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 has been a published executive for more than 20 years. He shepherded the wine book program of Wine Spectator as well as worked with Kevin Zraly, Oz Clarke, Matt Kramer, Tom Stevenson, Evan Dawson, Greg Moore, Howard Goldberg, and many other wine writers. He has also published Salvatore Calabrese, Jim Meehan, Clay Risen, and Paul Knorr. Mr. DeVito is the inventor of the mini-kit which has sold more than 100,000,000 copies world wide. He has also publisher such writers as Stephen Hawking, E. O Wilson, Philip Caputo, Gilbert King, James McPherson, John and Mary Gribbin, Thomas Hoving, David Margolick, Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., John Edgar Wideman, Stanley Crouch, Dan Rather, Dee Brown, Susie Bright, and Eleanor Clift. He is also the owner of Hudson-Chatham Winery, co-founder of the Hudson Berkshire Beverage Trail, and president of the Hudson Valley Wine Country.

Monday, May 15, 2006

A Brief Listing of Hudson River Valley Wineries

A Visitor's Guide to Wineries in the Hudson Valley

Following is a list of Hudson Valley wineries, including addresses, phone numbers and days open. Please call ahead to verify times if you're planning a trip, as most wineries change hours depending on the season.

1. Adair Vineyards, New Paltz
The winery is found in a 200-year-old Dutch-style barn that was recently designated a historic landmark. The cellar is on the first floor and the tasting and gift shop on the second. Most Adair wines are made from locally grown grapes, such as Seyval Blanc, Foch, Ravat and Leon Millot. A Chardonnay and Baco Noir are also produced from grapes grown in the Finger Lakes region. Free tastings 11 a.m-6 p.m. daily - April 1-Dec. 31.
Directions: Located six miles south of New Paltz at 75 Allhusen Road, take Route 32 and turn east on Allhusen Road. (845)255-1377.

2. Alison Wines & Vineyards, Red Hook
Alison Wines & Vineyards is the Hudson Valley's newest producer of fine red and white wines created from the noble French varieties. Winemaker Richard Lewit handcrafts his wines to reflect the special climate and growing conditions found in New York. Current specialties are Chardonnay and an award winning Pinot Noir. All winemaking and barrel aging takes place in a converted dairy barn, the oldest section of which dates to the mid 1800's Parts of the barn are dug into a hillside, creating a natural barrel cave that is used for fermenting and aging wine. Inside, tours and tastings are conducted in an intimate setting which encourages a deeper appreciation of wine and winemaking. From the winery grounds you can enjoy panoramic view of the Catskill Mountains or shop in the adjacent Greig Farm Market
Directions: The winery is easily accessible from the Taconic State Parkway or the New York State Thruway. From the traffic light at the intersection of Routes 199 and 9 (the center of Red Hook) take Route 9 north for three miles. Make a left onto Pitcher Lane. The winery is one-quarter of a mile on the right. Address is 231 Pitcher Lane, Red Hook, NY 12571, (845) 758-6335 for seasonal hours or

3. Applewood Winery, Warwick
Rivaling their French counterparts in blind tastings, Applewood's wines taste like wines twice their price! They include oak aged reds, barrel fermented Seyval/Chardonnay's, Hard Apple Cider and Autumn Mist, a dessert wine that the New York Times said "captures the essence of apple." You'll find over a dozen wine varieties here. Each wine is produced in a limited edition with almost every bottle spoken for as soon as it's made. So you'll only find our wines here. Your friends will want to know where you found these wines! Jonathan And Michele Hull are the owners and wine makers so you get their personal attention with every bottle. Michele is available to arrange personal tastings for groups of 10 or more by appointment. Discover New York wines at Applewood where there is a wine for everyone. Open April thru June weekends 12-5 pm, July thru October Fri., Sat. & Sun. 12-5 and Nov. thru Dec. weekends 12-5.
Directions: Located in Warwick off County Route 13 just 3 miles south of Sugar Loaf Crafts Village. (845) 988-9292,
4. Baldwin Vineyards, Pine Bush
Owners Patricia and Jack Baldwin founded the winery in 1982 on a vineyard site dating back to 1786. The Baldwins grow most of their own grapes, purchasing only 15 percent of what's needed to make the 10 varieties of wine they produce. They specialize in Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon but also produce a good Claret and Landot Noir. "The Wine Spectator" awarded their Landot Noir a 96, an exceptionally high rating, in their third year of production. Open daily during the summer, long weekends during spring and fall and weekends in the winter.
Directions: Located on the Hardenburgh Estate, take Maple Avenue north from Route 52 in Pine Bush and turn left on Hardenburgh Road. The winery is on the right. (845)744-2226.

5. Benmarl Vineyards, Marlborough-on-Hudson
One of the country's oldest wineries, the Dutchess grape was developed here in 1867. The current owner and founder, Mark Miller, purchased the winery and its original vines in 1956. Winemaker, artist and author, Miller is highly regarded in both American and French wine circles. An art gallery at Benmarl displays some of his paintings and sells prints. Benmarl's winemaking continues to be influenced by Miller's experiences while living in France's Burgundy region, aging most of his reds and some whites in small French-oak barrels. Benmarl produces two dry wines, an Estate Red and Estate White, along with several specialty wines and a sparkling Verdelet and Seyval Blanc blend. Hourly tours are offered. Hours of operation: April-December, open daily, 12-5 p.m.; January-March, open daily 12-4 p.m. Closed Tuesdays in winter. Price: $5 per adult, includes parking, winery tour, wine tasting, art gallery, and use of picnic area.
Directions: From 9W in Marlborough, take Western Avenue west, turning left on Highland Avenue. Watch for the Benmarl sign in about a half mile. (845)236-4265.

6. Brimstone Hill Vineyard, Pine Bush
Owners Richard and Valerie Eldridge opened Brimstone in 1979. Their wines are made from hybrids and European varietals and range from a sparkling Seyval and Vidal to country wine blends. All but one are dry. Open Thursdays through Mondays during the summer and weekends all year.
Directions: Take Route 52 west from Pine Bush to Route 7 north. Brimstone Hill Road is one-half mile on the left. (845)744-2231.

7. Brotherhood Winery, Washingtonville
Brotherhood is America's oldest continuously operating winery. It even stayed in business during Prohibition by producing government-sanctioned altar and medicinal wines. The winery's John Jaques Building, named after Brotherhood's founder, provides entry to the winery's network of old subterranean caves, where wines are aged in a variety of oak vessels, some dating back to the 1840s. Today the building also houses a cafe and art and antiques gallery. Brotherhood has changed hands only three times since the death of its original owner. Most recently, a group of investors purchased the winery in 1987, among them Cesar Baeza, a native of Chile with extensive winemaking experience. Brotherhood produces an array of wines, from basic table wines like Chablis, Blush Chablis and Burgundy, to fortified wines, dessert wines and premium varietal wines, like chardonnay, Riesling, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir. Open daily.
Directions: Take Route 208 north in Washingtonville, go right on Main Street and left to Brotherhood Plaza Drive. (845)496-3661.

8. Cascade Mountain Winery & Restaurant, Amenia
Established in 1972 by New York City novelist William Wetmore, Cascade Mountain maintains an emphasis on reds, but produces a significant amount of whites with grapes purchased from other local vineyards. A Private Reserve Red is made from Cabernet Sauvignon with Leon Millot and the Dry Red Wine is a combination of Leon Millot and Baco Noir. Cascade's whites include a Seyval Blanc and a Private Reserve White, a blend of Chardonnay and Seyval Blanc selected as the official reception wine for the United States Mission to the United Nations. Visitors take self-guided tours which end in a tasting room and gift shop. The winery is noted for its sometimes humorous names to its products, including Le Hamburger Red, Pardonnez-Moi and Spring Fever. Cascade also offers a restaurant featuring regional specialties like goat's milk cheese, smoked trout, salmon mousse, duck pates, locally raised fowl and vegetables in season on its luncheon menu. The more formal dinner menu features several courses and matching wines. Open daily, but reservations are suggested for the restaurant.
Directions: Found on Flint Hill Road. Take Route 22 three miles north of Amenia. Turn left on Webatuck School Road and follow the signs to winery. (845)373-9021.

9. Clinton Vineyards, Clinton Corners
Seyval Blanc is the mainstay of Clinton Vineyards. Formerly a graphic designer in New York City, founder and winemaker Ben Feder also produces a sparkling wine, Seyval Naturel, and occasionally, when the growing season permits, a German-style Riesling. The winery is housed in a 19th century dairy barn and Clinton has won statewide as well as national awards. Open holidays and weekends.
Directions: Located just off the Schultzville Road, west of the Taconic Parkway, north of Clinton Corners. (845)266-5372.

