Hudson River Valley Wineries

This blog is dedicated to news, events, profiles and reviews of fine food and wine in the Hudson River Valley. We especially feature and spotlight the burgeoning wineries of the Hudson River Region. We accept and will relay information about releases, events, festivals and any toher happening related to food and wine in the Hudson River Valley. Send pertitnent information to

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Carlo DeVito is a long time wine lover, and author of books and magazine articles. He is the author of Wineries of the East Coast. He has traveled to wine regions in California, Canada, up and down the east coast, France, Spain and Chile. He was also a publisher at Running Press Book Publishers, where he published books from Wine Spectator, as well as books with Greg Moore (of Moore Bros.), Matt Kramer, Howard Goldberg, and many other wine writers. Mr. DeVito has also been the editor of many successful traditional trade books, including Strange Fruit by David Margolick, On the Shoulders of Giants by Stephen Hawking, and three titles by Malachy McCourt. Other authors include John and Mary Gribbin, Thomas Hoving, Philip Caputo, E. O. Wilson, Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., John Edgar Wideman, Stanley Crouch, Dan Rather, Dee Brown, Susie Bright, and Eleanor Clift. He lives with his wife, pet publisher Dominique DeVito, their two sons, their two dogs, and their numerous goldfish.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Bounty of the Hudson July 25-26, 2014!!!

July 26-27 - Noon to 5pm
Brotherhood, America’s Oldest Winery
100 Brotherhood Plaza Drive
Washingtonville, NY 10992

All of the wineries on the Trail will be there, plus others from around the Hudson Valley. With your $28 ticket, you can sample delights from the best of Hudson Valley wineries and food producers, shop local cuisine and enjoy live music throughout the day!

With this year’s host, Brotherhood, America’s Oldest Winery, celebrating their 175th anniversary, plans are underway for additional activities and demonstrations to make this Bounty of the Hudson extra special!

Ticket is good for one day only and includes a wine glass & wine tasting at all wineries at the festival. Ticket prices include taxes and processing fee. Event is held regardless of weather. All tickets sales are final. No buses please.

Tickets Advance: $28
Tickets At the Door: $38
taxes & fees included
Eventbrite - 19th Annual Bounty of the Hudson Wine and Food Festival

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Visit Vortex Hudson Valley: Summer Cocktails and Bitters

Here's my article in the current Visit Vortex Hudson Valley magazine Summer 2014! There's nine recipes made with Hudson Valley distilled spirits and a whole section on Hudson Valley bitters and shrubs! It was a fun article to write.
Special thanks to Kelley Slagle, the mixologist and owner of Farm to Glass Tours.

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Friday, July 04, 2014

Drink Local Wine and Taste Camp Announce Partnership; Chose Hudson Valley for October 2014!

TasteCamp 2014
Drink Local Wine and TasteCamp Announce Partnership
TasteCamp 2014 to Kick Off Drink Local Wine Week
Hudson River Region October 10 - 12, 2014

July 1, 2014 (Hudson River Valley, New York) – Drink Local Wine, the organization whose goal is to bring greater attention to regional wines, announces a partnership with TasteCamp, an annual event that immerses writers and bloggers in a new-to-them wine region. TasteCamp 2014 will take place in the Hudson River Valley October 10-12, 2014 and be the kickoff event for Drink Local Wine Week 2014.

“DLW and TasteCamp have had very similar missions from the very beginning,” said Michael Wangbickler, President of the Board of Directors for Drink Local Wine. “With the decision not to hold a Drink Local Wine Conference this year, it made sense for us to partner with TasteCamp for this year’s event. It provides us with the opportunity to continue our focus of highlighting local wine and supporting a great event.”

Founded in 2009 by Lenn Thompson, executive editor of New York Cork Report, TasteCamp invites influential drinks writers and bloggers on a weekend-long immersive experience in a specific wine region. The annual event has generated significant media attention for the areas in which it has taken place, offering emerging wine regions an opportunity to present their wines to a passionate outside audience, and an opportunity to shine a different light on local wine production and create new conversations with local winemakers. After the inaugural year in Long Island wine country, TasteCamp has taken place in the Finger Lakes, Niagara (both Canadian and New York sides), Virginia, and Quebec.

