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 09, 2010


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!


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