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.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


Updated 05/13/2010 06:11 PM
Frost ruins some Hudson Valley grapes
By: Beth Croughan
Some areas in the Hudson Valley were hit with freezing temperatures earlier this week. And while it seems to be warming up, our Beth Croughan tells us some Hudson Valley wineries are still feeling the effects.

GHENT, N.Y. -- "They'll be a bunch of plants that won't produce anything and so we'll have to rip those out and start all over again," explained Carlo DeVito, Owner of the Hudson-Chatham Winery.

Carlo DeVito and his wife, Dominique, planted those vines five years ago. And now, after two nights of freezing temperatures, 80 percent of their crop is temporarily ruined and some, ruined for good.
"You're doing all this work. We go through pruning and tying and we go through cultivating the soil around the vines. You see all these buds come through and we're thinking yeah, we're going to have a good year. And especially after last year, it really takes a lot of wind out of your sails," said DeVito.
Last year, the couple's winery was also hit by frost.
"In a normal season if we have a cold April and a warm May, by May 20th, we've got some nice leaves on the vines and it starts to look real pretty," DeVito said.
But a warm April, topped with cold temperatures this May, is pushing the DeVito's back about four to six weeks and out a couple thousand dollars. The DeVito's grow hybrid grapes, which means each vine can bud a second or third time. But it'll take a few weeks and will only produce about one third of their annual crop.
"We still have to pay guys to walk through the vineyards and spray them and do all that other stuff. But for one third less the fruit. So for me to make up the fruit, I've got to go out and spend thousands of dollars to buy grapes from some other farmer that got lucky or got luckier than us this year," said DeVito.
DeVito plans to invest in fire pots next year. They help circulate the air to keep the grapes from freezing. But all it takes is one night of 32 degree temperatures.
"Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me."
At least three other wineries in the Hudson Valley experienced frost damage.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Robibero Winery Grand Opening May 22 & 23, 2010

Grand Opening of Robibero Family Vineyards
Saturday May 22nd & Sunday May 23rd
Day long celebration includes complimentary wine tasting, food, live music, raffles, contests, and give-aways!

Ribbon Cutting Saturday 11am
Live Music: Special Guest Mark Dziuba Sat 3-6pm
Live Music: Special Guest Tony Penn Sun 3-6pm
Uncorking of newly released wines!

When Harry and Carole Robibero purchased the 42 acre land in 2003 there was an existing winery on the property. But Harry’s love for land and wine goes back decades. He dreamed of one day following in his grandfather’s footsteps and making outstanding wines. Luckily for him that dream happened sooner then he planned. In 2007 opportunity knocked unexpectedly when the current winery operating on the premise gave notice that they were vacating to a new location. It was at that point Harry, Carole and the Robibero family decided to follow their passion and pursue their dream of opening a winery.

There are many people who are happy the Robiberos are in the Hudson Valley. They bring a fresh and exciting new dynamic to the valley. There is so much excitement in opening a new winery. So much expectation. But also, for those for whom it has been a lifelong dream, a wonderful, exhilerating expereince.

Starting a winery is not easy. And I know it. It’s a lot of hard work. The Robiberos made lots of renovations. Grueling hours. Backbreaking. Lots of sweat and tears. This of course, for Harry and Carole was followed by long commutes back to Westchester, to then spend endless hours doing paperwork for licensing and other winery work. But I don’t think they would have had it any other way.

“Last Spring we started our vineyards. We planted both Cabernet Franc and Vidal Blanc. Not only have we been gearing up for the big grand opening but we have also been busy getting ready to plant more vines,” Harry Robibero told me. “We will be installing additional rows of Vidal Blanc this week. Next year we plan to plant the entire other side with Traminette, Seyval Blanc and additional Cabernet Franc. Its going to be a slow process but we're in it for the long run.”

“Our plan is to make our winery a destination where people come to relax and enjoy our property. We want our tastings to be educational and fun. The goal is all about making sure people walk out our door with a smile on their face and create a unique experience that will stay in their heads forever. Tourism is a huge part of our plan, but Tiffany and Ryan who are running this whole venture have lots of energy and drive to not only brand "R" wine but to also bring lots of exposure to the Hudson Valley,” said proud father Harry. And he should be proud. Both Dominique and I have been very impressed by the poise and maturity of Tiffany and Ryan.

“Their focus is to grab the attention of wine consumers more their age, the "millenials". We admit we are very new to all of this and have little experience but learning is a part of life and that's the beauty of it. When it comes to wine you can never learn enough or learn it all. Tiffany wants to share her story with others, explain to them that wine shouldn't be an overwhelming product, she plans to bring comfort to new wine consumers. She wants to create a brand, a brand that people will know, a brand that will sell not only to visitors in the tasting room but to the millenials across the country,” said Harry.

