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.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Hudson Valley Wineries Sparkle at NY Wine Expo 2010

The New York Wine Expo 2010 began at Jackob Javitz Center on Friday night. And Hudson Valley Vintners were there.

Under the banner of Hudson Valley Wine Country, Brotherhood Winery, Millbrook Vineyards, and Hudson-Chatham Winery all poured wines during the event. The photo above shows the event before the people showed up.

Javier and his wife from Brotherhood poured during the course of the evening. Bob and Linda of Hudson Valley Wine magazine were also there.

Some of the wines poured included:
Brotherhood: Blanc de Blanc, Riesling, Pinot Noir
Millbrook: Pinot Noir, Can Franc, Chardonnay
Hudson-Chatham Winery: Seyval Blanc, Cab Franc, Merlot Reserve, and Paperbirch Highland's Fine Ruby

a fun event, and a great time.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Hudson Valley Winemakers Gather at Cornell Cooperative Extension Grape School in February

If it's a rainy/snowy day in February in the Hudson Valley, chances are that the Cornell Cooperative Extension is holding it's yearly grape school classes.

These are always informative, thoughtful presentations, which are sometimes difficult (talking bugs and chemistry isn't my bag), but I always learn something. And it's really important information that's being imparted. Michael Migliore, President of the HVWGA, and owner of Whitecliff Vineyards (with his wife Yancey) always works with the Cornell folks to set up a very worthwhile day. He has done a great job here in the valley.

Because of difficult weather over the last few eeks, attendance wasn't what it normally is, but many people took the time and made the effort to avail themselves of the opportunity to network, chat, and learn something.

Jan Palaggi of Palaia Vineyards

Greg Esch (Brotherhood vineyard manager in Columbia County), John Bruno (owner, Oak Summit Vineyards), and Doug Glorie of Glorie Farms Winery.

Tony Trigo of Clermont Vineyards.

Doug Dundas (aspiring vineyardist from Columbia County) and Bruce Tripp, winemaker, of Ray Tousey Winery.
Despite the lack of numbers, it was, as always, a very, very worthwhile day.

Hudson Valley Vinters Gather After Albany Protest

After the Albany protest by the Liquor store owners and wholesalers, the Hudson Valley winemakers held a confab. The event was held at Brookview Station at Goold's Orchards. Many winemakers were there to show their solidarity.

Karen from Brookview Station readying the bar.

Sue Goold Miller and Derek and his Mom from Harvest Spirits. The families from Goolds Farm and Golden Harvest Farm have know each other since childhood.

The ubiquitous George Caifero of Cascade Mountain and Joe Messina from Amici Vineyard Winery.

And honorary HV vintner for a night, Robin Ross of Arrowhead Spring Winery from the Niagara region was also on hand. And we liked her.
Claire from Brotherhood was also there. Somehow, I lost her photo. Apologies Claire!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Harvest Spirts Releases Cornelius Applejack


So I've been hearing all about the new Apple Jack that Harvest Spirits was making, and decided to give it a try. I drove over to the distillery to give it a whirl.

Since colonial times, traditional applejack was made by freezing barrels of hard cider during the long winter months, then tapping and removing the alcoholic center. This was a powerful and harsh liquor, since it concentrated all of the alcohols — both good and bad. Since they carefully distill Cornelius Applejack 3 times, Harvest Spirits' version offers a smoother, more satisfying take on this American classic.
Carefully distilled and rested in premium bourbon barrels, Cornelius Applejack is made from 100% Hudson Valley apples, homegrown on our 200 acre fruit farm.Each bottle is made from over 60 lbs. of fresh apples grown steps from our distillery.

It was smooth, with a great apple scent. Really smooth, really wonderful. Perfect for this time of year!

Tremendous! The folks at Harvest Spirit have done it again!!!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Kristop Brown Leaving Hudson Valley

As reported by the Hudson Valley Wine Goddess, Kristop Brown, one of the best, young winemakers in the valley, or in New York state for that matter, is leaving Benmarl to seek his fortunes in Washington State.

I am sure Matt Specarelli will gamely carry on the duties of winemaker at Benmarl, but Kristop is a singular talent, and one always hopes that a person with that much to offer, doesn't leave their region. His exit from the valley will be sorely felt. And he's a good guy, so we shall miss him.

And we will expect great things from him.