“I’m quite thrilled to have DLW involved in TasteCamp this year,” said Lenn Thompson. “While the objective of TasteCamp has been more focused than that of Drink Local Wine, the ultimate goals have been the same: to bring greater attention to wines outside of the biggest and most recognized regions. This will help DLW extend its reach and allow TasteCamp to gain a wider audience.”
TasteCamp 2014 will take place in the Hudson River Valley of New York state, and will include winery and distillery tours, local wine and food pairing, and optional dairy tour and cheese tasting. Hudson Valley Wine Country is the title sponsor for the event.

“The winemakers, distillers and cidermakers of the region are thrilled that the first combined Taste Camp/DLW destination is the Hudson Valley,” said Carlo DeVito, co-owner of Hudson-Chatham Winery and president of the Hudson Valley Wine Country. “As the birthplace of American wine, where we have the oldest continuously functioning winery and the oldest continuously producing vineyard in America, it is an affirmation of all the hard work this region has done to create a quality farm beverage culture in the backyard of New York City.”

TasteCamp 2014 will be the kickoff to the 2014 Drink Local Wine Week (formally known as Regional Wine Week). Drink Local Wine Week is an annual event that recruits and encourages bloggers and wine columnists to write something about their local wines. It is the original activity on which Drink Local Wine was founded, and continues to this day to increase attention for local wines among both the wine trade and consumers.

TasteCamp is an event for the trade and media. Space is limited, but those interested in attending TasteCamp 2014 may visit or www.drinklocalwine.comto register or find out more information

Parties interested in sponsorship opportunities should contact Carlo DeVito at
Disclaimer: Lenn Thompson is also a member of the Drink Local Wine board of directors.
Drink Local Wine is an organization founded on the principal that there are great wines to be found everywhere, not just in the best known regions. A non-profit organization, the DLW mission is to promote the wines of these lesser known regions throughout the United States and Canada.  The brainchild of Dave McIntyre of the Washington Post and Jeff Siegel, who writes the Wine Curmudgeon blog, the organization holds two major events each year — a conference highlighting local wine and Drink Local Wine Week, when bloggers and writers from across the continent write special pieces about their favorite local wines.

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Monday, June 30, 2014

Victory View Vineyard - One of the Shining Stars of the Upper Hudson Valley

Here's the first thing you need to know about Victory View Vineyard - it's easily one of the best quality wine producers in the Upper Hudson Valley. The other thing you need to know is they work with cold, winter hardy, Minnesota grape varieties. They also may be one of the better wineries making wines with that kind of fruit today. And the last thing you need to know is - after drinking it - you'll want more.
Victory View Vineyard is a family owned and operated, small farm in rural Washington County, New York. It is owned by Gerry and Mary Barnhart in Schaghtichoke, NY. They produce 'estate' bottled wine only! They grow all their own grapes sustainably on their farm. Our wines are made from French-American hybrid grapes and Minnesota varieties as well, which thrive on their sloping site with a southern exposure.

Gerry is a dynamo. He is one of the moving forces behind the Upper Hudson Valley Wine Trail, where he was reelected President of the growing association in January of 2014. As I aid, Gerry and Mary are very serious about what they are doing.

I finally got to meet Gerry at the Taste of Upstate New York just this past spring. He and I had corresponded over the years, but we had never met. They are a relatively new winery, and I was only able to try three wines. I understand they have a fourth now, and their list will continue to grow.

According to Gerry and Mary, "the name for this wine came to us after long hours of picking rocks and numerous tiller repairs caused by hard work in our stony ground. We honor those who came before us and built the miles of stone walls on our farm, all by hand."
For those of you unfamiliar with La Crosse, it is a modern hybrid cultivar of wine grape, mostly grown in North America. It produces grapes suitable for making fruity white wines similar to Riesling or as a base for blended wines. The grapes also make a good seeded table grape for eating. It has the benefits of early ripening and when hardened properly in the fall it is winter hardy to at least -25° F. As such it best suited to growing in more northern climates. La Crosse was produced and patented by famed Minnesota hybridizer Elmer Swenson around 1970. It is a hybrid of Seyval crossed to a cross of Minnesota 78 by Seibel 1000 (aka Rosette).
This wine was made in stainless steel, and then aged in oak. It's has the feel of a light, oaked Italian white. A complex nose of green apple and tropical fruits. The mouthfeel is slightly lighter than oak, but it ha a creamy finish reminiscent of an oaked chardonnay. A very interesting, and very nice wine.

