500 candles, 100 glasses of wine, and 3 generators



“Did you make it out of the Hurricane ok?!” – the most common phrase of New Yorkers these days.

City Winery lost electricity for 5 days as a result of Hurricane Sandy.  Fortunately we didn’t flood and were able to open on Tuesday, October 20th when owner Michael Dorf and his family hosted and served wine with cheese and charcuterie platters to some neighbors who saw the welcoming glow of 500 candles. After scrambling for generators and extension cords (special thanks to Carroll Music, InConcert Audio and Great Performances) we offered warm food, good wine, phone charging stations paired with a remarkable live performance by Al Stewart who agreed that the show must go on, a Comic Relief benefit and a day of free NY movies – from “When Harry Met Sally” to “Taxi Driver” – for those looking for company and something other than the inside of a powerless apartment.

We are very proud of our staff who made it in through difficult circumstances to keep the doors open and the operation going. The kitchen staff set up grills in the parking lot and made giant pots of soup and stew, the office and concierge teams coordinated everything from remote accessing of ticket lists and handling the flood of show enquiries coming in, to managing payroll and making and distributing flyers. Marc, our Tech Director ran power cables from generators and even across the courtyard from our new friends at the local Russian television station RTVi. Those who had access to the Internet at home kept the messaging going to the outside world and checked that our staff was safe.  The winery team worked hard to save the freshly pressed wine now in tanks which were unable to chill or warm as needed. Wizardry and tireless effort paid off.  We thank all our staff for the dedication and resourcefulness.

We were very aware that we weren’t alone in the dark and grateful that we had not sustained bigger losses considering the widespread damage across the area. As with everyone it’s been a very difficult week of keeping up with what’s happening all around us all while trying to bring some normalcy back to our agendas. We have stayed motivated by others who’ve suffered greater losses and continue to move forward.

In that spirit we do recognize that we are in touch with many people daily and will now use this advantage to actively help those who may not have been as lucky as us after the storm.  We’ve already raised over $2,000 for the Red Cross and are hosting a company-wide food and clothing drive, which will be donated to our neighbor City Harvest, an organization extremely active in post Sandy rescue relief.  We’ll also be hosting some California wine makers, The Rhone Rangers this Wednesday, November 7th for a trade and consumer walk-around tasting where $2 will be donated to the Red Cross for each attendee.  We’re honored to do our part so please look out for other charitable events coming in the weeks to come.


Let’s be the resilient New Yorkers we are and let’s take care of those who are hurting.

Dear Hurricane Sandy, The Show Must Go On!

Wednesday, October 31th

We have just lit about 500 candles and Al Stewart is coming downtown to play a special acoustic set here in blackout Lower Manhattan.  We have scrambled to get enough staff, a small generator for some light for the kitchen and the stage.  There will be a limited menu and the wine will be flowing.  People need a place to go and we hope we are shinning a little light at the dark time in our community.  It is amazing to see many of our staff coming from all over the tri-state by foot, by bike, carpooling, but with tremendous enthusiasm we are prepared to host a full house tonight.  Of course, without electric, we can only accept cash.

As PT Barnum said, “The Show must go on,” and we are doing our best to get this on tonight.  Please help spread the word, we really appreciate it.

Michael Dorf

City Winery Wins 5 Awards at San Francisco International Wine Competition

San Francisco International Wine Competition

City Winery recently entered various wines to be judged at The San Francisco International Wine Competition, which is one of the most prestigious international wine competitions in the nation. This summer the event was held at the distinguished Hotel Nikko downtown San Francisco, and the panel of judges comprised of the leading wine experts in the country.  The competition, just celebrated it’s 32nd anniversary of judging and awarding wine excellence saw over 4500 different wines from 26 different states and 29 countries.  There were many different categories of competition, including the “Best in Show,” “Portfolio of the Year,” “Winemaker of the Year,” “Winery of the year,” “Best of Varietal,” and the “Best of Nation.”

