Hudson River Valley Wineries

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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.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

SARATOGIAN: Upper Hudson Valley Wine Association Applies for Trail Status

Local wine trail proposed, but needs state Legislature's approval
Published: Monday, January 14, 2013

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Plans are in the works for a new wine trail in Saratoga and Washington counties that could be ready by summer 2014.
The project would include about a dozen local sites that belong to the recently formed Upper Hudson Valley Wine & Grape Association.

Organizers are seeking support from local government before going to state officials to get required legislation approved under the state’s Wine Trail Program.
“When you have several of these wineries work together, then you can bring people into an area to spend a weekend,” said Wine & Grape Association President Gerry Barnhardt, who owns Victory View Vineyard in Easton.

Firms in Saratoga County that might join the trail include Saratoga Winery on Route 29, Ledge Rock Hill Winery in Corinth and Johnston’s Winery in Ballston Spa.
“We’ve approached some of the individual towns,” Barnhardt said.

For example, he said Ledge Rock representatives have presented plans to the Corinth Town Board, and the Easton Town Board has already adopted a resolution of support. The Washington County Board of Supervisors is expected to take similar action this week.

Eventually, it’s hoped that Assemblyman Tony Jordan, R-Jackson, and state Sen. Betty Little, R-Glens Falls, will introduce bills in the Legislature. State approval is needed because the Wine Trail Program is administered by the state Department of Transportation, which puts up signs directing travelers to various wineries.
There are already several other New York wine trails in places such as the Finger Lakes and eastern Long Island. It’s possible that a measure could be introduced and passed during the current legislative session that ends in June. However, Barnhardt said, “It wouldn’t surprise me at all if it takes until next year. Sometimes it takes a while for bills to get through the Legislature.”

A bill approved next year would make the wine trail ready for use in 2014.
Barnhardt said two main factors have recently made Saratoga and Washington counties attractive to vintners.

The first is the availability of land. Several vineyards are located on former dairy farms.
Also, the University of Minnesota and Cornell University have developed new cold-hardy, northern grapes that are suitable for this climate.

Joseph Messina, owner of Amorici Vineyard in Valley Falls, said there’s a distinct advantage to doing business in the Upper Hudson region.
“Logistically, it’s closer to New York City and the densely populated Hudson Valley than the Finger Lakes,” he said.

However, the weather can be more challenging. Unusual late-summer hurricanes in the past two years brought huge amounts of rain that can cause fungal disease among plants.
“The Finger Lakes didn’t get that,” Messina said.

He presented several of his wines to teams of college chefs last week at the American Culinary Federation’s second annual Conference and Competition at Skidmore College.
“Everybody likes a different wine,” Messina said. “That’s what makes the world go ’round.”

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