Read the whole story at Debbie's blog (The Hudson Valley Wine Goddess):

Monday, February 08, 2010


Announces “The Face of Hudson Valley Wine”
The First Ever Hudson Valley Wine Label Award Competition

HUDSON VALLEY, NY, February 8, 2010. — It’s not all in a name. Whether it’s kangaroos or
cannonballs, pianos or puppies, consumers often buy their wine solely on the look and design of
the bottle’s label. To better educate consumers on the face of Hudson Valley wines, this month
Hudson Valley Wine Magazine has launched their “first-ever” Hudson Valley Wine Label Award
Competition, “The Face of Hudson Valley Wine.”

“A wine may speak for itself, but the label usually says it first,” notes Linda Pierro, Hudson Valley Wine Magazine’s creative director. “Brand recognition is key to consumer purchasing – especially when a brand is relatively unknown.”

“The Face of Hudson Valley Wine” label competition is now accepting entries from all winemakers in the Hudson Valley AVA (American Viticultural Area). Entry is open to all 33 bonded wineries in the Hudson Valley region, whose wines can be found at local and Metro NY-area wine shops, farm markets, as well as at their wineries.

“Our mission is to educate consumers to recognize local wines, as well as the styles of wines that
are made here,” said Robert Bedford, Executive Editor of Hudson Valley Wine Magazine. “This is particularly important at a time when wine consumption is up, yet people are choosing massproduced, imported brands, over hand-crafted, artisanal wines made right in their own backyards. With this awards competition, we hope to bring more awareness to the wines being made in the Hudson Valley region.”
Awards will be given to the best-designed labels in several categories, including: Best Type Design, Best Use of Illustration or Photography, Most Memorable Label, among others. Labels will be judged by a distinguished panel of four top design, branding and marketing industry professionals.

Social media sites and events will also be utilized to involve the general public in voting a
“People’s Choice” label award winner. Details of this award will be announced at a later date.

In addition, the winners of “The Face of Hudson Valley Wine” will receive publicity and industry
recognition for their excellence, and will be presented with a Hudson Valley Wine Magazine
“VINI” Award – a trophy encapsulating their winning label. The winning labels in each category
will also be featured on a full-color, limited-edition poster, which will be distributed at wineries,
wine shops and retailers throughout the region.

The Spring Issue of Hudson Valley Wine Magazine will hold further details of the competition and prizes, as well as profiles of the judging panel. The award-winning labels in all categories will be announced and published in the Summer 2010 issue of Hudson Valley Wine Magazine, which will appear in July 2010. A portfolio of the winning labels will also be made available on the magazine’s website,

This first-ever label competition is presented by the award-winning Hudson Valley Wine Magazine, the only publication dedicated to promoting the wines and wineries of the Hudson Valley. More information about the publication, now in its third year, can be found at

For more information, please contact:
Robert Bedford
Hudson Valley Wine Magazine
Voice: (518) 731-1332

Monday, February 01, 2010

Hudson-Chatham 2008 Reserve Baco Noir
By Lenn Thompson, Editor-in-Chief
February 1, 2010

Of the red wine hybrids, baco noir is among my favorites. And, based on the few examples that I've had from the Hudson River Region, it seems like a variety with a real future there, especially if more wineries plant it and really focus on it. The region needs a signature red variety and it doesn't seem as though any vinifera is ready to step up.

Hudson-Chatham Winery is a relatively new winery but its already established itself as one of the more quality-focused producers, one that is embracing what the region can do best rather than apologizing for it.

In that vein, not only are they making baco noir, they have already positioned it as one of their flagship wines.

Hudson-Chatham 2008 Baco Noir Reserve ($21) shows ripe black cherry and plum aromas on the nose with a little cranberry and a healthy dose of vanilla and oak.

Rich and fuller bodied, there is an intensity to the black cherry flavors here with vanilla to round it out. Layers of chocolate and oak bring a little complexity before a sour cherry/cranberry note emerges on the medium-length finish.

Fresh, but balanced, acidity provides most of the structure here, keeping it from being too soft or flabby. Acidity isn't uncommon in red hybrids, but it's not excessively high here like it can be.
It's fruity, but not as simple as some baco noirs I've had. The oak is perhaps a bit obvious right now, but I'm curious to see how this one ages in bottle.

Read more at: