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.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Will Recent and Future Cuts Hamper Hudson Valley and New York State Wine Marketing - U Betcha!

Marketing cuts run deep
By Sarah Bradshaw • Poughkeepsie Journal • January 23, 2009

Quoted from the Poughkeepsie Journal:

In a recent newsletter to members, Wine & Grape Foundation Director Jim Trezise wrote the disappearance of state matching funds would likely collapse the foundation and its role of supporting the New York wine industry.

Trezise said state funds are used to fund the Cornell University grape research program, a dozen wine trails, five regional branding groups, advertising, a wine competition program and more.

Michael Migliore, owner of Whitecliff Vineyard and Winery in Gardiner [and Presient of the Hudson Valley Wine and Grape Growers Association], described the funding cuts as "serious and dire."

Migliore believes the region will lose support for the Cornell Cooperative Extension grape laboratory in Highland.

The purpose of the laboratory is to recommend to wineries the best grapes and pest management practices in order to improve quality of Hudson Valley wines.

Shawangunks affected?
In addition, Migliore estimated the marketing association that promotes the Shawangunk Wine Trail - a group of wineries in Ulster and Orange counties -will have to reduce its advertising by at least 30 percent.

"We're going to spend less money on promotional things, like when we'd go out and pour wine and try to get awareness at events about what Hudson Valley wines are all about," he said.

Read the whol thing at:

Bill Dowd Celebrates Two Hudson Valley Wine Trails

Bill Dowd needs no introduction in these pages. He's a great supporter of local wines from New York State. He has a connoisseur's edge but an everyman's touch of humility. And he's always a great read.

Go read his new article...2 Wine Trails Divided by 1 River
January 21, 3:09 PM
by Bill Dowd, Upstate NY Restaurant Examiner

"If you’re standing in the middle of the Hudson River between Ulster and Dutchess counties, you’d be hard-pressed to decide which shore to head for if you wanted to experience a scenic wine trail.

Of course, if you are standing in the river, you’re a very special kind of person. That aside, you’d still have to make a decision because you’d be between the Shawangunk and Dutchess wine trails, two of the most scenic of the nine trails New York state boasts."

Read the whole article at: Celebrates Hudson Valley Wine

Great article on Hudson Valley winemaking on

Congrats to Stoutridge, Millbrook, Whitecliff, and Oak Summit. They deserve the credit they recieved. Good folks all.

Hudson Valley is on the up-and-coming, and these are some of the folks leading the charge. I'm a huge fan of John Graziano, and I think Oak Summit's Pinot Noir is one of the best made on the entire east coast (Go Bruno family!), I am also a big fan of Stoutridge's Steve Osborn, and Michael and Yancy Migliore are great folks too, and certainly among the leaders in Hudson Valley wine.

Congrats to all. Congrats to the Hudson Valley! And Kudos to !

Read and drink Hudson Valley Wine!

Here's the article:

also, props to HV Wine Goddess, who broke the story first. Great job, Deb!:

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Rivendell Winery and Vintage New York Close!


Bob Ransom and Susan Wine were instrumental in helping raise awareness of New York State wine, through their own winery, the founding of wine trails, the new Hudson Valley website, and many other events, meetings, etc. It is a shame the neither local government nor Ransom and Wine could find some solution, even if temporary, to halt this end...especially for two people who have done so much for the greater good. No one won this battle - we all lost. We all lost.



Vintage NY's website says simply:
After almost 10 years of extolling the bounty of New York wines and foods, Vintage New York has closed it's NYC locations.

Don't forget to support your local farms. It is the future as well as the past.

Rivendell's website says:

Dear Visitor,

For the past two years, we have been embroiled in a fight to move our winery to our new property at 507 Albany Post Road - just three miles up the road - closer to New Paltz and the Thruway. Stylish and comfortable, our new tasting room will sport magnificent views of our beloved Shawangunk Ridge and will soon overlook our new vineyard plantings.

Unfortunately, there are some in our community who do not believe that a winery is a desireable feature and have in engaged in a campaign of ruthless opposition. After months of public hearings and back-room dealings, the Building Department and the Zoning Board of Appeals of New Paltz delivered a stunning decision: a winery is not an agricultural use and therefore cannot be allowed in an agricultural zone! Though they were supplied with testimonials and recommendations from such experts as the NYS Commissioner of Agriculture, the NY Farm Bureau, the New York Wine & Grape Foundation, numerous attorneys and other wine industry experts - even in light of a recommendation strongly in favor of our proposed use from the Ulster County Planning Board solicited by the Zoning Board - they instead choose to ignore all reasonable interpretations of the definitions of agriculture that have stood the test of time in every other arena in order to re-define agriculture with the express purpose of denying us our constitutional right to use our property as it was zoned.

Their logic was based on the mis-interpretation of NYS tax law that makes the land underneath buildings that are utilized for processing, sales or farmowner housing ineligible for an agricultural tax exemption. They extended that tax criteria to mean that those activities taking place in a building on a farm do not qualify as agricultural. BY DOING SO, THEY HAVE MADE VIRTUALLY EVERY FARM IN THE TOWN OF NEW PALTZ A NON-CONFORMING PROPERTY. It is no longer legal according to town law to milk a cow, bake a pie, ferment cheese or even pack apples into a box inside a building! Preposterous!

We were left with no choice but to file a lawsuit against the Town to try to get this capricious and anti-agriculture ruling overturned. In a truly horrendous decision, the NYS Supreme Court Judge in the case sided with the Zoning Board putting us now in the position of having to file an appeal.

In the meantime, the finacial burden of not only having to carry two properties, but also expend the significant resources to fight the legal battle, all at a time of a worsening economy, has proven to be too much for our 20 year old little company to bear and we have been forced to close our doors.

To all of you who have supported our fight, we thank you. And we hope to see you in a tasting room in the future. In the meantime, keep buying and drinking local. It is the future as well as the past.

In vino veritas,

Robert Ransom and Susan Wine

For those who would like to weigh in and voice your opinion, feel free to write a letter to the Editor of the New Paltz Times at, (New Paltz Times, 259 Main Street, New Paltz, NY 12561) or write Toni Hokanson, Supervisor, Town of New Paltz, 1 Veterans Drive, New Paltz, NY 12561.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


Henry Hudson (1570 – 1611) was an English sea explorer and navigator in the early 17th century. Hudson was born in London, England. He is presumed to have died in 1611 in Hudson Bay, Canada, after he was set adrift with his son and seven others by his crewmen, following a mutiny. Little is known of Hudson's early life. He is thought to have spent many years at sea, beginning as a cabin boy at 16 and gradually working his way up to ship's captain.

1607 to 1609
In 1607, the Muscovy Company of England hired Hudson to find the Northeast Passage to China. It was thought at the time that, because the sun shone for three months in the northern latitudes, the ice would melt and a ship could travel across the top of the world to the Spice Islands. The English were battling the Dutch and Spanish for Northeast Passage routes. Hudson may have traveled to just 577 nautical miles (1,069 km) south of the North Pole and it is claimed by Thomas Edge (who was often inaccurate) that Hudson discovered what is now known as Jan Mayen island — although there is no cartographical or written proof of this discovery[1] — before turning around and returning home in September. Hudson visited Spitsbergen — the first Englishman to do so. In 1608, Hudson made a second attempt, trying to go across the top of Russia. He made it to Novaya Zemlya but was forced to turn back.

In 1609, Hudson was chosen by the Dutch East India Company to find an easterly passage to Asia. He was told to sail around the Arctic Ocean north of Russia, into the Pacific and so to the Far East. Hudson could not complete his intended route due to the ice that had plagued his previous voyages, and those of many others before him.

Having heard rumors by way of Jamestown and John Smith, he and his crew decided to try to seek out a Southwest Passage through North America. After crossing the Atlantic Ocean, his vessel, the Halve Maen (Half Moon), sailed around briefly in the Chesapeake Bay and entered Delaware Bay on August 28. Hudson concluded that these waterways did not lead to the Pacific. He then moved into New York Harbor and proceeded up what is today the Hudson River. He made it as far as Albany, New York, where the river narrows, before he was forced to turn around, realizing that this was not the Southwest Passage. In fact, no Southwest Passage to the Pacific existed north of the Strait of Magellan until one was created by the construction of the Panama Canal between 1903 and 1914. The Native Americans, who relayed the information to John Smith, were likely referring to what are known today as the Great Lakes.

Henry Hudson as he appeared at the Farmer's Market, Hudson, NY.

Along the way, Hudson traded with several native tribes, obtaining shells, beads and furs. His voyage established Dutch claims to the region and the fur trade that prospered there. New Amsterdam in Manhattan became the capital of New Netherland in 1625. On his return trip to Amsterdam, he stopped in Dartmouth, England and was detained by authorities there, who wanted access to his log. He managed to pass the log to the Dutch ambassador to England who sent it, along with his report, to Amsterdam [2].

In 1610, Hudson managed to get backing for yet another voyage, this time under the English flag. The funding came from the Virginia Company and the British East India Company. At the helm of his new ship, the Discovery, he stayed to the north (some claim he deliberately stayed too far south on his Dutch-funded voyage), reaching Iceland on May 11, the south of Greenland on June 4, and then rounding the southern tip of Greenland.

Excitement was very high due to the expectation that the ship had finally found the Northwest Passage through the continent. On June 25, the explorers reached the Hudson Strait at the northern tip of Labrador. Following the southern coast of the strait on August 2, the ship entered Hudson Bay. Hudson spent the following months mapping and exploring its eastern shores. In November however, the ship became trapped in the ice in James Bay, and the crew moved ashore for the winter.

