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, May 26, 2009

Preston Hollow Nursery Offers Heirloom Hybrid Grape Vines

Preston Hollow Vineyards doesn't offer chardonnay vines, nor pinot noir, nor cabernet franc, nore merlot. You won't find one noble grape here. But what you will find are grapes that grow in cold weather, are easy to grow, and are relatively disease resistant.

This is the brain child of several men who are out to save the heritage of the Hudson Valley by keeping alive many of the great hybrid grapes developed both in France and here in the the Hudson Valley over the last century-and-a-half. These are vines many other nurseries don't carry. They have hybrids developed by Cornell more than a half century ago that even Cornell no longer has.

Some of the greatest American hybridizers were located here in the Hudson Valley including Caywood and Underhill. This project is the brainchild of Stece Casscles, Jimmy Walker and his partner, Dennis Pitts. Steve Casscles, a grape grower and award winning winemaker, is the brainchild of the project. He's out to help remind everyine what a valuable wine region and grape growing region the Hudson Valley was for years.

Jimmy and Dennis are professional nursery managers who believe in local sustainable agriculture. Dennis Pitts has come from a family of gardeners and
landscapers. He recently returned from several years of work in California where he was most recently studying Landscape Architecture at UCLA Extension. He has experience in landscape design, site planning, and greenhouse propogation.
Jimmy Walker moved to Preston Hollow from Manhattan in 2003, and purchased several acres and supported the establishment of the greenhouse with Valerie Molloy, where they grow other heirloom vegetables. This is a grass roots local wine initiative.

Among the large and varied family of grape hybrids, some are very suitable for cultivation in every part of the Hudson Valley. Each grape variety on their list is identified by its common name and hybrid number.

From their website:
Our catalog offers unique wine grape varieties that are generally not available from other nurseries, but which make quality wines. We also list those wine grape varieties that are suitable for cultivation in the Valley, but which are readily available from other nurseries. Our plants are generally smaller and younger than those offered by other commercial nurseries because they are propagated in less than six months instead of one to two years. We do this because our offerings are so unique that there are limited supplies of plant material to propagate new plants. However, we wanted to get these varieties distributed to both professional and amateur growers as quickly as possible.

An asterisk (*) indicates our safest and surest plants for beginning growers or those growers who are located on cold, wet or windy sites. An (e) indicates an experimental variety that we believe will advance the Hudson Valley’s wine industry into a new era of making uniquely new and exciting wines.

Tel. 518-239-4039 or Fax: 888-281-6476
Preston Hollow Nursery is located on State Highway 145 in the Hamlet of Preston Hollow, N.Y. 12469

The newest issue of HUDSON WINE MAGAZINE is out! And we should all be very excited. This is great for the Valley and great for the food, wine, and agri-business up and down the Hudson. Bob abd Linda, who create, edit, and design the magazine, are great boosters of the Hudson Valley wine scene. They show up at most events, and help to organize many of them. They are a pleasant, ernest, and ubiquitous presence in the valley - and that's a good thing for all of us.

HUDSON VALLEY WINE magazine is an oversized, full-color publication that promotes the wines and wineries of the Hudson Valley region – home to almost 30 wineries and the oldest largest wine-producing region in the nation. It is distributed twice a year, free of charge, and best of all it is printed on 100% recycled paper made right here, in the Hudson Valley, furthering our mission to support local industries.

Bob abd Linda's goal is to connect consumers to this world of locally-crafted wine, by offering an insider’s view to the people and the stories behind the wines and to encourage visits to the wineries. They are committed to promoting agri-tourism, environmental sustainability, and to supporting local business enterprises and the arts communities.

HUDSON VALLEY WINE magazine is the first of its kind in the region – one that offers useful, reliable, authoritative, timely, and interesting information for people to learn about what makes the Hudson Valley wine-producing region unique. It is the ultimate resource guide for wine enthusiasts looking to explore the wines and wineries of the historic Hudson Valley.

Linda and Bob were a great help to the Hudson Valley Wine and Grape Grower's Association to get out the 400th Anniversary labels to the wineries.

Thank you Linda and Bob for all that you do!

Kevin Zraly Offers Wine Course at Millbrook Winery

This is an amazing opportunity to meet Kevin Zraly, the best wine educator in the industry today. And it is important to note that he is appearing in the Hudson Valley, where so much is really happening in food, wine, and agriculture.

Called "the Hudson Valley's flagship winery" by The New York Times and "a great place to visit" by The Wall Street Journal, Millbrook Vineyards & Winery is conveniently located in the magnificent Hudson River Valley just 1.5 hours from both New York City and Albany. It is glorious to visit any time of year.

Kevin Zraly, the founder and teacher of the immensely popular Windows on the World Wine School, and author of the Windows on the World Complete Wine Course, will bring an abridged version of his 8-part "Windows on the World Wine School" to Millbrook Winery this summer! Seating is limited so reserve now.

Saturday, June 13 from 5:00 - 7:30 p.m.
Session 1: Understanding Pinot Noir
Kevin will discuss and taste through Pinot Noir wines from around the world. Includes wine and cheese reception.

Saturday, July 11 from 5:00 - 7:30 p.m.
Session 2: Understanding Cabernet Franc
Kevin will discuss and taste through Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc wines from around the world. Includes wine and cheese reception.

