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, July 31, 2011

Robibero Vineyards 87 North

Robibero is one of the newest wineries in the valley. These are good folks, and they are making a very concerted effort ot make some wonderful new wines. And they recently teamed up with winemaker Kristop Brown, who's one of the very best winemakers in the valley. Watch out for a lot of good things to coem from Robibero.

87 North is a light white blend with lots of fresh fruit and great acidity. A wonderful, refreshing, light, bright white, great cold for summer sipping. A nice, nice wine, and one of Robibero's most popular.


Applewood Winery Traminette

Johnathan Hull has been making wine at Applewood in the Hudson Valley for some time. Recently, at the Bounty of the Hudson I was lucky enough to be able to try his Traminette.

Traminette is a cross of the French American hybrid Joannes Seyve 23.416 and the German Vitis viniferia cultivar Gewürztraminer made by Herb C. Barrett ca. 1965 at the University of Illinois, Urbana/Champaign. His intention was to produce a large clustered table grape with the flavor of Gewürztraminer. He sent the cross to the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station grape breeding program at Cornell for development. He soon followed, joining the staff at Cornell as a faculty member and grape breeder in the Horticulture Department. Traminette was found to have excellent wine quality, combined with good productivity, partial resistance to several fungal diseases, and cold hardiness superior to its acclaimed parent, Gewürztraminer, while retaining a similar character.

Traminette produces solid yields, ranging in studies from 12-22 lbs/vine average.

This was a great wine, with a lovely bouquet and a very nice balance of fruit, acidity, and a touch of sweetness. A tremendous wine that would be a terrific wiht cheese as it would be with chicken, duck or salads. And it's great for sippin, especially on a hot day. Fantatstic!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Bounty of the Hudson This Weekend July 30 & 31, 2011

Bounty of the Hudson Wine Festival is one of the “musts” of the Hudson Valley summer circuit! Festival hours this upcoming Saturday and Sunday are from 12 noon to 5pm! Advance tickets are 27 dollars and the designated drive price is $5.40 and includes entrance into the festival. Ticket prices the day of the festival are $38 and the designated driver’s ticket is $8.

This festival allows you to taste all the wines from every winery on the Shawangunk wine trail! Not only will there be wine, but there will be many dishes and menu items from local restaurants! There will be farm fresh and delicious produce for you to taste and purchase as well!

And like all events in the Hudson Valley, there will be live music! So come enjoy the delicious food and wine, perhaps bring a bottle or two home! While you are there the wineries, enjoy the view of the mountains to the west. There are a total of 11 wineries! Please enjoy all the festival has to offer!

For More Information of the Bounty of the Hudson Wine Festival, or to purchase tickets visit:

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Crazy Grapes TV Reviews Hudson-Chatham Baco Noir Old Vines 2009

Bill Hyatt is a wine educator, wine professional, and sommelier. But more importantly, he simply loves wine!

"I started this show as a medium to share my passion for wine with others. I hope that through this show I can help you to increase your enjoyment and understanding of wine. While I will accept donations to support this show, I will not let those donations effect the reviews of the wines I will be tasting," says Bill on his website.

Seeing is believing.

See the review at:

Monday, July 25, 2011

Benmarl Merlot 2008

There's no secret that one of my favorite wineries is Benmarl. Benmarl has made some wonderful wines over the course of the last few years. The improvement came when Kristop Brown and Matt Specarelli started making changes there three or more years ago. Though Kristop has moved on, the Specarelli family, especially Matt, has continued to see the wines improve.

A great example is the new Benmarl Merlot 2008. An austere, elegant, merlot, in the French tradition, it is loaded with cherries, raspberry, and a hint of dried cranberries, and a touch of barnyard. Beautiful fruit up front, balanced with just the right amount of acidity, and subtle tannins at the end. A smooth, licious finish.

We tasted the wine with a variety of cheeses at first, and then moved onto a luxurious plate of mixed grilled meats. The wine paired nicely with both. We tasted it against some Harpersfield cheddar and against some Old Chatham Sheepherding Camambert both paired with small rounds from a freshinly cut baguette.

But the wine showed even better against the mixed grilled meats, dripping with hot juices and sizzling with crisp, crunchy charred marks. The wine was an incredble accompaniment to this dish.

Another wonderful wine from Benmarl.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Matt Specarelli of Benmarl Winery on Fox News

Lifestyle & Budget
Wine and Economic Growth Go Hand in Hand
By Tracy Byrnes

Published July 15, 2011

When most people think of wine they think of dinner, relaxing on the couch after work, or celebrating an event.

It’s not often people equate wine with economic growth. But they should.

Take New York: The wine industry added $3.76 billion to the state’s economy in 2008, according to a study by Napa-based Stonebridge Research Group, LLC.