City Winery is very proud of our winemaking process, where we source our grapes from some of the finest vineyards in America as well as the world renown Catena Vineyards in Agrelo, Medoza Argentina. Because we are a winery in the middle of the city we have great resources to bring the most elegant and bold flavored fruits to our dining tables. We are pleased to announce that our 2010 Kosher Syrah Mendocino was awarded with a gold medal, and 4 others came back with silver and bronze medallions. The silver award winning wines included our 2009 Cabernet Franc, known for being a tannic and powerful wine which has a distinct taste of dark berries, and our 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon. Bronze medals were awarded to our 2010 Pinot Noir and 2009 Syrah. We look forward to another year of continued wine making success, and sharing our love for making fine wine.


Legendary Soul Man: Sam Moore on Good Day NY

Legendary R&B singer Sam Moore was recently featured on Good Day NY where he talked about his special, upcoming show at City Winery on July 17th.

On Monday, July 16th, Dave Price and guest co-host Bethenny Frankel spoke to Sam about his new found health, nerves before performing and his upcoming show at City Winery.  They discussed City Winery’s intimate vibe, which Moore really enjoys, as well as the delicious food and wine served during the shows.

Bethenny Frankel, a neighbor to City Winery also enjoys visiting and hopes to come to the show on Tuesday.

New York News | New York Breaking News | NYC Headlines


For tickets to see the “Original Soul Man” at City Winery on 7/27: click here

6:00pm SEATING/8:00pm START

For other Sam Moore tickets, visit his website: click here


Shawn Colvin Returns to City Winery with Special Guest Emmylou Harris

Last night Shawn Colvin returned to the City Winery stage along with Buddy Miller & Viktor Krauss  for special live WFUV broadcast. The performance debuted Shawn’s new album All Fall Down, sharing her unique spin on blue grass and country music. At the close of the show Shawn invited her long time friend and Grammy award winner Emmylou Harris up with the band to play one of Emmylou’s songs as well as a classic from Tom Waits.


Artist Spotlight: Mason Jennings, coming to City Winery NYC Mar 29 & 30, 2012

Artist: Mason Jennings
Playing At City Winery: March 29th & 30th – Buy Tickets Here
Q & A With City Winery

You were born in Hawaii and your music has appeared in the surf film Shelter. Do you surf yourself?

No, I don’t surf. Not much opportunity at home in Minnesota. I relate to the culture’s focus on simplicity and closeness with nature, though.

At a young age, your family moved to Pittsburgh and you began playing music. What was/is the music scene like in Pittsburgh?

I am not sure. I moved away at 19 before I ever got involved with a scene there. I came to Minneapolis following bands I loved like The Replacements, The Jayhawks and Prince.

You dropped out of school to move to Minneapolis to pursue your music career. What drew you there?

The bands I just mentioned. And I felt instantly at home in the landscape. I find the seasons intense and beautiful. I’m never in traffic. And there’s great public radio up there.

Your newest album is entitled Minnesota. Is this and ode, of sorts, to your home?

Sure. The theme is probably home but the most similar thing to Minnesota is how much variety there is on the record. The record feels like a collage to me, hence the cover art, and Minnesota has such contrasts as a place too. Freezing winters, hot summers, water and land, art world and back-woodsmandry.

Many of your songs are about love. In fact, on your website your new album Minnesota is described as “a collage of love trying to survive the transition into being a grown-up in a complex world”. What appeals to you about the subject?

Not sure any song about any subject is any good if it’s not about love. Or a longing. All longing seems to be about love in the end.

And how have your ideas about love changed and grown over the course of your songwriting career?

Oh, I’m just more open and hopefully more aware now. I love more deeply now. Being a parent there is much more at risk.

City Winery Protests: Make Wine, Not War!

Make Wine Not War

Our Wine not War movement is a shout out to what we feel is important– making and enjoying wine!

Harvest is the perfect time to see what it takes to make great wine in Urban Wine Country; no other time of the year offers the same opportunities. This year, over 100 tons of grapes are arriving from Vineyards in California, Oregon, and Washington State to City Winery and management is adding its voice to New York.

