Far from public transit, behind the fence that delineates the Brooklyn Navy Yard from the surrounding neighborhood sits an industrial building that is host to the world’s first commercially viable rooftop vineyard. The vineyard, which encompasses the entirety of the roof, is a literal oasis, a green patch in the sky with 360 degree views of the surrounding areas.
Rooftop Reds, the vineyard is called, is not open to the public, but Untapped Cities offers private tours – and Brokelyn’s got a sweet discount code for you.
Rooftop Reds is the pet project of founder Devin Shoemaker, his brother, and Chris Papalia. It’s innovative by the standards of Brooklynites and traditional wine-makers alike. This great grape farm in the sky began in Devin’s apartment back in 2013 with the help of a Kickstarter campaign before moving to the unused rooftop of the Navy Yard’s Building 275. The farm expects its first harvest this year, and until then Rooftop Reds offers tastings of wines from the Finger Lakes.
The 14,800 square-foot rooftop includes, in addition to the vine-growing planters, hammocks, corn hole, and a tasting room – basically it’s a rooftop farm-yacht on the Brooklyn waterfront.
Devin gives the tours himself, and his love of his space is tangible: on my tour last summer, it was clear that he not only felt self-actualized by this project, but had committed himself heart and soul to wine and wanted nothing more than to share that knowledge to those who found their way to tours of the hidden gem he created.
So bring your ma, bring your pa, bring your bae, or go alone, but we highly recommend this tour for even the brokest of Brokesters (you’ve gotta be 21+ though, damn this country’s Puritan values). You’ll be wined and (for $10 extra) dined in the (relatively) fresh air, and views and spaces like this are the reason it costs so much to live here.
Untapped Cities is offering the tours every Sunday at 12:30pm through September 24.