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 27, 2012

Hudson Berkshire Beverage Trail Strawberry Fields Event June 2, 2012

Hudson Berkshire Beverage Trail
Strawberry Fields Event
Saturday, June 2, 2012

Saturday, June 2, 2012, you can do special tastings of the wonderful hand-crafted wines, beers, and spirits made by the venues on the Hudson Berkshire Beverage Trail for the special price of $20 ($5 for designated drivers). Purchase a Trail passport at the first location you visit, and bring it along as you “ramble” the Trail. Each venue will conduct a special tasting for passport carriers, and will feature a special strawberry dish to go with it. Participating trail members are: Hudson-Chatham Winery, Harvest Spirits Distillery, and Brookview Station Winery in New York, and Furnace Brook Winery in Massachusetts.

Passport Members get:
•complimentary free tasting flights of wine, beers, and spirits at all locations on the specified date
•free pasta samplings

This is a great value! Passports will be available for $20 on the day of the event at each participating venue!

Special Designated Driver Passport: $5 with complimentary strawberries!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Daily Mail Raves About Catskill Wine & Cheese 2012

Fortnightlys help Catskill wine and dine

A variety of fine wines were showcased for tasting Saturday at the Catskill Wine and Cheese Festival, including Hudson-Chatham, Warwick Valley, Cascade and Thousand Islands. | Rob LeDonne photo

By Rob LeDonne
For Hudson-Catskill Newspapers

Published: Sunday, May 13, 2012 2:07 AM EDT

CATSKILL — The Fortnightly Club of Catskill held its annual Wine and Cheese Festival at the Historic Catskill Point Saturday afternoon on the shores of the Hudson River. Fantastic weather brought out large crowds who mulled around the Freightmaster’s building which was decked out with a variety of vendors, and consumed everything from smooth beverages and gourmet food to local goods, and even some live music to boot.

A variety of fine wines were showcased for tasting, including Hudson-Chatham, Warwick Valley, Cascade and Thousand Islands.

Catskill resident Ed Morralli attended with Grandpa Pete’s, a line of sauces and pasta made right here in Greene County. “This is a very worthwhile fundraiser,” said Morrelli referring to the fact that money raised at the sixth annual event goes straight to the Fortnightly Club, which is devoted to improving the community and holds a variety of events throughout the year. One of the Fortnightly Club’s most notable functions is November’s Festival of Trees.

“We do craft and food shows all over the place, so it’s nice to come to something in our own backyard,” explained Morralli.

“This is great, we’re really impressed,” said Tyrone Chrisjohn, who was at the festival with Cafe Tango, an Argentinian/Mexican restaurant out of Saugerties that his wife Analia owns. “We didn’t think it would be this big of a success, so many people came,” said Chrisjohn, who was busy serving piping hot empanadas. “It’s a nice crowd too; everyone is relaxed, friendly and laid-back.”

Greenville resident Carol Peters from High Hill Horse Haven was also on hand to share information about her farm for rescue horses, as well as offer bottles of wine. “This is my second time coming and I always enjoy it,” said Peters, who made up bottles of wine adorned with pictures and logo of the Haven, which she was giving away for a donation. “We had them made up through a site online; it’s just another way for us to get our message out there.”

Theresa’s Crafts and Totes namesake owner Theresa had nothing but praise for the event. “I love it, this turnout has been wonderful,” she said noting that this was her fifth year in business.

“Catskill needs events like this. When we lost the Farmer’s Market, it made us stop selling. With the economy the way it is, small businesses need all the help they can get."

Read the whole thing at:

Friday, May 18, 2012

Furnace Brook Winery 10th Annual Blossom Bash! May 19-20, 2012

10th Annual
Apple Blossom Bash!

Join them at the Bash on Saturday or Sunday, May 19-20.
They'll serve delicious food and wines each day from noon-5pm.
Plus, enjoy musical entertainment by Justin Allen.

Apple blossoms in bloom.
One-Day Admission of $20.00* per person includes:
- Gourmet hot and cold hors d'oeuvres & BBQ
- Wine tasting of Furnace Brook Wines
- Souvenir etched wine glass commemorating the 10th anniversary of this event
Gold Club Members save 10%!