The whole Robibero clan en familia!

“Right now we are taking it one step at a time. We are still in the start up phase and have many things to get in order. We hope to become a part of the Shawangunk Wine Trail as well as host a variety of our own events. We have big plans, but everything takes time and money,” Harry opined. And don’t I know it!

At the moment they have a somewhat generic label just to get things going, “but we are in the process of designing more for the future. We are premiering five of our wines at the Grand Opening, and will have 9 wines under our label very soon.”

Two of the wines that will be available for tasting are the Cab Franc and the Syrah.
This is very exciting news. And all the wineries in the Valley want to welcome the Robiberos to the wine community, where we think they will make a great difference, to New Paltz (who has missed having a winery) and to the greater valley, and of course, make great wine!
To them we say Bona Fortuna! Seriously, the Best of Luck!!!

Robibero Family Vineyards
714 Albany Post Road
New Paltz, NY 12561

Whitecliff Vineyards Featured in Hudson Valley Life Magazine

Hudson Valley Life magazine's May 2010 issue featured an in-depth article on Whitecliff Vineyards, owned by Michael and Yancy Migliore. Whitecliff is a great vineyard and winery, and the folks there make excellent wines. The article talks about their early days and about their committment ot Gamay and to Pinot Noir.

Thes issue also features four pages of listings of all the wineries in the Hudson Valley.

Congrats to Michael and Yancy, and to all the wineries in the Hudson Valley.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Catskill Wine & Cheese 2010

In the first week of May, as usual, was the Rip Van Winkle Wine & Cheese event at the Beattie Powers Mansion at 123 Prospect Street in Catskill.

The weather did not seem like it was going to cooperate at first, but then the sun shone through.

Many wineries from the Hudson Valley, and even one from Long Island, werethere for the fun!

Paula and Fred of Coreghino-Smith Winery were there, debuting two new wines! More on East Coast Wineries blog for that!

Sue Goold Miller was their for regional powerhouse Brookview Station.

Laura and Aaron were there for Hudson-Chtham Winery.

Paul from Long Island Meadery was there. More on his stuff later too!

Cascade Winery was also represented.

Thousand Islands Winery was there too!

And I met some folks from the Adirondack Winery, a winery new to me. That's owner Sasha Pardy up front. They were very nice as well.

There were fewer wineries than last year, but that wasn't a bad thing. The tents were very managable, and many people seemed to have had a terrific time!


Joe Messina's family comes from Ischia, a small island off of Italy. They have made wine their since ancient Roman times. The Messina family, like others there, were both fishermen and wine makers. Their nautical handiness also played a part in the news and distribution of their wines, and how that reputation grew.

Joe was born in New York City and moved to the Catskills when he was eight years old with his family. His family, nuclear and extended, were in the produce business. And Joe spent many days going up an down the valley as a child, working the farms and produce markets in NYC.

Joe was a very successful sales representative in the food business. He's now turned his attention to wine, buying a 108 acres farm in Valley Falls, NY, 20 minutes north of Troy, in Washington County. His winery is part of the Upper Hudson Valley Wine Trail.

Joe has several acres planted to vine, including Marquette, Frontenac, Seyval Blanc, and Cayuga. Estate wines will be on the way.

In the meantime, he's been buying fruit, and starting up business. His first offerings include Cabernet Franc, Dry Rose Wine, Marchel Foch & Frontenac, and Dry Riesling.

I've met Joe several times now. He is tall and lean, with an elegant pencil thin mustache. Sometimes the 'stache is accompanied by a goatee, and sometimes not. No matter. He is a very affable fellow, born with the gift of gab. He's very engaging, funny, and fun to be around.

I recently had a bottle of Joe's Cabernet Franc. Joe makes his Cab Franc in a Burgundy style. All of you expecting a big, deep, massive red wine will be disappointed. However, those of you who like medium bodied, approachable wines, will be delighted. This wine had lots of fresh fruit up front, with a touch of tannin and acid, so it was nicely balanced. Strawberries and bright raspberries were on the nose, with a touch of vanilla. Almost more like a Pinot Noir. It was quite different and very good. Great with food, which is what I am sure Joe was aiming for, since he wants to make very approachable wines.

Amici Vineyards wines are already available in Troy and Albany restaurants and stores. And the tastingroom opens in June 2010! So get up there, and have a chat with Joe. He's a great guy, and he's making some very good wines. You'll have a lot of fun!