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.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Stoutridge Quimby Rose'

Steven Osborn is one of the most passionate winemakers of the Hudson Valley. Steven makes wines in a completely gravity flow engineered winery that is one of the most green wineries on the eastcoast.

The vineyards are half a mile from the beautiful Hudson River on the south-east facing slopes of a ridge of land on which grapevines and fruit trees have been continuously planted for 200 years. The Marlboro area has a rich history of fruit and wine production and during the 1800's was the principal supplier of fresh fruit for New York City.

Next to the winery is a picturesque and historic stone farmhouse known to elder locals as "The Homestead". It's ten foot high fieldstone foundation was built around 1855 and was dug out of the vineyard hillside. This house had a barn, which between 1902 and 1919 was the "Morano Winery". It's one dry stacked stone foundation wall remains.

Recently I had the good fortune to go down to Stoutridge and see Steven in action, giving a tour and speaking to an audience about his theories on wine wine and his thoughts about Hudson Valley "terrior." I also had the good fortune to try the Quimby Rose'.

This wine is named for Howard Quimby, an iconic 80 year young grape farmer who was raised in a house overlooking the farm that is now our winery and vineyards. He is still actively farming and this wine is made 100% from his grapes. The taste of the wine is a taste of the Hudson Valley as it has been for generations, however the wine is made in a modern French County style which is both dry and low in alcohol.

Very fresh and light...a dark rose'...and a nice, light, refreshing surprise.

Here's a few videos of Steven speaking to the crowd of the terrior of his vineyards and winery and about his views on wine. He's talking about farm centric wines, meaning getting the local flavor in the bottle as naturally as possible - what the FRench call "terrior." HIs passion is both capivating and moving.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Hudson Valley Vintners & Wineries Launch

As a result of a matching grant from the New York Wine & Grape Foundation through its Regional Branding Initiative, and spearheaded by collaborative energies of the Shawangunk Wine Trail (Ulster and Orange Counties) and Dutchess Wine Trail (Dutchess County), seeks to bring recognition to the region which is the oldest wine region in America by using the tag line "The Roots of American Wine."

Hudson Valley, New York (PRWEB) September 4, 2008 -- The year was 1677, when the French Huguenots planted the first vines on the hillsides of the Hudson Highlands and started the tradition of growing grapes and winemaking that continues today. And today, some 330 years later, the vintners and wineries of the Hudson Valley launched a website that seeks to present this historic wine region together with its wealth of natural beauty, outdoor activities, historic sites, and culinary treasures of farms and restaurants.

The result of a matching grant from the New York Wine & Grape Foundation through its Regional Branding Initiative, and spearheaded by collaborative energies of the Shawangunk Wine Trail (Ulster and Orange Counties) and Dutchess Wine Trail (Dutchess County), seeks to bring recognition to the region which is the oldest wine region in America by using the tag line "The Roots of American Wine."

"Many people know of the Long Island and the Finger Lakes wine regions in New York, but the hidden treasure and history of the Hudson Valley Wine Region often goes un-noticed" said Phyllis Feder, co-owner of Clinton Vineyards in Clinton Corners. " will be a tremendous resource for information and conversation about this most historic region."

Divided in many ways between the East side and West side of the Hudson River, seeks to unite the region with several unique features. Visitors will be able to explore the many wineries through their online listings, taking a virtual tour of the region's viticultural bounty. Then, utilizing the Trip Planner feature, one can plan a visit to several or all of the wineries, with the website returning explicit turn by turn driving directions. Eventually, the Trip Planner will include restaurants, bed & breakfasts and hotels, historic sites, farms and many other attractions making it an invaluable resource for planning a wine country excursion. Other features of the website include a history of grape and wine-growing in the area, information on modern-day viticulture and links to the Hudson Valley Grape Grower's Association website, plans for the future Hudson Valley Wine & Culinary Center and a wide variety of related and associated links such as Travel and Tourism Agencies, local attractions, dining and accommodations. It also includes a social network site where there is more information, discussions and an internet chat room available to talk about Hudson Valley Wines.

"Many people don't realize the award-winning quality and diversity of wine that is produced in the Hudson Valley. We hope that through the development and use of, people will gain a better understanding of the history and uniqueness of our wine region." says Susan Wine of Rivendell Winery in New Paltz and Vintage New York™. "As agri-tourism is growing in popularity, and winery visitation tops the agri-tourism industry in New York State, people need a full featured resource to plan their trips. We are hoping to make that resource."

With over 32 wineries (and growing!), home to Brotherhood, America's Oldest Winery (Washingtonville) and Benmarl Winery at Slate Hill Vineyard, America's Oldest Vineyard (Marlboro), Hudson Valley Wine Country begins 45 miles north of New York City and extends as far north as Saratoga, New York. It's the closest wine region to New York City, New Jersey, Vermont, Connecticut and Massachusetts.

Visit - "The Roots of American wine"

Hudson Cattell Mourns the Passing of Mark MIller

Mark Miller, Wine Pioneer, Dies at 89
Artist and founder of New York's Benmarl Vineyards
by Hudson Cattell

Wilmington, N.C. -- Mark Miller, a noted magazine illustrator and the founder of Benmarl Vineyards in Marlboro, N.Y., died at the age of 89 on Sept. 9 in Wilmington, N.C., after a long illness. He was one of the last of the pioneers of the wine industry in the eastern United States.

Born in Eldorado, Okla., on Jan. 2, 1919, he had a long career as an artist that culminated in the 1950s and 1960s, when he was an established illustrator for The Saturday Evening Post and other leading magazines of the pre-television era. He became a hobby winemaker in 1951, and in 1957, as his interest grew, he and his wife Dene bought a 40-acre property on a hill overlooking the Hudson River in Marlboro, the site of a vineyard established by the early American viticulturist, Andrew J. Caywood.

In 1967, following several years as an artist living in Europe and studying vineyard and winemaking practices in France, he completed his first harvest at Benmarl. The winery was licensed in 1971. Winery licenses in those days cost $1,500 per year, and Miller played a leading role in securing passage of New York state's farm winery act in 1976, which reduced the annual license fee to $125, in addition to expanding allowable retail sales at the winery. In recognition of Miller's role, Benmarl was granted farm winery license No 1.

Borrowing the idea of a brotherhood that he had seen in France, Miller established Benmarl's Société des Vignerons, whose members could buy the rights to two vines, come to the winery for a special tasting in the spring, and later receive a case of wine with the Société's label, which included the member's own personal signature. The romance surrounding the Société gave it an elite status that attracted many prominent people, including the ambassador to Ireland and many members of New York's "400." At its peak in the early 1980s, the Société had about 1,400 members.

Benmarl and Miller won recognition not only in New York, but nationally. Time magazine ran an article in its Nov. 21, 1977, issue titled "Shaking California's Throne," which included Miller and Benmarl. The July 1978, issue of National Geographic had an article "The Hudson: That River's Alive," which prominently mentioned Benmarl under the subhead "Wines to Rival the Rhine's."

When New York's farm winery act was passed in 1976, there were only 19 wineries in New York state, compared to more than 250 today. There were about 125 in all of eastern North America.

Miller and Benmarl were in the forefront of the small farm winery movement. His memoirs, Wine--A Gentleman's Game: The Adventures of an Amateur Winemaker Turned Professional, was published in 1984.

For the rest go to:

also go to the Hudson Valley Wine Goddess at:

Monday, September 08, 2008


Saturday, all anyone could talk about was hurricane Hannah. And she defintely attended the Hudson Valley Wine & Food Festival 2008. But then she left Saturday night, and was noticably absent on Sunday.

It was a great festival, and many of the wineries were happy on Sunday night. Here's a few videos and photos from the event.