Here's what they have to say:

Relax and enjoy the views, take a casual stroll through the orchard in bloom or hike on groomed woodland trails. We have ample seating inside so the Bash is held rain or shine! We hope to see you there...

*10% of our proceeds will be donated to the Civitan Club of Pittsfield - they raise money to help fund organizations such as hospice, Special Olympics, Salvation Army, Boy's and Girl's Club, etc. Last year the local Civitan Club served over 800 meals to the needy.

Charity Raffle
Enter for the chance to win a 2-night stay at The Garden Gables Inn.

Tickets will be sold at the Apple Blossom Bash and a winner will be chosen on Sunday, May 20 at 5pm. You do not need to be present to win.

Proceeds will be donated to the Civitan Club of Pittsfield.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Benmarl 2010 Ridge Road Vineyrd Estate Cabernet Franc

The other night I was as pleased as I could be to be treated to a tasting of the 2010Benmarl Ridge Road Vineyard Estate Cabernet Franc 2010.

This is the first full fruiting of Benmarl's Ridge Road Vineyard. This wine was fermented in a single stainless steel tank. This wine is a significant departure of Benmarl. This Cabernet Franc comes from young vines, and was made and packaged to telegraph a more Burgundian approach. I think this works in more ways than one, and I am hopeful this is as significant a change as one can hope for.

The color is light and bright translucent and ruby red. The nose is quite distinctive, brimmming with bright cherry and raspberry, with hints of vanilla, cedar and other spices. As with all good Burgundian styled Cabernet Franc, this is a soft and approachable red was the big mouth full of fresh fruit and good, solid acids, slowly melts away with soft tannins for a smooth finish. The fresh cherry and vanilla linger. The flavors linger for a good long time.

A very nice wine!!! Congrats to Matt and everyone at Benmarl!

Hudson-ChathamMentioned in New York Times article by Eric Asimov

The Pour
Buying Local Wines: Does the Idea Travel Well?
Published: May 14, 2012

ONE of the pleasures of working in wine retailing is pointing customers toward new and exciting wines, and especially to bottles that mean something to you. The sense of discovery and the sharing of a pleasant experience help to bolster a notion of community that can be fragile in a mobile society.

But Jeffrey Wooddy, the general manager of Rochambeau Wines in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., a Westchester County suburb, feels a little frustrated that his customers are not always receptive to his advice.

“People can’t wait to rush off to the farmers’ market for local produce,” he said. “But when they come in here and ask what I have, and I say, ‘A beautiful white wine from Long Island,’ they say, ‘What else do you have?’ ”

Food authorities have argued convincingly that the public benefits politically, environmentally, ethically and culinarily from eating local ingredients and supporting local agriculture. But where does that leave wine, a peculiar example that is surely both a food and an agricultural product but does not fit neatly into any category?

First of all, wine is not a fresh ingredient. With the rare exception, it is not fragile. Tender greens and delicate berries will deteriorate if transported or treated to improve their shelf life. But wine is more like cheese. Both are born as ephemeral ingredients: milk and grapes. Then, through human ingenuity, they are transformed into something more stable as well as more interesting, complex and transportable. As an old epicurean once put it, “Both cheese and wine represent man’s effort to transmute the perishable into the durable.”

Throughout history most wine was consumed locally. But even in ancient times wine was a commodity, transported great distances to trade for other goods. The United States did not forgo good wine in the days before its own wine industry developed.

Wine may be portable, but its production is not. Though wine is now made in all 50 states, the quality and characteristics of a wine depend on where it is produced. So while you will have access to a fine Colorado wine if you live in Denver, if you want Chianti it must come from Chianti. The same goes for any other great wine that reflects its origins.

If local wines are not necessarily superior ingredients, other reasons remain to favor them. Certainly, the planet would benefit environmentally if fewer hydrocarbons were burned shipping wine.

But why single wine out? The carbon footprint of shipping wine can certainly be improved (by eliminating heavy status bottles, for one), but environmental fears are not a sufficient moral imperative to stop buying a diversity of wines. It’s an impossible notion for most people anyway. If New York City were to drink nothing but Long Island wine, it might consume the region’s annual production in a week.

