The old Supreme Trading space has taken on a new purpose this year, and Brooklyn Winery will be open on October 22 — so that New Yorkers can learn the winemaking process from grape to bottle.
Brooklyn Winery’s packages range from $300 to participate with a “community barrel” (which comes out to 24 bottles of wine per person) all the way up to $5,700 for a full barrel of wine (which will generate 300 bottles of wine when the process is complete). Owner Brian Levanthal explains that “customers really get to craft their wine at the facility,” with the help of an expert winemaker.
And no, you can’t just sign up to make one or two bottles! “It’s a commitment. The process takes about a year,” says Levanthal. As such, costs at the winery include everything: the grapes, storage, access to the equipment, the sessions, the wine bottles, customized labels and more throughout the year.
If you aren’t ready to invest thousands into your own barrel of wine, Levanthal suggests splitting the cost with a group of friends. That’s actually how he became involved with winemaking, traveling out to a facility in New Jersey to make his own. He saw the demand for a local winery here in New York City, which inspired him to leave his job at an internet company and found Brooklyn Winery with his friend John Stires.
Beyond the draw of winemaking, Brooklyn Winery offers both a private event space and a wine bar (which is open daily). The bar has already struck up a partnership with Bedford Avenue restaurant Radish, which will provide a food menu at the wine bar.
Williamsburg residents familiar with the space in its previous incarnation as Supreme Trading will notice a new, sophisticated use of the building. “I hope people can appreciate all of the work we put into the interior design of the space,” Levanthal says.
Since late summer or autumn is the prime time to kick off winemaking (this is when the grapes are harvested to begin the process), classes have been filling up. But the winery staff says there is still time to join. There will also be more opportunities to sign up throughout the year via “Adopt a Barrel” rates for late sign-ups who want to join in at different points in the process. Additionally, there are plans for a spring winemaking group, using grapes imported from South America.
213 North 8 Street