Since inception, City Winery has averaged 75 tons a year of grape production, which yields the equivalent of 250 barrels or 5000 cases of wine from 15 different vineyards.  In 2010, City Winery served almost 30% of its production without it ever going into a bottle. City Winery’s cellar holds 300 French oak barrels with 11 tap lines.

In addition to sampling our own array of wines produced on premises, guests may order from City Winery’s wine list of over 400 selections from most major winemaking regions of the world, recognized by Wine Spectator magazine with a ‘Best of Award of Excellence’ in 2010.
An old adage states, “that wine is made in the vineyard” and whilst it is true to an extent, it takes a winery to make great wine. Step inside City Winery and they’ll show you just how it’s done. Make wine not war– four simple words that could change your world.

For winemaking inquiries, please email barrelmember@citywinery.com or call 212-608-0555 ext. 478.

City Winery Opens The Barrel Room Restaurant

City Winery, which opened in the fall of 2008, has quickly established itself as an innovative brand by uniquely combining the first winery in Manhattan with world-class music programming.  With 6 harvests completed (3 from Northern Hemisphere vineyards and 3 spring harvests from south of the equator) more consumers will have an opportunity to taste the high quality of the wine through a unique tap system directly from the cellar below.

Reservations are now available: Click Here for OpenTable.com

Barrel Room TapsCity Winery’s cellar holds 300 French oak barrels with 11 tap lines to the newly launched Barrel Room which will serve the fresh wine, as well as being a new 30-seat restaurant within the Winery complex. The Barrel Room features its own menu, designed by our executive chef Andres Barrera, to complement the wine and much of the food is prepared right in front of you. In addition to sampling our own array of wines produced on premises, guests may order from City Winery’s wine list of over 400 selections from most major winemaking regions of the world, recognized by Wine Spectator magazine with a ‘Best of Award of Excellence’ in 2010. “The Barrel Room” is housed inside the building between the company’s fermentation tank room and the music and private event space.  The tap system, which uses a neutral argon gas, allows us to serve wine in the “greenest” manner with no need for bottle, cork, label, or cardboard case.  Much of the tap wine requires no added sulfites during “kegging” and because of the inert gas the wine is freshly preserved in stainless steel creating no waste from keg to glass.

“The Barrel Room allows us to show off two elements of our business which have matured nicely—namely the high quality of our food AND the delicious wine we have been producing,” said Michael Dorf, founder and CEO of City Winery.  “We are also very excited about giving our customers the rare opportunity of tasting some of our wine using a nontraditional method but getting as close to a barrel tasting of finished wine as possible.”
Since inception, City Winery has averaged 75 tons a year of grape production, which yields the equivalent of 250 barrels or 5000 cases of wine from 15 different vineyards in California, Oregon, New York, Argentina, and Chile.  In 2010, City Winery served almost 30% of its production without it ever going into a bottle—the wine when finished with it’s aging process moves from a wooden barrel into a stainless steel keg for tapping straight into a glass.  While many micro–breweries and even Whole Foods recently have started selling “Growlers”, riding on both the craft beer market and environmental benefits, the logistics of the wine business have generally not allowed for this.  But given City Winery New York is in the heart of a wine consuming urban setting, drinking fresh wine locally is now possible.

David Lecomte, City Winery’s executive winemaker who is originally from the Rhone Valley in France, comments, “The tap system allows us to introduce small batches of wine down to a single barrel.  We can demonstrate on one tap line Pinot Noir from Oregon aged in new oak for 1-year against the same vineyard’s Pinot aged in used oak, press wine versus free run wine, American oak versus French oak, barrel aging versus stainless steel tank aging.  For a wine aficionado, this chance to learn and taste the differences is rare and exciting.”

City Winery plans to open in Chicago in the spring of 2012 in a new 25,000 square foot location with approximately the same winery capacity and even expanded tap wine tasting room.   Putting a winery into the heart of a city allows for the fresh product to get to wine fans in a unique and efficient manner.  City Winery expects to increase the amount of wine delivered in this way to almost 50% of its production in the future, as well as expand to additional urban markets.