Good news for serious oenophiles: The newly opened Brooklyn Winery in Williamsburg offers a program for couples who want to make their own custom wine to serve at their wedding or send home with guests as favors.
The winery's staff will guide you through the entire process (selecting the varietal and region, crushing, pressing, racking, tasting, bottling, and creating your own customized labels), and you're welcome to invite friends and family to join you at any of the five hands-on sessions (perhaps a day of winemaking with the wedding party?). While making a whole barrel (300 bottles) is definitely a sizeable investment at $5,700, there's also the option of making half a barrel, which costs $3,550 and yields 150 bottles.
Also cool: Brooklyn Winery can be rented out as an event space for wedding receptions, rehearsal dinners, showers, or engagement parties. The venue's charmingly rustic design features mostly reclaimed materials, including walls made from barn wood, vintage industrial lighting, and 1940s wallpaper. For sit-down weddings, the main wine bar area has a seated capacity of 100 and offers room for a small band and dance floor; the Harvest Room, where the winemaking takes place, offers space for 80 seated guests, and opens onto an open air courtyard that can seat 50. The upstairs Parlor Room is more intimate, with a seated capacity of 35 and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the wine barrel room. Read more about the spaces available for rental and custom barrel packages at bkwinery.com. —Lauren Matthews, editor, Brides New York