the Hudson Valley. When the Emerson family took control of the Washingtonville winery, they renamed it Brotherhood, a name that it still proudly bears today.
The Emerson family operated Brotherhood until Prohibition. In 1921, Louis Farrell purchased the winery and its large stock of sacramental wine. He sold wine for religious ceremonies throughout Prohibition, which was finally repealed in 1933. It has been noted that the clergy population in the area grew substantially during this period.
Louis and his wife were the first to grasp the value of Brotherhood’s location, as the nearest winery to New York City. They began conducting tours of the winery, highlighting the now-enlarged underground cellars, the history of the facility and its picturesque site. In fact, the Farrell family initiated the very concept of wine tourism, hosting parties and events at the winery that drew hundreds of thousands of fans annually, and introduced the Brotherhood brand to generations of American drinkers.
Experience the enigmatic atmosphere of Brotherhood Winery by taking a leisurely stroll through our vast network of underground cellars. Excavated by hand in the late 19th Century, the dimly lit cellars house over two hundred oak barrels and feature a crested vault containing some of the oldest vintages in America.
Our team of knowledgeable guides will reveal the secrets of these mysterious vaults and keep you amused with tall tales of folly and tragedy. The tour will get you well acquainted with the complete wine making process and you will feel like an expert in the field.
Test your wine tasting skills in our modern showroom and enjoy the many flavors and textures Brotherhood has to offer the budding and discerning wine lover
Tour & Tasting Pass: $10. Customers pay in person.
Includes a tour, one tasting flight and a Brotherhood Wine Glass to keep (while supplies last).
Take YEHUU bus from NYC in the morning (8:30am in 87 Bowery Street, Chinatown; 9:00am in 252 W 43rd Street, Flushing) to Woodbury Common Outlets. 11:30am drive to Brotherhood Winery. 2:30pm return to Woodbury. 5:00pm take YEHUU bus back to New York City.