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, January 19, 2010


Editor-in-Chief Lenn Thompson of the New York Cork Report (formerly known as has named his finalists for Hudson River Region wines of the year. In competition, these wines will go through a tasting, until one wine is chosen to represent each region in each category: red, white, sparkling. Those wines will then face the winners from the other three regions represented in the competition: Finger Lakes, Long Island, and Niagara Escarpment.

The finalists:
White Wines
Whitecliff Vineyard and Winery 2008 Awosting White A blend of the region's signature white variety, seyval blanc, and one of my favorite hybrids, vignoles. It won gold at the Hudson Valley Wine Competition and when I tasted it again at Uncork New York in December, I thought it showed nice balance and fresh peach flavors with a little residual sweetness.

Benmarl 2008 Slate Hill White This is another blend that includes chardonnay, riesling and traminette. Fruity up front, there is nice, citrusy acidity and just a subtle floral note from the traminette. It finishes dry and clean.

Millbrook Vineyards 2008 Tocai Friulano One of only a handful of Friulanos grown and made in New York, this wine is melony and grapefruity with nice balance and a longer-than-expected finish. This is a perennial favorite from the region and a wine that several readers have pointed out to me as a great wine from the Hudson Valley.

Hudson-Chatham Winery 2007 Empire Made with grapes from three vineyards in New York's three biggest wine regions blended in equal proportions — Long Island merlot, Finger Lakes cabernet franc and Hudson Valley Baco Noir. A great concept for a wine and each component contributes to the wines character.

Hudson-Chatham Winery 2008 Baco Noir Black and sour cherry lead the way with hints of vanilla, cranberry and spice beneath. It's fruity, like you'd expect, but there is a depth and a richness here that made it stand out. The finish is longer than with many bacos as well.

Millbrook Vineyards 2007 Block Five East Pinot Noir Yes, we all know that pinot is difficult to grow and it's probably even more so in the Hudson Valley, but Millbrook usually pulls it off and this wine is a fine example of that. The winner of best red at the Hudson Valley Wine Competition surprised the judges (including me) and may surprise on Saturday as well.Sparkling
Clinton Vineyards NV Jubilee The last of four traditionally made sparkling wines (all based on seyval blanc) we tasted on Saturday, it left quite an impression. Made without dosage, it's bright, crisp and finishes dry. Really classy and elegant. And I'm no fan of seyval.

Brotherhood Winery NV Blanc de Blancs Made with 100% Hudson Valley-grown chardonnay, it's a little less dry (1% RS) but for $11, I don't think you can find a better BdB in New York.

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