John Collier's painting of Henry Hudson with his son and some crew members after a mutiny on his icebound ship. The boat was set adrift and never heard from again.

Hudson coat of arms
When the ice cleared in the spring of 1611, Hudson planned to continue exploring but his crew wanted to return home. Matters came to a head and the crew mutinied in June 1611. They set Hudson, his teenage son John, and eight crewmen - either sick and infirm, or loyal to Hudson - adrift in a small open boat. According to Abacuck Prickett's journal, the castaways were provided with powder and shot, some pikes, an iron pot, some meal, and other miscellaneous items, as well as clothing. However Prickett's journal is disingenous, favoring the point of view of the mutineers, who knew they would be tried in England. Some argue that the abandoned men were provided with nothing and expected to die. The small boat kept pace with the Discovery for some time as the abandoned men rowed towards her but eventually Discovery's sails were let loose. Hudson was never seen again.

Only eight of the thirteen mutinous crewmen survived to return to Europe, and although arrested, none were ever punished for the mutiny and Hudson's death. One theory holds that they were considered valuable as sources of information, having travelled to the New World.[3] Henry Hudson has landmarks named after him, including Hudson Bay, Hudson Strait, Hudson County, New Jersey, Hudson, NY, Hudson Valley and the Hudson River.


There are many celebrations packing this year's calendar. Go to this URL for the most updated list of events in the region:

5/1/2007 - 12/31/2009
Beneath the City - An Archaeological Perspective of Albany
Albany is a defining artifact of New York society. Beneath the city´s streets, sidewalks, backyards and buildings are layers of soil that contain objects that were made, used and discarded by former residents. Each item reveals information about the people who created and used it. Research in Albany has demonstrated how archaeology can provide us with a unique way of learning about our past. Archaeologists work at sites, where they recover information from features and artifacts. Some of these discoveries and their meaning can be seen in an exhibit at the New York State Museum about archaeological excavations in Albany related to the early Dutch settlement, a colonial rum distillery, the expansion of the city from the initial settlement and the daily life of residents in the past.

2/7/2009 - 1/3/2010
Hudson River Panorama: 400 Years of Art, History and Culture - Hudson 400 To commemorate the nationally significant 2009 Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial, the Albany Institute of History & Art is developing a major exhibition called THE HUDSON RIVER: SYMBOL OF AMERICA - HUDSON 400, a fully illustrated publication with scholarly essays and a broad range of related educational programs. The exhibition will be on view at the museum from March through December 2009.

Flowing south for 315 miles, from Lake Tear of the Clouds in the Adirondacks to New York City, the Hudson River has become a national symbol. The AIHA´s Quadricentennial exhibition, The Hudson River: Symbol of America will explore the past, present and future of the Hudson Valley region as will the complementary book, related education and public programs, online and interactive learning tools. The AIHA will utilize its vast collections along with collections from other museums, collectors and community members to tell the story of the Hudson River and celebrate its role in making American history, culture and art.

4/1/2009 - 3/31/2010
1609 - Hudson 400 An exhibit designed to dispel myths about Henry Hudson, the Dutch and the Native Peoples of New York State, and to explore the many continuing legacies of the Dutch and Native Peoples in the State of New York.

6/1/2009 - 12/31/2009
"The Hudson River: A Voyage Through Time" - Hudson 400 The Westchester County Archives and the Westchester County Historical Society are collaborating on a website that will celebrate the Hudson/Fulton Quadricentennial in 2009. The website will explore the relationship between the Hudson River and the history of Westchester County through primary source materials from communities along the river and through a guided tour abroad a steamship traveling from New York City to Peekskill using Wade´s panoramic map of the Hudson River ca. 1847 as a backdrop. Designated a Quadricentennial Legacy project, it will have an educational impact far beyond 2009.

6/13/2009 - 10/10/2010
Dutch New York: The Roots of Hudson Valley Culture-Hudson 400 This exhibition explores New York´s Dutch roots and how this heritage has been interpreted over the centuries. From legends and celebration to scholarly anaylsis, New Yorkers´ understanding of their unique past contributed to the tregion´s distinctive present. Paintings, prints, photographs, furniture, decorative arts and maps tell stories of five key moments of Dutch influence: 1609, the Half Moon´s arrival; 1709, Dutch culture under English rule; 1809, Washington Irving´s stories of Dutch heritage; 1909, the Hudson Fulton-Celebration´s promotion of a common Dutch past; and 2009, a moment of debate over historical ""celebrations"". The companion publication will be distributed by Fordham University Press.

