Located in a charming barn that is over 200 years old, Adair Vineyards offers an enjoyable and educational winery experience infused with a passion for charity. Mark, who owns Adair with his wife, is the winemaker and the person conducting the tastings. He attended UC-Davis to study viticulture and enology, and worked at wineries in Santa Cruz and Santa Barbara (including at Zaca Mesa – see separate post on this winery), in addition to other wine areas.

Mark, originally from Philadelphia, headed back to the area when his wife attended graduate school in Philadelphia. He acquired Adair, in the Hudson Valley wine region of New York, in 1997. His wines are vegan (sometimes animal products are used and then filtered out in the fining process – the process of clarifying and stabilizing the wine). He also uses fewer sulfites in his wine.

The wine tasting was an excellent lesson in grape growing and winemaking. The wines are made from grapes primarily grown on the estate and then supplemented by a local farm. This leads to some interesting local blends such as the Solitary Oak, which is 90% Seyval and 10% Vidal and the Kir Rouge, which is 90% Dechaunac and 10% blackberry wine. Mark was a knowledgeable and engaging guide, as we talked about the wines as well as our favorite west coast wineries.

The other appealing aspect of this winery experience was learning about Mark and his wife’s passion for supporting charitable organizations. They particularly support charities for animals as well as cancer research. The winery holds a fundraiser every month and has an annual charitable dog walk. Donations can also be made throughout the year. Mark and his wife’s dogs are therapy dogs; Mark’s wife started a reading program for children. Their desire to give back to others is impressive.

A great winery experience and the opportunity to support a worthy cause – an excellent combination.