First, a bit of history (I am an absolute sucker for dogs and history). According to Gerry and Mary, "We named our La Crescent wine Charlotte to honor the history of our area. After splitting from Albany County in 1772, our area was named Charlotte County in honor of King George III’s eldest daughter. The County was renamed Washington County in 1784 to honor the service of General George Washington during the American Revolutionary War. The name Charlotte calls to mind the Baroness Fredericka Charlotte Riedesel. The Baroness, and her three daughters, traveled with her husband, General Friedreich Riedesel, commander of the German troops in General John Burgoyne’s army of invasion that was defeated during the battles of Saratoga. The red-haired Baroness was described as being, "full in figure and possessing no small share of beauty." She was adored by the German troops and was credited for being "an angel of comfort" who "restored order to chaos" for her work caring for wounded soldiers and the women and children in Burgoyne’s defeated army."
Charlotte is an off-dry, Germanic style wine from our 'estate' grown LaCrescent grapes. La Crescent, a Minnesota, cold-climate variety, combines St. Pepin and an Elmer Swenson (famous Minnesota grape hybridizer) selection from V. riparia x Muscat Hamburg. With this hardy heritage, trunks have survived a frigid -34°F when well cared for in good vineyard sites. It's moderately disease resistant and it can be very productive at harvest. LaCrescent is making more and more inroads in wine everyday.
Victory View Charlotte 2012 has a big frontal attack of pink grapefruit, melon, and hints of dried apricot. Those flavors come across on the palate as well as a few other tropical fruits. Off-dry, with a nice bit of bouncy acidity makes this a bright, refreshing, mouthwatering white. A lovely wine!!! And easy favorite!

Maréchal Foch was named after the French marshal Ferdinand Foch (1851-1929), who played an important role in the negotiation of the armistice terms during the closing of the First World War. It was developed in Alsace, France by grape hybridizer Eugene Kuhlmann. Some believe it to be a cross of Goldriesling (itself an intra-specific cross of Riesling and Courtiller Musqué) with a Vitis riparia - Vitis rupestris cross. Others contend that its pedigree is uncertain and may contain the grape variety Oberlin 595. It ripens early, is cold-hardy, is resistant to fungal diseases, and can produce a flavorful wine
Like many French-American hybrids, Marechal Foch has a bad rap. Mishandled for years by beginning eastern wineries, there were a great many that made awful, foxy varietals that scared away several generations of American wine consumers. But now, with the immense amount of knowledge out there, about vineyard practices, winemaking, and cellaring techniques, French-American hybrids, in the hands of a growing few, have made a real strong case for reconsideration. A real hint I that the wine was developed in Alsace the home of light bodied reds. Instead of trying to make inky wines with these grapes, I've always thought it better to make a lighter style wine that would carry all the fruit and by only limited wine/skin interaction carry fewer of the negative flavor profiles sometimes developed through extended fermentations.
Thrown into this conversation my be Victory View Layfayette 2012. A stew of strawberries, cherries, and plums comes across the nose with hint of vanilla and spice. And as promised, their were light hints of leather and tobacco. Nice acidity kept the fruit vibrant in the mouth, and the medium tannins kept this medium-bodied dry red in balance. A lovely, drinkable red, made for the dinning room table. A lovely wine. Very impressive. Brought home several bottles of this!
Again Gerry and Mary invoke a little history lesson here, writing, "Our Lafayette is named to pay respect to Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, the French general who became one of George Washington’s most trusted lieutenants and a hero of the American Revolution. While Lafayette was not present for the 1777 Battles of Saratoga, his efforts along with the Colonial Army’s success at Saratoga were pivotal in bringing France into the Revolution as allies of the fledgling United States."
How can you not like these people?!!!
I love their passion for history, their passion for estate fruit, and their passion for making quality wines. Victory View Vineyard is on of the shining stars of the Northern Hudson Valley and a credit to the Hudson Valley as a whole.

Nine Pin Cider Releases New Ginger Cider! (NY)

Nine Pin Cider Works, New York’s first farm cidery, has released Nine Pin Ginger. Ginger will be the second style of cider sold at retail by the bottle.
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