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.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

FOOD NETWORK'S FARMHOUSE RULES Makes Mulled Wine With Hudson-Chatham Winery
For the first time, Food Network has posted the video from Farmhouse Rules making the mulled wine with Hudson Chatham Winery's popular Hudson River Valley Red.
Hudson-Chatham Winery was prominently featured in the first season of Nancy Fuller's Farmhouse Rules on Food Network! The episode was called Old-Fashioned Dinner Party. In it Nancy came by, visited the winery, and then made mulled wine.
The episode featured several great recipes. Here's Food Network's description: Nancy Fuller's 1650s home is the perfect backdrop for an old-fashioned Dutch dinner party. Nancy's making juicy Roasted Chicken With Chestnut Breading, Sweet Corn Pudding and a Rustic Fruit Tart. She even swings by the local vineyard to pick up a few bottles of red for her spicy Mulled Wine. It's going to be an old-fashioned dinner party with farm flair! (Episode: RF0105H)

The majesty of the Hudson Valley spawned an entire art movement worldwide. The Hudson River School was a mid-19th century American art movement embodied by a group of landscape painters whose aesthetic vision was influenced by romanticism. The paintings for which the movement is named depict the Hudson River Valley and the surrounding area, including the Catskill, Adirondack, and the White Mountains; eventually works by the second generation of artists associated with the school expanded to include other locales in New England, the Maritimes, the American West, and South America.
Hudson River School paintings reflect three themes of America in the 19th century: discovery, exploration, and settlement. The paintings also depict the American landscape as a pastoral setting, where human beings and nature coexist peacefully. Hudson River School landscapes are characterized by their realistic, detailed, and sometimes idealized portrayal of nature, often juxtaposing peaceful agriculture and the remaining wilderness, which was fast disappearing from the Hudson Valley just as it was coming to be appreciated for its qualities of ruggedness and sublimity. Their reverence for America’s natural beauty was shared with contemporary American writers such as Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Hudson River Valley Red is an homage to the men and women who celebrated this great valley and who celebrated the beauty of the landscape and the glory of nature.
Hudson River Valley Red is a blend of numerous grapes from the Hudson Valley, including: DeChaunac, Leon Millot, Baco Noir, and Chambourcin. It is a light red, perfect at room temperature or serve it chilled. It is a dry red wine, with 0% residual sugar. The wine features a fruit forward promise that delivers – plum, strawberry, and bright raspberry come across the nose first and then the palate.  It is a nice, affordable blend, light in color and with a nice juicy ending, and little tannin. It’s a perfect pizza, burger, picnic red.
This wine is among our most popular, and the labels have been a joy to create.


Wineries Help Celebrate Hudson Valley Wine Market’s 2nd Anniversary

For those of you who do not know, Hudson Valley Wine Market is a destination wine & spirits shop and e-commerce site that offers an incredibly large selection of Hudson Valley wines. They specialize in HV wines!

Brotherhood, America’s Oldest Winery, Tuthilltown Spirits, and Whitecliff Vineyards will help celebrate Hudson Valley Wine Market’s second anniversary in business with complimentary wine and spirits tastings on Saturday, January 24th.  The event takes place from 1 to 4 p.m. at the shop at 119 Main Street, Gardiner, NY.  There will also be food tastings, sale discounts, and giveaways, including Edible Hudson Valley and The Valley Table magazines.

Hudson Valley Wine Market is located in Gardiner, NY, where the Shawangunk Wine Trail, Shawangunk Mountains Scenic Byway, and Wallkill Valley Rail Trail all meet.

Hudson Valley wines and wineries have won significant awards and been well-rated by major media in recent years.  Moreover, Wine Enthusiast just awarded New York State “Wine Region of the Year”, where it competed with Champagne, Chianti, and Sonoma, among other world-class wine regions for the title.  The Hudson Valley has become an important part of New York’s overall wine industry, helping to grow it to the second largest wine-producing state in the country.

“A continually increasing number of critically-acclaimed and award-winning wines are produced here,” says Perry Goldschein, owner of the shop.  “The region is up to over 50 wineries, which have continued to improve as the region grows steadily over time.”
“Accomplishments like Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s tasting and rating of dozens of Hudson Valley wines in the upper 80s to 90 point range the last couple of years can’t be over-estimated,” adds Mr. Goldshein, anymore than well-known wine experts, such as Kevin Zraly and Steven Kolpan, acknowledging that the Hudson Valley has been producing world class wines.”
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Monday, January 12, 2015