Aside from the increasing revenues in the state’s agricultural and manufacturing sectors, wine is the only agricultural product that generates excise and sales taxes for the state and local economies.

Then there is tourism income. Wine trails throughout New York are a major reason nearly five million tourists visited in 2008, bringing lots of money to the rural economies.

That’s why it was so great to speak with Matthew Spaccarelli, general manager of Benmarl Winery the other day. Benmarl, America’s oldest vineyard, is located in Marlboro, N.Y., and was founded in the early 1800s. Today it is run by Spaccarelli’s family.

Matt and his family are on a mission to bring attention to New York wines and get the word out that you don’t have to go to Napa Valley to get a great Merlot.

Questions for Our Wine Pro
What is your Death Row wine?

Anything with a high alcohol content! Just kidding. I would have to say a good quality Burgundy. I enjoy Burgundy, but I'm not really sure why. Perhaps in my last moments I'd be able to figure it out. Or perhaps Burgundy is some sort of metaphor for the afterlife, "we dont understand it, but it's going to be good." Unless of course you committed a crime that landed you on death row, then the metaphor would most likely come in a box with a pour spout at the bottom!

What region produces the best wine in your opinion?

Being a New York Wine producer, I am partial to the quality, character and diversity of the wines produced here. Aside from New York wines, I often find a bottle of wine from the Loire Valley in France sitting on my table. Like New York, these wines are delicate and balanced and have a sense of place. It is their subtleties rather than their boldness that makes them shine at the dinner table.

Read more:

Saturday, July 09, 2011

NYCR Raves About the Hudson Valley: Part 2

A First Impression of the Hudson Valley Wine Country, Part 2
By Julia Burke, Beer Editor

Day two of my Hudson Valley adventure was all about wine tasting, but before wine there has to be coffee, and we kicked off the day with a trip to Strongtown Organic Coffee Roasters in Hudson. There I had the best cup of coffee in my life (I’m not kidding) and picked up a pound of Indonesian coffee as well.

We started with Robibero Family Vineyards, the youngest winery on the Shawangunk trail. Robibero doesn't have much in the way of estate wine yet, but the list is a solid lineup made from Finger Lakes and Long Island fruit, and with its stunning view, awesome patio, and live music events, it's a great destination where folks can enjoy good New York wine in a beautiful setting.

From the youngest winery in the Hudson Valley, we headed to Brotherhood Winery, the oldest continually-operating winery in the country. The sense of history in the Hudson Valley is part of its charm and Brotherhood has certainly made a destination of itself as well with a cafe, huge tasting room, outdoor music and picnic tables.

Brotherhood had very nice wines including Saphir Rose, a chardonnay/pinot bubbly with fruit sourced from the Hudson Valley which showed snappy strawberry flavors and nice balance. But my favorite of the wines was the 2008 pinot noir, which the server told me was sourced locally. I tasted it and was struck by the clean cranberry nose and lovely, light, velvety-smooth palate with no discernible oakiness; I thought to myself, "this is how I want MY pinot to turn out."

My guide, David, and I decided to get lunch at the classy winery bistro, and I was thoroughly enjoying a glass of that pinot with a smoked salmon plate when winemaker and owner Cesar Baeza walked by our table to greet David.

David introduced me as being from the Niagara Escarpment, and Baeza chuckled, "Well, you're drinking Niagara Escarpment pinot!" Turns out Brotherhood sourced the grapes for this wine from the now-defunct and recently sold Warm Lake Estate. I nearly fell off my chair.

The chance to try pinot noir from Warm Lake fruit made by a professional winemaker was an amazing “twin study” and I couldn’t pass up a case. I look forward to seeing how this already-delicious pinot develops over the next few years.

Benmarl Winery was our next stop and showed one of the most solid lineups of Hudson Valley wine that I experienced. Highlights included the lovely, limey 2009 seyval and delicious Slate Hill 2009 chardonnay-driven blend, a well-structured DeChauanc and bing-cherry- tastic 2009 frontenac, and the estate baco, which showed velvety blackberry notes and an elegant earthy, green pepper and mineral nose.

Across the board the wines were expressive and balanced.

Our last stop of the day was Stoutridge Vineyard, and it was perhaps the most unique winery experience of the weekend.

Owner and winemaker Steve Osborn is a tour de force, producing unfiltered and sustainably-made wines sourced from Hudson Valley fruit and selling them with conviction and passion in his tasting room.

An entire gravity-flow, no-pump cellar, designed so he can do everything himself, was an impressive sight, but it wouldn’t be if his wines weren’t also tasty.

The seyval showed great acid and hints of melon and honeydew, and the Hudson Heritage (a blend of chard, vidal, Cayuga, seyval and pinot gris) was rich, delicious and juicy. His cabernet franc was also fleshy and meaty with good varietal character.