Perhaps a better reason for drinking local wines is to help foster a sense of community. When Max Dannis and Linda Gatter opened their restaurant Local 111 almost six years ago in Philmont, N.Y., a former manufacturing town in the Hudson Valley about 40 miles south of Albany, they envisioned a smartly designed gathering place for the town’s eclectic mix of longtime residents and city transplants. They would feature local ingredients and support the local farms. The only ingredient they omitted was local wine.

“We had customers who wanted local wines, so a couple of years ago we made an effort to add them,” Mr. Dannis said. A dozen New York wines are now highlighted on the concise list of 35 bottles, which also includes wines from France, Italy, Spain, California, Australia and Chile.

Mr. Dannis noted that the Hudson-Chatham Winery was a mere five miles away in Ghent. “In terms of our mission, to not have a good restaurant where people can go and drink their wines is a crime,” he said.

Read more at:

Hudson Valley Wine Goddess Debbie Gioquindo on Hudson-Chatham Seyval Blanc Estate Block 1

Monday, May 14, 2012 Hudson-Chatham Seyval Blanc

Another Seyval Blanc to tell you about before the 2011 vintage comes out.

The 2010 Hudson-Chatham Block 1, North Creek Vineyards was Estate Grown and Bottled had a strong nose of citrus.

A palate of soft banana with citrus and lime flavors with a tart finish that jumps out at you and lingers. As the wine warms up a bit the lime flavors become more prominent.

If you notice the color of the wine is a bit more yellowish than I'm use to with this type of varietal. Usually Seyval is more clear with hints of a yellow and a greenish ting. But in any event, the color did not effect the wine. It was what I expected.

Read more at:

Friday, May 11, 2012

Catskill Wine & Cheese Festival Saturday, May 12, 2012

Wine and Cheese Festival
Saugerties Post Star
Posted May 09, 2012 @ 01:33 PM

Saugerties, NY —
The Fortnightly Club of Catskill, a not-for-profit charitable organization of 35 women, will hold its sixth annual wine and cheese festival at the Historic Catskill Point, overlooking the Hudson River.

The event will be held on Saturday May, 12th from 1 to 6 at the Historic Catskill Point, 1 Main St. Catskill NY, in the Freight Masters Building. Admission is $20.00 per person, and can be purchased at the event or from Maholo in Catskill.

“Due to the overwhelming attendance and success of the past years’ events, we moved the gala to the larger venue last year, and found it to be a positive decision”, “the weather no longer becomes a factor because we are able to hold it indoors, but with the doors opening out to the Hudson river, it gives you the feel of being outside”, said event Chair Brenda VanDermark.

The larger facility will allow us to expand the number of wineries and vendors, and offers us plenty of parking for attendees.

“The participating wineries are all from New York State, therefore this is an excellent opportunity to sample the variety and quality of wines our state vintner are producing”, VanDermark said. Wines along with cheeses, oils, and baked goods to name a few, and a large variety of other vendors will be selling their products at the event.

All the proceeds from this event go toward the purchase of the new Elliott Park playground, and the up keep of the Dutchmans Landing playground. The first phase of Elliott Park has arrived and over the next couple of weekends volunteer will be helping to build it.

“The Fortnightly Club is especially appreciative of our local sponsors”, said VanDermark,” they help to make this event a big success”. Some of the 2012 sponsors are, Columbia Memorial Hospital, Urgent Medical Care, Athens Generating, Mid Hudson Cable, Lacy Ford, Catskill Dental Care, The Daily Mail, The CAT 98.5 radio, Hillcrest Press, Mountain T-Shirts, Post Brothers Auto Parts, The Bank of Greene County, Main Care, KOSCO and Big Top Tent Rental. For more information you can contact 518-965-5208

Read more at:

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

The Rieslings of the Hudson Valley

May is Riesling month in New York state. Riesling is certainly one of the wines that people think about when they think of wine from the Empire state. And certainly the Finger Lakes wine region has dominated the landscape when it comes to the German-styled wines so popular throughout the world. But the Hudson Valley has produced numerous award winning Rieslings of its own. So, in that vein, we say, welcome to the valley. Enjoy some Hudson Valley Riesling!

Riesling is a white grape variety which originated in the Rhine region of Germany. Riesling is an aromatic grape variety displaying flowery, almost perfumed, aromas as well as high acidity. It is used to make dry, semi-sweet, sweet and sparkling white wines. Riesling wines are usually varietally pure and are usually made in stainless steel, leaving the fruit bright and pure. As of 2004, Riesling was estimated to be the world's 20th most grown variety with more than 120,000 acres grown worldwide, but is usually included in the "top three" white wine varieties together with Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Riesling is most commonly grown in colder regions and locations.

“Riesling is my favorite white grape because it produces some of the most elegant wines on the planet,” wrote Steven Kolpan, Professor and Chair of Wine Studies at The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park, NY. Steven is co-author of Exploring Wine, which has sold more than 125,000 copies, and James Beard award winner. He is one of the most respected wine writers in the country. “German Riesling is still the benchmark for Riesling, sweet or dry. However, I’m happy to report that there is great Riesling produced in the United States,” Kolpan continued. “Here in the Hudson Valley, a number of wineries, including Whitecliff, Brotherhood, Benmarl, Tousey, Hudson-Chatham, Applewood, Warwick Valley, and Glorie Farms produce Rieslings that are dry to semi-dry (just a touch of sweetness balanced by acidity).”

To Kolpan’s point, a number of Hudson Valley wines were made from Riesling grapes grown in the Finger Lakes or Long Island regions. His was a clarion call to the Hudson Valley to plant Riesling, and claim a stake in one of the world’s great grapes and for the Valley to make it one of its own. Many wineries and vineyard owners have heard the call, and new plantings of Riesling are going in up and down the valley as of this writing.

But you don’t have to wait three or four seasons to taste great Riesling in the Hudson Valley. As Kolpan opined, “several of these Riesling wines are quite good.” The tastingrooms are brimming with dry, off-dry, and semi-sweet Rieslings that are bright, refreshing, and delicious right now!

Some of the notable dry Rieslings from the Hudson Valley include:

Altamont Riesling - Harvested from a young award-winning vineyard in Lodi, NY, this wine is dry and crisp. A youthful abundance of acidity, mixed with flavors of tangerine and green apple.

Brotherhood Dry Riesling - Crisp, dry and racy with grapefruit and pear scents, this Riesling exhibits the ripe fruit flavors and slightly mineral qualities of its fine European relatives.

Hudson-Chatham Riesling - A light, dry, clean, Riesling, with lots of green apple, melon and honeydew in the nose. Green apple comes through big. Fresh fruit, nice acidity, with mineral undertones, and with a hint of citrus at the end. A nice, tart finish. Refreshing and delicious!

Saratoga Dry Riesling - This crisp, dry Riesling features mild flavors of apricot and nectarine leading to lively flavors of citrus and fresh peaches. Pairs nicely with grilled pork, seafood and other light dishes.

Robibero 2009 Dry Riesling – This Silver Medal Winner at the NY Wine & Food Classic has a delightful citrusy nose of pear and grapefruit that leads into green apple and lime flavors on the palate. Dry and crisp with fresh acidity and subtle slate character. A lingering spicy pear finish with a touch of honey.

Here are some very popular Rieslings with a hint of sugar

Amici Riesling - Complex and versatile, contains floral, fruity notes, balanced acidity with light sweetness. This wine is wonderful with a variety of food or enjoyed on it own.

Applewood Riesling - Semi-dry, serve chilled. A whisper of fruit to start, cool and dry at the finish. Perfect with today's Fusion cuisines.

Baldwin Joseph's Vintage - late harvest riesling, named after Pat and Jack Baldwin's grandson. Fruity and delicious!

Benmarl Riesling - This semi-sweet Riesling starts off with notes of lime and orange blossom on the nose. The palate is full of crisp green apple, citrus and pineapple undertones. Light to medium bodied with a soft, clean finish.

Brimstone Hill Riesling - A wonderful sweet 2011 award-winning wine with a great balance. Full of fruit and flowers, it makes a very satisfying dessert wine.

Brotherhood Riesling - Brotherhood’s best selling wine, this beautiful Riesling has delicate floral and lime aromas and full, ripe flavors, off dry and very fruity. Perfectly balanced, with a long clean finish.

Colebrook 2008 Old Vine Riesling - Classic German style riesling with a delicious ending.

El Paso Rielsing - This White Riesling is a classic -- sweet, flowery and fragrant.