Senator Schumer Highlights Capital Region Distillers and Malt Barley Crop

Today, at Albany Distilling Company, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer launched his push to establish a crop insurance program for Capital Region farmers who grow malt barley, a crop that is crucial to the continued growth of the area’s burgeoning craft beer and distilling industries. Schumer explained that there currently is no federally backed insurance coverage for malt barley in New York State, even though farmers in other states do have coverage, which severely hampers the ability of local farmers to grow the amount of malt barley needed to meet the demand of local craft brewers and distillers. Schumer noted that multiple farms in the Capital Region are already growing malt barley and providing it to a number of local brewers and distillers, but malt barley needs very specific conditions to grow and severe weather can completely knock out an entire crop. Therefore, Schumer urged the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to expand its malt barley crop insurance program to include New York State. He also called on the USDA and the federal Small Business Administration (SBA) to educate local malt barley farmers on federal financing options that will help them scale up and add equipment and facilities like on-site barley storage.
“Distilleries and breweries throughout the Capital Region pour local products and jobs into our economy, which is why it is important we continue to support this industry and provide them with the tools needed to succeed. In order for local craft distillers and brewers to expand right here in the Capital Region, we need a strong local malt barley industry, since the crop is so important to the production of beer and spirits,” said Schumer. “But the lack of insurance for malt barley is preventing farmers from planting this crucial crop. Without protections, the risk is just too high, and that is preventing our craft breweries and distilleries from really taking off. In order to meet the demand of craft brewers and distillers, New York State will need to increase its malt barley production by 15 times, but malt barley farmers need crop insurance to meet that goal. That is why I am calling on the USDA to bring the national malt barley crop insurance program to New York State. It is already available in other states and for other types of barley; it is time to make it available here in order for our farmers, distillers and brewers to really tap into their full potential.
Schumer explained that there is currently a need for increased malt barley production throughout New York State as a result of its burgeoning craft brewing and distilling industries. Alongside water, yeast, and hops, barley is one of the major components of beer and of many spirits produced by distilleries. Malt consists of barley that is germinated and then dried under highly controlled conditions. These conditions help to release the enzymes needed to convert the barley starches into sugars. These sugars are then fed to yeast through the process of fermentation, which ultimately creates the final product, alcohol. Schumer explained that multiple Capital Region farmers are beginning to grow this barley, which they then provide to malt houses. These malt houses then take the barley seed grains and put them through the process of malting; this is so the barley seeds can begin to germinate and thus convert the starches into sugars. This malt barley is then given to brewers and distillers who have the yeast and fermentation conditions needed to make beer and spirits.
Schumer noted that the craft beer industry has been growing throughout New York State over the past few years, and in the Capital Region, increasing the need for local ingredients, like hops and malt barley. The hops industry has already taken off, however hops are needed in much smaller quantities than malt barley. For example, to make a typical half-keg worth of beer (15.5 gallons), less than five pounds of hops would be required, however, the amount of malt barley needed would range from 35-50 pounds. As a result, Schumer explained, New York State will need more farmers to grow barley and more malt houses to convert that barley into malt if the suppliers are to keep up with the industry needs.
Schumer said that this is especially important because, over the next decade, New York State is expected to require farm craft brewers and distillers to source 90 percent of ingredients from local farms and malt houses. Currently, 20 percent of all hops and 20 percent of all other ingredients, including malt barley, used by farm brewers licensed by the New York Farm Brewery are required to be grown or produced in New York State. However, by 2018, that proportion is expected to jump to 60 percent. By 2024, New York law will require no less than 90 percent of all farm craft beer ingredients be grown or produced locally within the state. Currently, for farm distillers, 75 percent of all ingredients must be produced within New York State. According to the New York State Brewers Association, while only the breweries and distilleries licensed as Farm Brewery are the ones required by law to meet the 60 percent (2018) and 90 percent (2024) ingredient requirements, most non-farm craft breweries and distilleries are also increasing their sourcing from local areas, so the pressure is mounting to supply New York State grown ingredients in the coming years.
Right now, New York State has approximately 2,000 acres of malt barley, some of which is grown in the Capital Region. According to data from Cornell Cooperative Extension, there are 13 Malt Houses either in operation or planning to open in New York as well as 39 farms engaged in growing malt barley, with an estimated 2,000 acres farmed in 2014.  However, it is estimated malt barley production will have to grow fifteen-fold to 30,000 acres in the near term to meet the needs of New York State brewers and distillers, including many that have begun to take hold in the Capital Region.
Because of this, Schumer said, New York State farmers will need to drastically increase their production of malt barley over the next decade. However, the lack of a federally backed crop insurance program is a barrier that is inhibiting farmers from producing the malt barley that is needed to support the burgeoning local distillery and craft beer industry. Without the assurance that the malt barley will be insured in the event of severe weather or a poor crop year, many farmers cannot afford to produce a risky ingredient and experience a major loss without adequate coverage. This increased risk and cost scares off many potential growers. Schumer explained that while there is some insurance available to barley farmers, it is only available at the level of animal feed quality. However, the barley that is used to feed animals requires far fewer highly controlled conditions and it is two to three times cheaper to grow than the malt barley used to brew beer and make alcohol. Therefore, many farmers must choose between utilizing inadequate insurance that will not cover the full cost of their malt barley crop or simply forgoing coverage altogether. Schumer said this situation could be mitigated by providing these farmers with the USDA malt barley federal crop insurance that is offered to farmers in other states. Right now, the national malt barley crop insurance program, which has been available since the 2011 crop season, is not available in New York. Therefore Schumer is calling on the USDA to include New York State in this program and expeditiously approve its incorporation into the national program.
In order to begin this process of including New York in the USDA’s national malt barley insurance program, the federal agency would need to conduct surveys and inventories to gather information on the varieties of malt barley that are being grown and how the barley is graded; it would also need to assess the average malt barley pricing based on contracts farmers have with malt houses. Schumer is urging the USDA to come in right away and fast track the development of a malt barley insurance program for New York, because these farmers will need time to ramp up production and the malt houses they provide the crop to will need the time and financing to purchase the additional equipment needed to successfully produce at higher levels. This all must be done now rather than later, Schumer said, if Capital Region and Upstate New York breweries and distilleries are to have the malt barley supply to fill their demand and the production needed to meet the 90 percent local ingredient requirement in just 10 years.
In addition, Schumer is also calling on the USDA and the federal SBA to educate local malt barley farmers on federal financing options that will help them scale up and add equipment and facilities, like on-site barley storage. Currently, many New York State malt houses are small and, while they need the barley, they cannot often accommodate the thousands of tons of grain that these farmers will need to supply at one time. Many farmers across the state have expressed interest in growing malt barley if they had the assurance that malt houses would be able to take the barley seeds as soon as they are harvested. Additionally, other equipment malt houses have expressed interest in adding includes on-site quality control testing facilities. Right now, some Upstate New York malt houses must send the malt barley they receive from farmers to malt labs in Canada and other countries to certify the quality and characteristics of the malt. This takes several weeks, is more costly for a local company, and could lead to production delays for the craft brewers and local distillers that rely on the malt barley to make their product.