Why the Hudson Valley? I asked Osborn, a Finger Lakes expat. “I need the ‘eat local’ market,” he explained, citing the New York City area’s restaurants and tourists as a key demographic for his “natural” wines. This key advantage of the Hudson Valley area should prove even more important as quality and consistency continues to improve in the region.

The Hudson Valley has other clear advantages as a wine region: natural beauty, a unique niche with lesser-known varieties, and multiple farms and related businesses producing a wide variety of local products. It’s a one-stop-shop tourist destination and the quality of the wines is already quite impressive. So what is the region’s biggest challenge?

From my brief experience, the spread-out nature of the Hudson Valley area — it took us nearly an hour to get from Hudson-Chatham to the Shawangunk trail—is a major challenge as it’s difficult for visitors to get to all the top wineries without driving at great length. The distance between wineries is also an obstacle to collaboration and collective voice within the region, which was another topic that came up frequently over the weekend.

I’m thrilled to have been introduced to the Hudson Valley and am now firmly invested in following the region as wines and regional identity develop. I hope to make another trip in the fall to experience the beauty of the region during harvest!

Read it all at:

Read her first post:

Wednesday, July 06, 2011


Amy Zavato wrote a wonderful story in the July/August issue of EDIBLE MANHATTAN entitled THE CURRANT'S SCOND COMING about the success of cassis in the Hudson Valley. The Hudson Valley is fast becoming known as the New Burgundy for its bright, minerally whites, soft, medium bodied reds, fresh farm house ciders, and cassis.

The thick, intense berry wine with the tart finish has sold out every year!
Today, with more than 12,000 bottles produced in 2011, the Hudson Valley is the largest producer of artisanal cassis. Estimates range as high as 15-20,000 bottles for next year.

Jason and Jeremy of Warwick Valley featured in article.

Phyllis Feder of Clinton Vineyards, where the new cassis craze all began.

Carlo and Dominique DeVito of Hudson Chatham

Sue and Ed Miller of Brookview Station.

Ray Tousey of Tousey Winery.
Bruce Tripp winemaker at Tousey.
Kimberly and Ben Peacock of Tousey Winery.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Sangria Festival July 16 & 17, 2011 at Benmarl Winery

Benmarl Winery
156 Highland Ave,
Marlboro NY 12542

April – December
12 pm-6pm
Closed on New Years Day, Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas

Benmarl’s July Sangria Festival
July 16 & 17
12 to 7 pm
Enjoy summer with us by cooling down with a fresh glass of sangria. $20 per person. Wine club members and children 12 and under are free. Admission includes souvenir wine glass, wine tasting, sangria, tours, flamenco dancing and live music.

Applewood Winery Is Hot in July!

Applewood Winery
82 Four Corners Rd.
Warwick NY 10990

NEW HOURS - Now Open Fri, Sat. & Sun. 11AM-5PM

Applewood Winery Summer Hours - Fri. 11-5, Sat. 11-6, Sun 11-5

Music in the Courtyard every Sat & Sun 2-5PM - No Cover
Applewood Cafe Open every Sat. & Sun. 12-5PM featuring light Fare, our signature Sangrias & NEW - Fruit wine Slushies

Open Fri. July 1 - Mon. July 4 Free Music in the Courtyard - 2-5PM
Sat. July 2 Duo Phonic - Music of the 50's thru the 80's
Sunday - Foley Road - Classic Rock
Monday - Steve Di Venuta - classic rock

Summer Evening Concert Series:
Join us Sat. July 9th for an evening concert on the Lawn 6-9PM featuring 'Groovy Tuesday' - classics from the 60 s & 70's - from both sides of the Pond & Sat. July 23 - 6-9PM featuring Chrissie O'Dell & One Hot Mess - a high energy, heart pumping Blues Band - Tickets now available on

Who Let the Dogs Out??? Sat. July 16 - Annual fundraiser for the Warwick Humane Society - register your dog for contests, prizes, all proceeds go to the Humane Society - Live music, cafe open

July at Warwick Valley Winery & Distillery

Warwick Valley Winery & Distillery
114 Little York Rd.
Warwick NY 10990

July 2011 Schedule of Events

MUSIC SERIES 2011 - “Uncorked & Unplugged”

Weekend Afternoon Music Series
Afternoon Series 2:00 – 5:00 PM* - *No Cover for Afternoon Concerts listed below