Glorie Farm Winery Riesling - Semi-dry. New York State is known for its Riesling. Our version features flavors of green melon, pear and honey. It has a mineral and lemon finish. Are you having Maryland crab cakes tonight?

Robibero 2009 Riesling – This Silver Medal-winner at the NY Wine & Food Classic demonstrates a refreshing peach nose with delicate citrus fruit flavors that dance in the mouth. Peach and apricot fill the palate with a sweetness that lingers through the finish.

Saratoga Semi Dry Riesling- This medium-bodied classic Riesling features the aroma of fresh peaches and lively flavors of citrus. Honey tones expand on the palate for a long lingering finish. An outstanding wine. Enjoy it with grilled chicken, salmon, crab, cheese, and salads.

Tousey Riesling – Sandalwood, apricot and peach delight the nose on this complex estate bottled 201 Riesling. On the palate, weight and a refreshing acidity deliver a lasting finish.

Warwick Valley Riesling - Forward fruit, crispness, and purity are all hallmarks of their Riesling that support its gold medal quality and remarkable ability at the table. Put simply, "it is a wine of quiet and enlightened persuasion and pleasure".

Whitecliff Riesling - The 2009 Riesling won Best White Wine & Double Gold Medal in the San Francicsco International Wine Competition 2010. Always a spring and summertime favorite, their Riesling offers a highly aromatic, semi-dry wine with plenty of acidity to balance out the sweetness.

Riesling is a great food wine. The dry Reislings go great with many of the artisanal cheeses of the Hudson Valley. It goes great with poached fish, lightly done smoked salmon and grilled salmon, as well as seafood, roast chicken, and salads. Off-dry to semi-sweet Rieslings can handle grilled foods, especially fish, chicken, and pork, as well as pair beautifully with Mexican, Chinese, Thai, and other spicy cuisines.

Hudson Valley Wine Goddess Visits Captain Lawrence

Monday, April 30, 2012
Notes From the Tasting Room, Vol. 9
by Debbie Gioquindo, Hudson Valley Wine Goddess

Music Discussion Reaches Its ‘Peak’
Caroline Corley, the voice of Westchester’s popular rock radio station 107.1 The Peak, lives the rock and roll lifestyle, and certainly looks the part—dressed all in black, a jangle of bangles around her neck, wrists and ankles, each with a unique story—as she strides into the Captain Lawrence tasting room.

But while rock and roll and booze have long been passionate bedfellows--like Jagger and Richards, the pair is manic, a bit destructive, and usually pretty productive--Corley goes easy on the potent potables. She prefers small glasses of quality beer, which makes a visit to the tasting room a logical one. The fact that she lives close enough that she could get there in the amount of time it takes a Ramones song--1-2-3-4! to fade-out-- to play on The Peak, makes the jaunt a no brainer too.

“Beers and rock and roll,” Corley says over a barrel. “It’s the formula. That’s what makes good fun.”

That voice, doing the Peak morning show out of White Plains, is a familiar one to anyone in Westchester, and beyond, who listens to rock. Her shtick includes references to the skinny young rock stars she calls her boyfriends, shout-outs to her chocolate lab, Mick Jagger, and reports about concerts around the world from her well situated “spies.”

Corley’s face is familiar too—perhaps never more so than at the annual Pleasantville Music Fest, as she ebulliently introduces the next act. In person, she’s warm and engaging. For someone paid to deliver monologues to the masses each day, Caroline Corley is surprisingly adept at listening.

We sip a pair of Freshchester Pale Ales and discuss, naturally, music. She raves about Jack White (“could fart in a bucket,” she says, and she’d buy the record), thinks the Stones kick the Beatles’ asses, and scrutinizes lyrics the way an English major studies Elizabethan sonnets.

Corley’s tastes in beer run the gamut. She cops to “girl” tastes—light and fruity, such as a Blue Moon White, but digs stout as well. “If it tastes like chocolate,” she says, “I’m in.”

She enjoys the Pale Ale too, and asks for a Family Meal for Round 2. When I return from the bar, Corley is chatting up a couple nearby. As chance would have it, the guy is the general manager at the iconic Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, which will reopen in late summer--decades after a heyday that featured everyone from the Grateful Dead to Pink Floyd to Janis Joplin.

Read the whole thing at: