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 29, 2011

Times Herald-Record Raves ABout Vinum at Brotherhood Winery

Vinum Cafe scores with sweet cuisine
French and Chilean mixes well in Washingtonville
By Kelly Kingman
For the Times Herald-Record
Published: 2:00 AM - 05/13/11
Last updated: 3:43 PM - 05/13/11

The clusters of buildings on the grounds of Brotherhood Winery gave the atmosphere of being a little village. There was the Victorian mansion, built by the founder of the original winery back in the early 1800s, and there were the modern winemaking facilities. There were picnic tables scattered in between, no doubt a lovely place to enjoy a glass of wine on a late-spring or summer evening.

Vinum Cafe occupies the low-slung brick building that housed the original winery around 1839. According to the website, Vinum Cafe encompasses a formal dining room and a more casual cafe area surrounding the bar itself.

We arrived on a Friday evening; the dining room was not very full, but the strains of a jazz trio entertained a robust bar crowd. After a few awkward minutes we were greeted by a dapper gentleman whom I thought at first was our maitre d' but became our server for the remainder of our evening. One other staff member, a young woman, was on the floor as well, but she seemed to be in training.

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Cuisine: Eclectic
Where: 84 Brotherhood Plaza Drive, Washingtonville
Hours: 5-9 p.m. Wed.-Sun.
Call: 496-9001

Ratings (out of five stars)
Food: 4 stars
Service: 2 stars
Ambience: 3.5 stars

Brotherhood enjoys the distinction of being the oldest operating winery in America, and it has seen many owners over its long history. Now the operation is run by a partnership of Chilean winemaking families, which is why the wine list consists of Brotherhood vintages and a series of wines described only as "Chilean." Vinum is operated independently of the winery by a French chef.

Read the whole review at:

Tousey Cabernet Franc

Tousey is one of the newer wineries on the scene, but winemaker Bruce Tripp has been a popular and ubiquitous figure in the Hudson Valley winemaking scene for many years. I recently stopped in his place and took a few sips.

One of the ones I really liked was their Cabernet Franc(non-vintage). It had a beautiful bright raspberry, bright cherry nose with a whiff of vanilla and spice.

Bruce was holding down the tasting room bar last Saturday when I happened to walk in. Bruce loves grapes. One gets he sense that he almost likes growing as much as he likes making wine. But don;t be fooled, Bruce loves wine. He can talk all day about grapes and wine...and he and I have, over many glasses. He is affable and gregarious and a lot of fun.

Bruce's wines are already a hit. His Tousey Creme de Cassis is one of the most well known cult wines in the valley. His cassis is different from most because it's sweetened with honey, from Ray Tousey's beehives.Anyway, a smal trip, and quick sip, and another stop on my "Honey Do" list to go, and then to the back porch with a bottle of Tousey Cabernet Franc.

Benmarl Baco Noir 2009

I will not equivocate - I have been collectng bottles of Benmarl Baco noir since I first started drinking it about 10 years ago. I love it. There is nothing much like it in my expereince. I've cellared many of them over the years. They only get better. It's fabulous.

Mark Miller founded Benmarl Winery at Slate Hill Vineyards, America's oldest vineyards (the vineyard site has been under production in three different centuries now). Baco Noir is one of the hybrids bred to replace Pinot Noir during the phylloxera epidemic in the 19800s, but which thrives beautifully in the Hudson Valley.

The wine is a big nose full of sour cherry, with hints of plum and spice with a whiff of vanilla, and a slight touch of barnyard. It's a little bit of Burgundy right in the middle of the Hudson Valley.

This a great food wine, perfect for chicken, pork, or roasted lamb or other game meats. Great with grilled meats as well as beef or lamb stews. Another terrifc red wine from Benmarl. I'm going to place several in the cellar as soon as possible.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Capital Region Living Magazine Names Hudson-Chatham Best Winery

Capital Region Living magazine named Hudson-Chatham Winery Best Local Wine/Winery in the region. "Both red and white wine lovers will find something to delight their palates, all while enjoying senic views," wrote the magazine.

Altamont Winery was also named named as a runner-up.

Brookview Station was also named as a runner-up.

Congrats to all three!