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.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Results of the 2008 Hudson Valley Wine Competition

Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Results of the Hudson Valley Wine Competition
I won't keep you in suspense any longer. Here are the results as well as info if you would like to attend the wine dinner.

Poughkeepsie, NY , April 29, 2008: Brook in Waterland in Rhinebeck New York was the setting Saturday, April 26th for the 4th Annual Hudson Valley Wine Competition. This competition highlights the Hudson Valley Regions wines and the growing interest the public has for them. The competition was open to all commercial wineries in the Hudson Valley AVA using New York State fruit, but more exclusively, Hudson Valley fruit.

Seventy nine wines made in the Hudson Valley were entered in the competition. Overall the wines from the 18 wineries that entered scored higher than in the past three competitions, suggesting to all present, a continuing improvement in winemaking for the area.

The winners of the 4th Annual Hudson Valley Wine Competition by class and variety are:


Brotherhood Winery NV Blanc de Blanc –Silver Medal, Best Sparkling Wine

Clinton Vineyards NV Sparkling Seyval Peach – Bronze Medal

Applewood Winery Stonefence 2006 Hard Cider-- Bronze Medal

White Hybrid:

Benmarl Winery 2006 Seyval—Gold Medal, Best in Class and Best White Hybrid

Magnanini Winery 2006 Bianco Amable (Seyval) -- Silver Medal

Brotherhood Winery 2006 Seyval Blanc—Bronze Medal

Bashakill Winery 2006 Whitetail (Cayuga) –Gold Medal, Best in Class

Brimstone Hill Vineyards 2007 Cayuga – Silver Medal

Adair Vineyards 2007 Cayuga—Bronze Medal

Whitecliff Vineyards 2007 Awosting White (Seyval/Vignoles)--Silver Medal, Best Hudson Heritage
Benmarl Winery 2007 Traminette – Bronze Medal

White Vinifera

Millbrook Vineyards 2007 Tokai Fruilano – Gold Medal, Best in Class, Best White Vinifera

Millbrook Vineyards 2006 Chardonnay –Gold Medal

Benmarl Winery 2007 Riesling – Bronze Medal

Brotherhood Winery 2005 Riesling—Bronze Medal

Labrusca (Native) Grape:

Hudson-Chatham Lindenwald White Niagara/Diamond—Silver Medal, Best in Class

Red Hybrid:

Benmarl Winery 2006 Baco Noir—Gold Medal, Best Red Hybrid

Benmarl Winery 2006 Frontenac—Silver Medal

Bashakill Winery 2006 Blue Heron (Chancellor)—Bronze Medal

Red Vinifera:

Millbrook Vineyards 2005 Cabernet Franc –Gold Medal, Best in Class, Best in Show, Best HV Wine

Millbrook Vineyards 2006 Cabernet Franc Block 3—Gold Medal

Applewood Winery 2006 Cabernet Franc – Bronze Medal

Oak Summit Vineyards 2006 Pinot Noir – Silver Medal, Best in Category

Millbrook Vineyards 2005 Pinot Noir—Silver Medal

Bashakill Winery 2006 Copperhead (Pinot Noir)—Bronze Medal

Brotherhood Winery 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon—Silver Medal

Hudson-Chatham 2005 Merlot—Silver Medal, Best in Category

Baldwin 2006 Merlot—Bronze Medal

Grape Sweet Wine:

Bashakill Winery 2007 Osprey (Vignoles)—Silver Medal, Best in Class

Bashakill Winery 2007 Whitetail (Cayuga)—Bronze Medal

Bashakill Winery 2006 Osprey (Vignoles)—Bronze Medal

Fruit Wine:

Brookview Station 2007 Pomona (Apple/Pear) – Gold Medal, Best in Category, Best in Class

Adair Vineyards 2007 Peche –Gold Medal, Best in Category

Dessert Wines:

Clinton Vineyards NV Cassis – Gold Medal, Best in Category, Best in Class, Best Dessert Wine Warwick Valley Winery NV Pear Liquior –Gold Medal, Best in Category

Warwick Valley Winery NV Black Currant—Silver Medal

Palaia Winery NV Mead—Bronze Medal


Brotherhood Winery NV Ruby Port—Gold Medal, Best in Class

Hudson Chatham Winery Paperbirch Raspberry Port—Silver Medal

For more information on the Hudson Valley Wine & Grape Association visit

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Pazdar's 2007 Forbidden Nights - Look for It!

Saw David Pazdar, one of the most innovative winemakers in the region, at the Rip Van Winkle Wine and Cheese Festival in Catskill the other day. He was showing off his newest version of Forbidden Nights, a dry red blend he makes each year. Funny thing is, he uses a different blend each year to make this wine. It's always an eye opener, and this year's blend is a very successful one.

Lot's of bright fruit and a nice dry finish. Frontenac and Chambourcin are two of the main grapes, but not the only ones. Very nice. Congrats, David!


BashaKill Vineyards is Sullivan County’s first commercial winery. It is owned by Paul Denino. Set in a picturesque region of the Catskills, Bashakill Vineyards got its start in the spring of 2005. Two varieties of vines, Noiret and Cayuga White, both of which are American hybrids developed at Cornell University, were planted in the Spring of 2006.

I met Paul at the 2nd Annual Rip Van Winkle Wine and Cheese Festival just this last weekend. His vineyard is on a slight slope which flows down to the Bashakill wetlands. The proximity to the Bashakill wetlands provides ideal conditions for growing. The moist, warmer air off of the wetlands pushes the colder air off the vineyard and provides a blanket, protecting the vines from the early frosts so commonly found in this region.

Their expected first harvest will be in 2008. Until their vineyard grapes are ready, they are buying grapes directly from the Finger Lakes and the Hudson Valley.

I tasted three wines:
Blue Heron $13 made from 100% Chancellor grapes aged in American oak
Bowfin $14 Blend of 75% Noiret, 25% Chancellor aged in American oak
Copperhead $14.00 Hudson Valley Pinot Noir, grapes grown in Rhineback, NY
I liked all three. All three were for serious red wine drinkers who like solid, well-made dry red wines. This new vineyard and winery are serious about making good wines…and Paul seems like the real deal. They are not far from Warwick Valley Winery. Go check it out.

Bashakill Vineyards
1131 South Rd
Wurtsboro, NY12790
Phon: 845-888-5858

Monday, April 28, 2008


Sunday, April 27, 2008
Hudson Valley Wine Competition - Competition Day
BY Debbie Lessner-Gioquindo aka THE WINE GODDESS
Well yesterday was a long day. It all started Friday night with last minute changes to entries. Colleen and I were up until 2am making sure everything was correct. With 4 hours of sleep and a stop at the A&P for brown lunch bags (it's a blind tasting) we headed to Rhinebeck for the competition.

While the results aren't official yet...there were some nice results for newcomers at Hudson-Chatham Winery, Baskhill and Palaia. Congratulations to them. I will keep you in suspense until the results become final.