Schumer was joined by be John Curtin and Richard Sciari of Albany Distilling, Dietrich Gehring of Indian Ladder Farmstead Brewery & Cidery in Altamont, Alexander Gordon of Gordon Farms in Knox, Derek Grout of Harvest Spirits Farm Distillery in Valatie, Ryan Demler and Neil Evans from C.H. Evans Brewing Company at the Albany Pump Station, and Garrett Brown of Brown’s Brewing in Troy, Sarah Gordon from the Carey Institute for Global Good.
“As a spirits producer that relies on local agriculture to provide grain, removing the barriers in providing insurance for those who produce malt barley in New York is a critical step forward for our industry. Without this, our company, in addition to other distillers and breweries, will be limited in growth potential. We applaud Senator Schumer for supporting this important initiative,” said John Curtin, co-owner, the Albany Distilling Company.
A copy of Senator Schumer’s letter to the USDA appears below:
Dear USDA Secretary Vilsack and SBA Administrator Contreras-Sweet,
I write to bring your attention to help overcome several barriers that are now inhibiting the growth of a New York State malt barley industry including the current lack of a malt barley crop insurance program and a need to tap existing USDA and SBA financing programs to purchase equipment to scale up New York’s malt barley supply chain.
First there is a growing need for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to provide a malt barley crop insurance program in New York State and I ask that USDA prioritize and expeditiously engage with the New York State malt barley industry for the creation of a barley crop insurance product specifically for Malt Barley.  Additionally to help expedite this effort, I ask that the (National Agricultural Statistics Service) NASS begin surveys of New York malt barley production to aid the development of a first-ever insurance available to New York farmers.
Although USDA created a national malt barley crop insurance option beginning in the 2011 growing season and federally backed Malt Barley crop insurance options are available in other states, this option is not now offered in New York State in part because Malt Barley was not historically farmed in New York.  However, the same factors that propelled New York State to become the nation’s third largest wine producing state over the past thirty years are now driving New York to become a leading producer of beer and craft distilling using New York farmed or produced ingredients such as malt barley.
Right now, according to data from Cornell Cooperative Extension, there are 13 Malt Houses either in operation or planning to open now in New York as well as 39 farms engaged in growing malt barley with an estimated 2000 acres farmed in 2014.  However, it is estimated malt barley production will have to grow fifteen-fold to 30,000 acres in the near term to meet the needs of New York State brewers and distillers.  In particular New York farm brewery licensed brewers will be required to source 60% of their ingredients from New York state farms or producers by 2018 and no less than 90% by 2024.  Additionally this year New York state farm craft distillers are required to source 75% of their ingredients from New York farms or producers.
Currently the only barley insurance available in New York is for low-value livestock-feed grade barley, which is inadequate to insure the value of much costlier-to-produce high quality barley varieties used for malting.   Thus, a true malt barley crop insurance product, like those offered in other states, is needed in New York to both help current growers manage their risk of growing higher value barley for malting and to remove a barrier that now discourages more farmers from planting malt barley.  Additionally malt barley carries greater risks for loss and lower yields than barley grown for livestock feed because in order to be viable for malting, the grain must meet rigorous quality standards.  Particularly in New York, which can endure both heavy rains and long dry spells, entire crops can be rendered unusable if malt barley becomes too moist and prematurely germinates in the field, or conversely dries out and is unable to germinate during the malting process.
Lastly, I ask the USDA and SBA to conduct outreach to the New York malt barley growers and producers to help them access existing financing programs that can help this burgeoning industry scale up and afford needed equipment and facilities that are now out of reach to today’s small but growing malt growers and producers.   For example, there is need for more climate controlled on-site storage to store barley until it can be malted, as well as need for grain cleaning equipment, quality control testing facilities, and other capital needs. 
I appreciate your consideration of this request that will help remove obstacles to scaling up New York’s malt barley supply chain while providing farmers with the opportunity to farm higher value-added malt barley.
Charles E. Schumer
United States Senator