*Sat 7/2 – Marty Koppel – Roots Music/Acoustic/Americana

*Sun 7/3 – Soylent Blue – Rock / Psychedelic / Indie

*Mon 7/4 – Tim O’Donohue - Country / Folk / Roots Music

*Sun 7/10 – Ray Longchamp – Finger Style Guitar / Rock / Blues / Folk

*Sat 7/16 – Petey Hop – Blues / Rock / Roots Music

*Sun 7/17 – John Sheehan - Finger Style Guitar / Rock / Blues / Folk

*Sat 7/23 - Mark Von Em - Acoustic / Folk Rock / Soul

*Sun 7/24 – Matt Turk – Acoustic / Folk Rock / Alternative

*Sat 7/30 – Tim O’Donohue - Country / Folk / Roots Music

*Sun 7/31 - Rob Schiff – Acoustic / Rock / Psychedelic

bozarts NIGHTSTAGE hosted by Paul Siegal presents E'lissa Jones & Marc Von Em - Thursday July 7th, 2011 @ 7PM. Doors open at 6:15 PM. Tickets are $12.50 per person in advance. $15.00 at the door. Buy Tickets Online Now! A bistro style menu will be available that evening at Pané Café .

Watkins Glen Revisited - July 9th, 2011 (Rain Date July 10th)
Advance Ticket Sales end Thursday Night July 7th

Anyone visiting the winery this weekend will need a ticket to gain entrance to the winery grounds.

A tribute concert to the 1973 Summer Jam at Watkins Glen. Music of The Allman Brothers, The Band, and the Grateful Dead will be performed by the band "The Band", Reflections and The Peach Project. Raindate: Sunday July 10th. Please no Coolers, outside Food or Beverages Permitted on Winery Grounds. Thank You!
All Tickets are held at door for Day of Event. No Tickets will be Mailed Out.
Buy Tickets Online Now!

Black & Blues Weekend - August 6th & 7th

August 6th - Blues Saturday
August 7th - Black Sunday - A Tribute to Johnny Cash
Tickets on sale July 11th, 2011

Wine education and tasting are available during regular winery hours 11-6 Daily

A bistro style menu is available at Pané Café for all events
(Fri 12-4, Sat-Sun 12-5)
Tasting Room Hours Daily 11-6 (845) 258-4858
114 Little York Road, Warwick, NY 10990


Lot's Going on at Palaia Vineyards in July!

Palaia Vineyards & Winery
10 Sweet Clover Rd.
Highland Mills NY 10930

Events galore at Palaia this month. Come watch a play and laugh, or enjoy Neil Young music for 2 days in a benefit for Lung Cancer, or sit on our lawn by the grapes and listen to some live music and drink a pink wine slushie in the shade…..ahhh, that’s living.

CASE SALE 4TH OF JULY WEEKEND THRU JULY 12 - 15% off case 10% off ½ case!

7/1 – Straight Shot 7-10 Sweet Clover Room (air conditioned)

7/2 – Groovy Tuesday 6:30-9:30 – outside under the tent- no coolers or outside food or beverages. BBQ available- wine slushies & wine (no cover) Bring a chair or blanket

7/3 – Robert Schiff – 2:30-5:30 – Sweet Clover Room (air conditioned)

7/7 – Open Mic 7-? – Treehouse

7/8 – Bruce Perone – 7-10 – Sweet Clover Room (air conditioned)

7/9 – Jermaine Paul – 6:30-9:30 - $5/person under 12 free – outside under the tent- no coolers or outside food or beverages. BBQ available- wine slushies & wine. Bring a chair or blanket

7/10 – Bobby Messano – 2:30-5:30 – Sweet Clover Room (air conditioned)

7/14- 7/17 – The play: “Lend Me A Tenor” – 8pm $10/person – Outside under the tent, chairs provided. Comedy that will have you rolling. Directed by Rich Aufiero. Wine & slushies available.

Winery open during the day for tastings. Winery closes at 7 and during the play.

7/17– During the afternoon – Bobby Z is playing 2:30-5:30 in the tasting room and then the play at 8.

7/21 – Open Mic 7-? Treehouse

7/22 – Gregg Van Gelder – 7-10 Sweet Clover Room (air conditioned)

7/23 ** Neil Young Tribute Festival – 1-8pm $10/person for the day – Entire door goes to “Uniting Against Lung Cancer” BBQ available, wine slushies & wine – bring a chair or blanket – no coolers or outside food or beverages. Band after Band all day long. Winery opens at noon.

7/24 – Neil Young Tribute Festival continues $10 for the day 1-6pm

7/28 – Audition Open mic 7-? – Treehouse

7/29 – Inner Monologue – 7-10 – Sweet Clover Room (air conditioned)

7/30 – Past Masters 6:30-9:30 – outside under the tent- no coolers or outside food or beverages. BBQ available- wine slushies & wine (no cover) Bring a chair or blanket

7/31 – Paul Savino – 2:30-5:30 – Sweet Clover Room (air conditioned)