At Strigo Vineyards, Enjoy Hand-Picked Wine and Chef-Designed Meals
July 2, 2022
When you think of Italian wine and high-class dinners, the countryside of Baldwinsville, New York is probably not the first place that comes to mind. But, that’s exactly where Ana Maria and Joseph Murabito have created a food and wine oasis in Upstate New York. Not only is Strigo Vineyards a sight to behold, it’s the perfect spot for brunch with friends, a girls’ night out, a romantic dinner, or even a weekend getaway.
How Strigo Vineyards was Created
How did a woman from Colombia and a man from Oswego come together to create a vineyard in Baldwinsville, New York? Well it started several years ago when Ana Maria traveled to New York to learn English. While here, she met Joseph and the rest is history. After a brief trip back to South America, Ana Maria returned to the US.
Winemaking has been a part of Ana Maria’s family traditions for years, so it was only a matter of time before the Murabitos built their lives around wine. When the couple discovered the property in Baldwinsville, they knew they had found the right place for their future endeavors. The old farmhouse had a charm that Joseph fell in love with, and the horse barn had the perfect bones for the tasting room.
Joseph and Ana Maria had a dream to build a wine destination in Central New York, specializing in farm-to-table food and hand-selected wine in a space perfect for intimate private events. Where did the name Strigo Vineyards come from? As Joseph was dreaming up the branding for the business, he kept doodling a barn owl. “Strigo” means “owl” in Esperanto, the international manmade language.
About the Wines and the Vineyards at Strigo
Of the 70 acres of land at Strigo, 45 acres are plantable for grape vines. The Murabitos bought their vines from western New York and planted their first crop in 2019. Three varieties of grapes were planted: Marquette, Frontenac Blanc, and Frontenac Gris. All 3 are varieties that are catered to the Upstate New York climate. Of course it takes several years for the grapes to mature enough to create wine. But, Strigo is proud to have labeled their very first wine in May, a red California blend named “Vision”.
But don’t worry about not having enough wine to try. The tasting room is stocked with plenty of wines to enjoy. Most of the wine you’ll find at Strigo is from Italy, hand-picked by Ana Maria. Their goal is to focus on high-quality wines from small winemakers across the country, highlighting vineyards most Americans don’t know. There are a handful of wines from other regions, including some from South America and a couple from New York. I recommend trying Mindy’s Giggle Juice from Oswego’s Colloca Winery, named after a drink popular during the Prohibition.
How to Sample Wines at Strigo Vineyards
Strigo offers one of the most unique wine experiences you’ll find. When you enter, you’ll pick up a wine card at the front desk. The staff member will explain the process and have you preload an amount of money on your card. Throughout your visit – before, during, and after your meal – visit the wine wall at the back of the dining room. A selection of 32 different wines are hooked up to a unique dispensing system. Each wine bottle is set to the perfect temperature.
When you get up to the wine wall, help yourself to a glass, then insert your card in the slot above the wine you want to drink. Place your glass under the spout and choose a taster, small pour, or full pour. The description of the wines and the prices for various pours are listed next to each bottle.
There is a sink to rinse your glass between wines. And if you run out of money on your card, you can top up again at the front desk. The system is a truly inventive way to sample a variety of wines at your own pace.
Enjoy the Firepit and Vineyard Views
Don’t limit your visit to Strigo to the inside. While both the upstairs and downstairs dining areas are beautifully designed, the outside space is just as incredible. Adirondack chairs surround a large firepit between the barn and wine cellar. The space is perfect for intimate gatherings and small weddings. Whether you’re there to eat or just to drink wine, grab a glass and head outside. Relax and take in the view of the vineyards.
Grab a Bite or Savor a Meal
While the farm-to-table menu at Strigo may seem limited, it is one of the best dining options in Central New York. Don’t let the size of the menu fool you. Each dish is designed by the head chef Mike Tielbaard and sourced from fresh, local ingredients. Some of the dishes, like the charcuterie board, are staples. They are so popular that they are always on the menu. But other dishes rotate seasonally, so there are always new things to try.
During my visit, I was lucky enough to be able to sample several different dishes. Everything was perfectly flavored, with each dish’s creativity being well executed. Some of my favorite plates? The zucchini pasta is one of the best meals I’ve had in so long. So much so that I ordered it on both of my recent visits to Strigo. I also tried a steak topped with freshly made ramp butter, which was perfectly cooked. And you can’t go wrong with any of the boards – charcuterie, grilled meat, or dessert.
Stay Overnight at the Farmhouse
Love Strigo so much that you want to stay forever? Well, you can’t stay forever… but you can stay for a few nights! The 19th-century farmhouse at the front of the property is available for rent. With 3,200 square feet, the house is divided into two separate rentals. Alternatively, you can book the entire place for a larger gathering, or private rooms for smaller groups.
The main part of the house has three bedrooms, including a family suite with cubby beds, with 6 beds. Twelve guests can sleep there comfortably. With the adjoining space, and you’ll get two more bedrooms, a bathroom, and a kitchenette to fit four more people.
The farmhouse is stunning inside and out. Featuring original Mennonite craftsmanship with modern farmhouse style renovations, it’s easy to feel at home in any room. High ceilings, white linens, and contemporary-yet-cozy furnishings give the place a light and airy feel.
Ana Maria has gone above and beyond; thinking of all the things guests might need during a stay at Strigo. A basket of snacks welcomes you into the kitchen. Each bathroom is stocked with high-quality personal care products.