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Kettleborough Dry Cider - Excellent

I recently tried some Kettleborough Dry Cider. The name "Kettleborough" comes from the moniker of the original settlement of the area where the cidery is now located.  Kettleborough was inhabited by the LeFevre family whose descendants still live in the New Paltz area.  The old Kettleborough School House still stands adjacent to the orchard that has since been planted on their land. 
Kettleborough has instantly become one of the darling ciders of the Hudson Valley. It can be found in a number of foodie stores in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

According to their company website: Kettleborough Cider House was founded in 2011 by Tim Dressel.  The Dressel Family has been growing apples in New Paltz for four generations, beginning with Tim's Great-Grandfather Fred Dressel in 1923.  After graduating from Cornell University in 2007, Tim returned to the family business and still works there full-time.  Kettleborough Cider House was born out of his love of horticulture, farm business, and oenology (wine-making).  Coming from our apple-growing heritage, we know that great hard cider begins with great apples.  Therefore, we have begun planting nearly-extinct varieties of apples that are better suited for hard cider production than your typical grocery store varieties. 100% of the apples used to make Kettleborough Hard Cider come from trees on Dressel Farms.  
This is Kettleborough's flagship cider. Their Dry Cider is a departure from sweeter run-of-the-mill hard ciders that have always dominated the market. This cider is made from a blend of Northern Spy and Granny Smith apples. Big green apple taste I balanced by a great acidity. This is a wine drinker's cider. This is meant to pair with food, like you might a fine sparkling wine. It's almost like a dry Prosecco. Very light, delicate. A lovely, complex cider. Excellent. Perfect to serve in a pint or a champagne flute.

Friday, January 09, 2015

"Cocktail Grove" Now Opened at Hudson Valley Distillers


Hudson Valley Distillers opened their new cocktail lounge, the Cocktail Grove, opened Friday, January 9, 2015. There's a lovely menu of drinks. The bar is made of 100 year old wood stripped from the original bar. Spacious enough to hold a fair amount of people but intimate enough for you to have a fabulous cocktail with your significant other.
The Cocktail Grove is opened from 3 to 8pm for drinks Wed-Sat, every week.
White Winter Wonder

Hudson Highball

Nonni Rose

Jen and Jen 



Owners Thomas Yozzo and Chris Moyer met in 1990 as fraternity brothers at Bloomsburg University. In 2009 Thomas suggested they start a distillery. Chris started to research the emerging craft distilling industry, and after discovering the industry was growing rapidly, the two got serious. In 2012, Chris moved his family from Northern Virginia to Red Hook, NY and in July 2013 the two purchased a small farm and apple orchard in Clermont, NY and named it Spirits Grove Farm.     Spirits Grove Farm was previously used as a nursery and came with a house, retail center, 100 year old barn, a four acre apple orchard, and four greenhouses.

Hudson Valley Distillers enjoys an excellent reputation as a young but highly accomplished producer here in the valley. This new Cocktail Lounge is an excellent treat! A great place to meet friends, have a quiet drink, or a raucous good time. Sip cocktails, tour the distillery, and have a great time!

1727 U.S. 9, Germantown, NY 12526
(518) 537-6820