Learn how the superior Crown Maple Syrup is produced at Madava Farms, where you can take a tour of the most technologically advanced sugar house in the world and taste the delicious end result ($10 for the tour and tasting). Founder Robb Turner’s commitment to same-day barreling and minimal heating has created a maple syrup that chefs from restaurants like Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Eleven Madison Park, and Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare can’t get enough of. Make sure to explore the 800 acres and have lunch at the Farm Stand Café, which features seasonal produce from their chef’s garden, as well as, of course, maple syrup.
Hit the Dutchess County Wine Trail for tastings at three area wineries. Millbrook Vineyards & Winery offers a tour of their facilities and a tasting of six of their wines ($10), including their Tocai Friulano and Cabernet Franc. Taste the critically acclaimed sparkling Seyval Naturel, made in the classic French méthode champenoise, at Clinton Vineyards. They also specialize in fruit wines; their Cassis is the only domestically produced black-currant wine to earn gold medals in international competition (tasting of five wines $10). A stop at boutique winery Oak Summit Vineyard is a must, where you’ll get a private tour of the illustrious grounds and an intimate tasting ($35, by appointment only) with owners John and Nancy Bruno in their home. They’ll tell you all about the philosophy and process that produce their three impeccable, award-winning wines: a Chardonnay, a Pinot Noir, and a rosé that use only grapes grown on their estate, which have been pruned to discard at least 30 percent of their crop to maintain the intensity and character.
Visit the cows, sheep, and goats at Sprout Creek Farm, a dairy farm committed to education, farming, and community building. Visit their on-site creamery, where they produce more than 30,000 pounds of award-winning cheeses every year. Taste the fruits of their labors in the market—Toussaint, Bogart, and Half Moon are favorites ($8.75 per half-pound)—or go to one of the Sunday brunches, featuring vegetables from their garden ($25 per person, check Facebook for the next one).