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.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Rural Intelligence magazine Raves About Chatham Brewing

Chatham’s Back Alley Nano-Brewery
by Christopher Matthews
Rural Intelligence magazine
Feb 21, 2011

We all know that size matters, and that bigger isn’t always better. This is especially true with breweries and beer. A local case in point is Chatham Brewing, located in a back alley off Main Street in the Village of Chatham, NY. Don’t call it a microbrewery – it’s not big enough – rather, it’s a four year-old “nano-brewery”, diminutive by design, that turns out a proportionately large selection of flavorful, artisanal ales.

Small, but Smart
Home brewing enthusiasts who both worked in bona fide breweries in their twenties, CB owners Tom Crowell and Jake Cunningham, now in their mid-forties, met via their wives and kids in the Chatham area. (A third original partner, Chris Ferrone, is no longer associated). While they both longed to brew on a more professional scale, serious day jobs and family obligations presented major constraints. They had also observed the micro-brew craze in the mid-to-late 1990s—and the ensuing shakeout—and wanted to avoid similar miscalculation. So, to proceed, they needed to find a smaller scale brewing system, and to start out modestly, in test market fashion.

Fortune soon smiled on them. Through their home-brewing network, they heard of a bankrupt brew pub in Albany selling off its brewing assets. The system’s capacity—and price—fit the plan. So, with lots of local good will, including professional help to haul the brewing system from Albany, and to establish the refrigeration system in the back alley location, Chatham Brewing hung out its shingle in February 2007. “It’s amazing what people will do for beer,” said Crowell.
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Brotherhood Blanc de Blanc

Brotherhood Winery is the oldest continually operating winery in New York state. And of course, it is in the Hudson Valley. The Blanc de Blanc Chardonnay Brut Champagne is a 100% chardonnay sparkling wine.

Walking through their cavernous underground cellars, you can see 170 years of continuous winemaking heritage, and you can learn about winemaking, barrel ageing, and their sparkling wine methods.

This golden straw colored wine has a wonderful nose of green apple and yeast, with a whiff of toastiness about it. This wine is made from 100% Hudson Valley chardonnay. The wine has lots of tiny, fine bubbles which trail up the flute beautifully. The wine itself was dry and refreshingly crisp. There were big flavors of green apple up front, but a nice, dry finish. Beautifully balanced. An elegant fine sparkling wine.

Congrats to Cesar Baeza and winemaker Bob Barrow!

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Steven Kolpan, at Home...Italian Cooking

Normally I don't do these kinds of book reviews here, but since it's the Hudson Valley CIA and it's Steve Kolpan, wine director at CIA, and since it's Italian, I thought I would indulge. Forgive me.

From little snacks and tidbits (spuntini) to the glories of a true Italian brodo, from fresh pastas and crespelle (sfoglie) to sweets (dolci), Italian Cooking at Home explores the diverse cuisines and famous dishes from Italy's important culinary regions.

The authors provide recipes for traditional favorites like a decadent lasagne, a creamy risotto, a classic brodetto di pesce, and tiramisù, as well as dishes that may be less familiar: erbazzone, a savory pie of pancetta and Swiss chard; gnocchi soffiati alla parigina, delicate potato dumplings baked until puffed; pizzoccheri alla valtellinese, buckwheat pasta with cabbage and Bitto cheese; and affogato al caffè, gelato "drowned" in espresso. In addition, preserved foods (conserve) and the resourceful dishes born from a frugal but inspired culinary imagination (cucina povera) demonstrate the passion and playfulness of the Italian cook. Sumptuous full-color photographs show finished dishes and illustrate cooking techniques. Wine pairing notes give you more than a few suggestions, offering flavor notes that help you find the perfect complement to any dish.
The book gives readers a tour of the many splendors of Italian cooking, beginning with a thorough introductionto the foods, cheeses, and wines of Italy's many distinct regions, followed by chapters covering spuntini, conserve, brodi, gnocchi, carni, dolci, and more. For home cooks who want to experience truly authentic Italian food in their own kitchens, Italian Cooking at Home is the perfect guide.