7/3/2009 - 12/31/2010
Permanent, New Netherland: A Sweet and Alien Land exhibit in 2009 - Hudson 400 Crailo, the museum of the Dutch in the udson Valley, reopens with the new exhibits and expanded programs illuminating the history of the colonial Dutch and their interaction with the Native Americans.

9/1/2009 - 12/31/2009
Hudson River: Mount Marcy to Manhattan Theme Semester in the Fall of 2009 - Hudson 400 The University at Albany will offer the Hudson River: Mount Marcy to Manhattan Theme Semester in the Fall of 2009. Commemorating the 400th anniversary of the exploration of the Hudson-Champlain region, faculty, invited guest presenters, and students will trace the many consequences of the historic voyages of discovery by Henry Hudson from the south and Samuel de Champlain from the north.

Through a series of lectures, events, tours, films, exhibits, music and sound performances and academic courses, UAlbany will present a panoramic and longitudinal view of the dynamic life of the Hudson River and the Hudson-Champlain corridor -- from its pre-Colonial past to the present. The theme semester will reveal the many facets of this wide region and our multiple relationships to it through the perspective of artists, writers, geographers, historians, anthropologists, archaeologists, environmentalists, photographers, filmmakers, radio producers, and more.

9/1/2009 - 12/31/2009
River - UAlbany Group Exhibition - Hudson 400 Commemorating the 400th anniversary of the Hudson-Champlain region, faculty, invited guest presenters, and students will trace the many consequences of the historic voyages of discovery by Henry Hudson from the south and Samuel de Champlain from the north.Through a series of lectures, events, tours, films, exhibits, music and sound performances, and academic courses, UAlbany will present a panoramic and longitudinal view of the dynamic life of the Hudson River and the Hudson-Champlain corridor - from its pre-Colonial past to the present. The theme semester will reveal the many facets of this wide region and our multiple relationships to it through the perspective of artists, writers, geographers, historians, anthropologists, archaeologists, environmentalists, photographers, filmmakers, radio producers, and more.

9/12/2009 - 7/26/2010
Double Dutch: Exploring the Soul of Dutch Art Through the Works of Seven Installation Artists ""Double Dutch"", featured in the main 12,000 sq. ft. of exhibition space of the HVCCA seeks to explore, through the installation of extraordinary work by seven contemporary Dutch artists, the common thread of architecture and structure that resonated in the Dutch works of over 200 artist studios visited by the curators. The fact that there was an early Dutch settlement in this area, an area which parallels the landscape of Holland, challenges viewers of the exhibition to understand the impace of Dutch influence in the region. The exhibition will include emerging Dutch artists such as Karen Sargsyan (Rijksacademie ´07 and HVCCA 2008 Artist-in-Resident), and Alon Levy (Pris-De-Rome competition at De Apple, 2007), as well as more established artists such as Mark Manders.

9/15/2009 - 12/13/2009
Uncharted - Hudson 400 Using Henry Hudson’s expeditions as its metaphoric point of departure, this group exhibition will consider journeys of discovery depicted by between six to eight contemporary artists working in a range of media. Hudson’s failed attempts to find an all-water trade route to Asia revealed instead a continent filled with undreamed of natural resources. By turns humorous and ominous, Uncharted features artists whose work explores the possibilities and unexpected results of navigating unfamiliar waters.
Curators: Janet Riker, Director, University Art Museum; Corinna Ripps Schaming, Associate Director/Curator, University Art Museum.

10/2/2009 - 12/31/2009
Original Art by Members of the Colonie Art League The 300-member Colonie Art League will present approximately 100 original works of art featuring themes and scenes celebrating Albany´s Quadricentennial. Many of the works, all by local artists, will be for sale. An added feature of the exhibit will be the display of the prize-winning art works from the Colonie Art League´s invitational exhibit by student artists from all the high schools in Albany County.Directions:The Albany Heritage Area Visitors Center is located at the corner of Broadway and Clinton Avenue in Albany. Public parking is accessible via Spencer Street off Broadway.

Henry Hudson Planetarium Saturday Star Shows Children´s Star Show - 11:00am Interactive program exploring the stars, planets, comets and constellations in the night sky. In celebration of the quadricentennial of Henry Hudson´s voyage, children will meet Henry (puppet) and discover how he used the stars to sail his boat here in 1609 (Geared to children ages 3-7 and their families) All seats $3.00Albany Star Sighting - 1:00pm Interactive program identifies stars, planets, comets and constellations in the night sky and the tools and techniques for becoming an amateur astronomer. Learn how Henry Hudson used celestial navigation as we celebrate 400 years since his historic voyage in 1609. (Geared for skywatchers ages 8 and above) All seats $3.00Directions:The Henry Hudson Planetarium is located at the Albany Heritage Area Visitors Center, corner of Broadway and Clinton Avenue, Albany. Public parking is available via Spencer Street.

Henry Hudson information is from