Saturday, August 8 from 5:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Session 3: The Art of Red Wine Blending & Dinner
Discover your inner winemaker with this unique opportunity to create your own wine blend. After mastering the use of pipettes and graduated cylinders, your final cuvee will be bottled and corked in a 375 ml bottle complete with your own custom wine label. A 3-course dinner featuring Millbrook wines will floow the blending portion of this event.

Cost is $125 per session or sign up for all three sessions for only $325.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Cereghino Smith Winery - A Great Find!

Cereghino Smith is a small, artisanal winery producing hand crafted wines. Paula Cereghino's and Fred Smith's grapes are sourced from small growers in California and New York.

They do small, handmade lots. Small runs. And they are very nice quality.

They were recently featured in Chronogram magazine.

Rock n' Roll Red
An amped up blend of 60% Mourvedre, 25% Petite Sirah with 15% Sangiovese adding bright acidity and balance... notes of tea, spice and electric prunes.
Barrel aged in Canadian White Oak for 12 months
Filtered only by time and gravity.
I loved this wine. A fabulous, dry, deep, robust wine. Very, very good. Prune and tea come through. Very nice finish. Excellent!

The label features their friends Tish and Snooky...sisters, singers and creators of Manic Panic.

Sangiovese 2007
With good clarity, a dark rhubarb color and a sweet bing cherry nose, this Brunello Clone is bone dry, medium bodied, exhibits notes of cherry and mouth watering acidity. Aged in Canadian White Oak for 11 months. Fined not filtered.
Limited production of 180 numbered bottles.

Very Brunello like. Nice bright color. Deep cherry flavor. Nice dry finish. Also an excellent wine!!!
Great stuff! Call them! Go to their website! Nicer people you won't meet. A great wine!

Rip Van WInkle WIne & Cheese

The 2009 Rip Van Winkle Wine & Cheese event was held on May 9th, 2009, at the Beattie Powers House in Catskill last weekend, and it was a great susccess.

Numerous wineries attended, as the event went from four or five wineries last year to eight this year.

Participating wineries included:
Pazadar Winery
Hazlitt Winery
Brookview Station
Hudson-Chatham Winery
Cereghino Smith Winery
Warwick Valley Winery
Cascade Mountain

Live music was performed by "Lex Grey's Cabaret."

It was a warm and gorgeous day. Many big ships sailed past the historic mansion. A good time was had by all! Congrats to event organizers!

And thanks to D from Coach Farm who was a ubiquitous all round helper, especially as we were trying to help sell Coach Farm cheeses.

Quadricentennial Labels Commemorate the 2009 Vintage

HUDSON VALLEY, NY, MAY 1, 2009 — A Quadricentennial Commemorative Wine Label will brand special 2009 releases of Hudson Valley wine to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the discovery of the Hudson River. Participating Hudson Valley wineries will release one red and one white wine made from 100% Hudson Valley-grown grapes or fruit to commemorate the year-long celebration.

These special gold labels are emblazoned with the Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial-themed logo, “ExploreNY400” and will help to place a spotlight on the contributions the region has made in the world of viticulture since its earliest origins. Tourists can visit the wineries or attend one of the many wine events around the region this year and take home a souvenir of the Quadricentennial in the form of a bottle of locally-made wine. More information about the labels and the winemaking history of Hudson River Valley can be found in the Spring 2009 issue of Hudson Valley Wine magazine or online at

Nearly 50,000 bottles of these special 2009 commemorative Quadricentennial wines will be available for purchase at participating wineries throughout the Hudson Valley. The wineries include (in alphabetical order):
- Adair Vineyards, New Paltz
- Applewood Winery, Warwick
- Benmarl Winery, Marlboro
- Brookview Station Winery, Castleton-on-Hudson
- Brotherhood Winery, Washingtonville
- Hudson-Chatham Winery, Ghent
- Millbrook Vineyards & Winery, Millbrook
- Palaia Vineyards, Highland Mills
- Pazdar Winery, Scotchtown
- Silver Stream Winery, Monroe
- Stoutridge Vineyard, Marlboro
- Warwick Valley Winery & Distillery, Warwick
- Whitecliff Vineyard, Gardiner

The Hudson River Region is one of nine designated AVAs (American Viticultural Areas) in New York State, and is the oldest winemaking region in the country with its grape growing origins dating back to the discovery of the river by Henry Hudson in 1609. Hudson remarked on the abundance of native grapes and fruits growing alongside the banks of the River during his maiden voyage and shortly thereafter, early settlers were encouraged to grow grapes to make wine. The earliest vineyards in the country are attributed to the French Huguenots who settled in present-day New Paltz, Ulster County. There are now over 30 wineries located in the region on both sides of the Hudson River, with the oldest winery, Brotherhood Winery, remaining the oldest winery in continuous operation in the United States.

About the Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial:
This year, 2009, marks the 400th anniversaries of the voyage of English Captain Henry Hudson, who led the first European expedition to sail up the river that now bears his name, and the voyage of Frenchman Samuel de Champlain, the first to discover the namesake lake. To celebrate these simultaneous 400th anniversaries – as well as the 200th anniversary of Robert Fulton’s maiden steamboat journey up the Hudson River – New York State is planning a yearlong series of events, programs and projects that highlight the discovery of New York, celebrating the State’s Dutch, French and English roots and heritage. For more information go to

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For press inquiries, please contact:
Linda Pierro, Publisher
Hudson Valley Wine Magazine

For more information about the NYS 400th events and projects:
Tara Sullivan, Executive Director
Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial
1-888-HFC-2009 ext. 369