Though pasta is arguably Italy's most popular contribution to world food, Italian cuisine is farmore diverse than just pastas and sauces. Italian Cooking at Home explores the amazing variety of foods and flavors across every region of Italy, from Milan to Marsala, from Ravenna to Rome.

Combining the culinary expertise of The Culinary Institute of America's instructors Gianni Scappin and Alberto Vanoli with the extensive knowledge of CIA wine instructor Steven Kolpan and beautiful photography from Francesco Tonelli, this is the only book you need to masterfully prepare real and wonderful Italian meals at home.

About the Author
GIANNI SCAPPIN is an assistant professor in culinary arts at The Culinary Institute of America, and teaches in the Ristorante Caterina de' Medici, part of the CIA's Colavita Center for Italian Food and Wine. He is a cookbook author and the chef and owner of Cucina in Woodstock, New York.

ALBERTO VANOLI is an assistant professor in culinary arts at The Culinary Institute of America, where he teaches students the authentic regional cuisines of Italy. Before joining the faculty, he was the chef at various restaurants in Italy, New York City, San Francisco, and Philadelphia.

STEVEN KOLPAN is a professor in wine studies at The Culinary Institute of America. He is the author of several books, including Exploring Wine and WineWise (James Beard Foundation Award for Best Beverage Book of 2009). In 2007, he was chosen as Wine Educator of the Year by the European Wine Council. Mr. Kolpan is the wine columnist for and The Valley Table and has written more than 100 wine articles for many magazines, newspapers, and websites.

Born and raised in Italy, FRANCESCO TONELLI is a food photographer and a food stylist, as well as a Maestro di Cucina. In 2004, he stepped out of the kitchen to go behind the camera, taking full charge of the design, styling, and photography of food. In 2010, he was named one of General Mills' Top Ten Food Photographers.

Founded in 1946, The Culinary Institute of America is an independent, not-for-profit college offering bachelor's and associate degrees in culinary arts and baking and pastry arts, as well as certificate programs in culinary arts and wine and beverage studies. A network of more than 40,000 alumni has helped the CIA earn its reputation as the world's premier culinary college. The CIA, which also offers courses for industry professionals and food enthusiasts, has campuses in New York (Hyde Park), California (St. Helena), and Texas (San Antonio), and an international location in Singapore.

This is a scrumptious book. My wife and I went through it together, and I drooled at almost every spread.

Great stuff. Congrats, Steven.

Robibero Serendipity

Last night Dominique made chicken with Bone Suckin' Sauce, a favorite BBQ concoction we discovered when we went down to Charleston some years ago. It instantly became our favorite, and we've been using it every year since. And our sons love it too. It has just enough sweetness for them, enough tangy-ness that it's just not a globe of ketchup-y syrup, and enough heat so it stands up.

I came home through the sleet and snow from work, driving down snowy back country roads up in the Hudson Valley, only to come home to the warm soft glow of light pouring out from our house's windows.

The chicken smelled glorious, and when it came out, it was golden brown, and even crispy charred in some places, after she broiled it for the last fifteen minutes. It smelled and tasted delicious!

But what to have? We didn't want a red, and we discussed a rose' or even a blush. But at the last minute I remembered we had a bottle of cold Robibero Serendipity in the fridge. Out it came!

Robibero Vineyards is among the newest of Hudson Valley's wineries. It is a family owned and family run endeavor, and should be properly lauded.

Serendipity is a white wine with big apple and a whiff of something slightly more exotic...maybe kiwi? The actual wine is a smashing blend blend of 65% Seyval Blanc and 35% Chardonnay. It has a bright, fresh, zesty taste, that stood up wonderfully to our chicken. It was so good, even after we were done with the chicken, we sat at the table until we were done with the wine.

This is a wonderfully, refreshing white. A great table wine. Enjoy!