10. El Paso Winery, Ulster Park
Owner Felipe Beltra produces clean country wines from a variety of grapes, including Seyval Blanc and Concord. He makes and sells all of his wines, which range from dry to sweet, by Christmas. Established in 1981, Beltra was given help by Ernest Herzog, owner of Royal Kedem Winery, to purchase a barn that was sitting idle on the company's property. This 150-year-old barn now houses El Paso production. Open daily April through December.
Directions: El Paso is found on Route 9W four miles south of Kingston. (845)331-8642.

11. Magnanini Farm Winery, Wallkill
Open daily from April to December. Reservations needed for the restaurant, which may leave you feeling as if you've stepped into an Italian cantina, complete with dancing to live accordion music. Begun in 1970 by Richard and Galba Magnanini, a father-son team, the Magnaninis sold their grapes to Brotherhood Winery until 1983, when they decided to open their own winery and restaurant. They produce six country wines including a Seyval Blanc and DeChaunac, and four hybrid blends that range from dry to sweet.
Directions: Located at 172 Strawridge Road. From Wallkill, take Route 300 east one mile, turn right on Plains Road and right on Strawridge Road. (845)895-2767.

12. Millbrook Vineyards, Millbrook
Visitors will get a good look at the 70 acres of vineyards as they wind their way toward the large barn that houses the operation, established in 1981. Owner John Dyson, former New York State Commissioner of Agriculture, grows about 25 varieties of European grapes, more than any other winery in the state - nearly half are Chardonnay, about one third are Pinot Noir. The sales and tasting rooms overlook the vineyards and offer a scenic Hudson Valley view. Millbrook produces Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Hunt Country Red, a blend of several red grape varieties. Open daily.
Directions: From the Taconic Parkway, take 44 east to 82 north, 3-and-a-half miles to Shunpike Road. Turn right, winery is another 3 miles. (845)677-8383.

13. North Salem Vineyard, North Salem
The closest to Manhattan, North Salem was founded by a practicing New York physician Dr. George Naumburg. In 1964, the doctor and his family bought a dairy farm that occupied the site and began to experiment, seeing which type of grapes would grow the best and produce the best wines. The winery occupies a barn, and from the tasting room visitors can walk to a deck overlooking the vineyard. Five wines are produced here: a reserve white, a reserve red, a rose, a sweet red and a Seyval-based sparking wine. The wines are not oak-aged, but are produced in stainless steel vessels. Open Saturday and Sunday, 1-5 p.m. year around.
Directions: Take exit 8 off of Route 684 and turn right on Hardscrabble Road. The winery is on Hardscrabble Road at the intersection of rural Route 2, about 2-and-a-half miles away. (914)669-5518.

14. Regent Champagne Cellars, Highland
The valley's second oldest winery, Regent is situated on a rocky overlook used by the Continental Army as its second line of defense after West Point during the Revolutionary War. Visitors will enjoy beautiful vistas of the river and valley. The original vineyards are now overgrown and the winery's stone buildings, courtyard, clocktower and house are arranged in the style of an Italian manor. Originally called the Hudson Valley Wine Company, it was begun in 1904 by a New York City inveestment banker Alphonso Bolognesi. It changed hands in 1969 and was opened to the public and was purchased by Herbert Feinberg, its present owner, a few years later. A new vice president renamed the company Regent Champagne Cellars in 1987. Sparkling wines such as Brut Champagne and fruit-flavored Blueberry, Raspberry, Peach, Almond and Strawberry are produced here. Open weekdays, but groups may arrange weekend visits. Closed mid-December to spring.
Directions: Take Route 9W about two miles south of Highland and turn east on Blue Point Road. Address is 200 Blue Point Rd. (845)691-7296.

15. Rivendell Winery, New Paltz
Since 1987, Rivendell Winery has been one of the favorite and most visited wineries in the Hudson Valley. Originally founded by the Ransom Family, it is now owned and operated by Robert Ransom and Susan Wine, former owner of the legendary Quilted Giraffe, a four-star restaurant in New York City. Rivendell wines have attracted the attention of wine critics and aficionados alike and in addition to wines made under the Rivendell label, a range of popular wines under the Libertyville Cellars label have recently been released. Featuring 55 scenic acres, the winery is a popular destination for wine tourist in the valley, and boasts a glass enclosed tasting porch with panoramic views of the valley, a fireplace for indoor tastings and year round picnics, and an enthusiastic and knowledgeable staff. Rivendell also hosts a full calendar of wine and food oriented events every month of the year.
Along with its own production, Rivendell features more than 50 wines from 20 other fine New York State wineries in the Vintage New York store located at the winery. All wines are available for sampling, along with an array of New York food products from artisanal and boutique producers as well as a large assortment of wine accessories and other gourmet lifestyle products. A second, larger Vintage New York store is operated by the winery at 482 Broome Street, Soho, New York City. The winery and tasting room are open for tours and tastings, 7 days a week, year round.
Rivendell is located midway between New York City and Albany, at Exit 18 of the New York State Thruway. 714 Albany Post Road, New Paltz. (845) 255-2494.

16. Royal Kedem Winery, Milton
Offers two sites for visiting. Marlborough-on-Hudson is where the grapes are grown and the wine is produced. This facility is open Fridays and Sundays. Royal Kedem's Milton operation is open daily except Saturdays. Here visitors can enjoy the wines in a tasting room and shop inside a 130-year-old train station overlooking the Hudson River. Royal Kedem is owned and operated by the Herzog family, the sole supplier of wine to Emperor Franz Josef I of Austria in the mid-1800s. The family, lead by Eugene Herzog, fled Germany in 1948, coming to the United States with only $3,000 and their wine formulas. Eugene and his son Ernest purchased the Royal Wine Company in 1958, adding the word Kedem, which is Yiddish for "forward" or "renew our days as before." After Ernest died in 1989, his son Michael took over as winemaker and manager. Royal Kedem produces more than 25 kosher wines, made from local hybrid and native American grapes in varieties ranging from dry to sweet.
Directions: Marlborough facility - found on Route 9W a little over a mile north of Marlborough; Milton facility - three miles north of Marlborough on Route 9W, just south of Milton. (845)795-2240.

17. Warwick Valley Winery, Warwick
Situated on 100 acres in Southern Orange County, Warwick Valley Winery is especially known for its Chardonnay and its Cayuga Blanc. Owner Joe Grizzanti also produces award-winning apple and raspberry ciders. The winery boasts an orchard open for apple picking in the fall and its stables, complete with horses, offer a picturesque setting to enjoy the fruits of its labor. A bakery and ice cream parlor are also on the premises. Open weekends, except holidays.
Directions: Located on Route 94, just north of Route 17A. (845)258-4858.

18. West Park Wine Cellars, West Park
Owner Lou Fiore purchased what was once a dairy farm operated by the Christian Brothers Order from Ireland and turned it into a winery producing Chardonnay. He opened West Park in 1983. Students and faculty from the Culinary Institute of America, just across the river in Hyde Park, put on elaborate dinner parties featuring candlelit tables, classical music and gourmet meals. Chardonnay here is made in the French style and Fiore has such high standards that he chose not to sell any of his 1990 vintage. Open weekends March through November.
Directions: Located on Route 9W just south of West Park, about six miles south of Kingston. (845)384-6709.

19. Whitecliff Vineyards, Gardiner
Whitecliff Vineyard sits on 70 acres opposite the Shawangunk Mountain chain located west of the Hudson River (near New Paltz) and 60 miles north of New York City. It is one of nine wineries of the famed Shawangunk Wine Trail and is following in the tradition of French Huguenot settlers who brought wine making to this scenic valley over three centuries ago. Today, we're using the latest techniques in vineyard management and enology to bring the best in European wine grape varieties back to this historic area. Whitecliff is working with European vinifera varietals such as Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc and Riesling, and quality hybrids like Seyval Blanc and Vignoles, including small plantings of Pinot Noir and Merlot. And we are pioneering use of Gamay Noir grape in the Hudson Valley for a true Beaujolais-style Nouveau. Visitors are invited to sample wines in our tasting room and enjoy the spectacular view of the Shawangunk cliffs from the deck. Tasting Room Hours: from Memorial Day Weekend thru the end of October - Thursday, Friday, & Sunday, 12 - 5 p.m.; Saturday, 11:30 - 6 p.m. Open holidays. Open weekends in November & December.
Directions: From Gardiner, follow Rt. 44-55 west to County Rt. 7, turn left, go about 2.5 miles and turn left on Mckinstry Rd, and the winery is located ½ mile on the right. 331 McKinstry Road, Gardiner, NY. 12525. Phone: (845) 255-4613. Fax: (845) 255-0628.

20. Windsor Vineyards, Marlborough-on-Hudson
No longer an operating winery here, but the spot is now a shop for the company's California wines. Open daily.
Directions: Located at 104 Western Ave. in downtown Marlborough. (845)236-4440.


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