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.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Hudson Valley Grape School 2013

So, a few weeks ago Hudson Valley winemakers attended the Hudson Valley Grape School and Hudson Valley Wine and Grape Association meetings in Kingston, NY.

The Cornell folks were on hand for the first round of meetings. With Both Viticulture 2013 and Eastern Wineries Exposition sandwiched on either side, the course work was light this year.

But the HVWGA had a spirited meeting, discussing many regional winemaking issues, as well as starting several new quality improvement initiatives, etc. It was a very good meeting where a number of people aired their concerns.

Afterwards we tasted some experimental wines from crops being grown at the Hudson Valley Lab as well as at Nine Partners. The wines were all made by Bruce Tripp who is also the winemaker at Tousey with Ben Peacock. These experimental vineyards are important, because they allow winemakers to find out if certain crops can make it in the valley and what the techniques and programs are that will help them make the next new steps in viticulture in the valley.

The Nine Partners Naked Chardonnay 2011 was excellent. Bright with big green apple and a nice citrusy ending. A very, very nice unoaked Chardonnay. Shows again how well Chardonnay does here in the valley. 
The Hudson Valley Lab Sauvignon Blanc 2011 was a shock! Sauvignon Blanc in the Hudson Valley? Maybe! It was bright, and citrusy. Nice mineral quality to it. Extremely nice.
Another Favorite was the Nine Partners Vignoles 2011. This was a real surprise to me, Very nice, bright fruit. It was not a white grape I would think would do well here, but it was lovely. The Nine Partners Traminette 2011 was also very aromatic and lovely, as well.

A small, short but very good meeting. Things are progressing in the Hudson Valley.

Capital Living Magazine Highlights Comb Distilling

In their most recent issue, Capital Living magazine highlighted two new distilled products from Comb Distilling. Their two products Comb Vodka and Comb 9 Gin, both made from honey.
Great stuff!

Hudson Bershire Wine & Food Festival May 25 & 26, 2013

Hudson Berkshire Wine & Food Festival



MAY 25 & 26, 2013

Columbia County Fairgrounds

Route 66

Chatham, New York



The Hudson Berkshire Wine & Food Festival is an exciting culinary event, marrying the best aspects of the Hudson Valley and Berkshire Mountains. The rich fabric of the countryside is home to artisanal bakers and cheese makers, numerous CSAs, organic meats and vegetables, small and large family owned farms, and a host of other small artisnal food producers. The region is also host to a number of wineries, distilleries, and craft brewers.
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The festivals will feature delicious food products, wine, beers, and spirits tastings, as well as cooking demonstrations and other activities to celebrate the culinary diversity of the valley and the Berkshires.



Read more at:

Fred Tregaskis Raves About Hudson-Chatham Empire 2010 on WHDD/NRP


Fred Tregaskis is the Host at Wine-Jazz, The perfect pairing, in Hartford, Connecticut
He is the owner of  New England Wine Cellars, and writes about wine for Berkshire Home Style. He is the host on WHDD/NPR radio of Wine-Jazz, The perfect pairing. He recently interviewed Dominique about Hudson-Chatham Empire 2010.

He's something first about Fred....
"It might seem a stretch to jump from the visual arts to writing about wine, but his interest in wine is longstanding," reported the Litchfield County Times. "He explained that he was raised in New York state, where “I went to college on an art scholarship. But I needed more money, so I went to work in a vineyard for one of the early vintners in the Hudson River Valley. It was wine-making 101, and I remember sitting on a tractor on a hillside at 7 o’clock one morning, watching the sun come up over a field of seyval vines. [They] gave me a little sip of wine to get my heart into the project. I thought, ‘I like this farming.’”

"As a young artist, he made ends meet by moonlighting as a bartender, where he learned more about wines. “I was given a lot of wines to taste,” he related, “and I knew a lot of sommeliers in New York. So when I tried out for the job as a taster and writer for the magazine, I described the taste of one wine as ‘a ’57 Chevy patching out at a stop light.’ They loved it because they wanted descriptions of wines that people would relate to, not the kind of thing you usually see in wine terminology. I got to write the silliest things, but I loved it.”

He rode the crest of the rising popularity for wine in the 1990s. “Wine was hugely popular,” he recalled. “Australian wines were coming on the stage and the Chilean stuff was happening. The South African embargo had been lifted. The wine world was exploding and it was great to ride that wave.”

It was shortly after he departed from the wine magazine that, while talking to a sommelier friend, he was asked to recommend someone who could design and build a 28,000-bottle wine cellar for the Lespinasse Restaurant at the St. Regis Hotel in New York City. “I grew up working with my hands, so I decided I could do it,” he said. “I did a drawing and put in a bid and got the job.”

While interviewing co-owner Dominique DeVito, Fred tasted the Hudson-Chatham Empire 2010 on air. Empire is the first New York state super-blend, combining 33% Merlot from the North Fork, 33% Cab Franc from the Finger Lakes, and 33% Baco Noir from the Hudson Valley. The wines are made separately, then combined, and aged in small separate lots of French oak, American oak, and stainless steel. And then the wines, after a total of 24 months are blended and bottle aged for six months. This produces a Bordeaux-styled wine with incredible complexity and tremendous, long lasting flavors that can be drunk now or aged for 5-7 years.

Oak Summit Rose' 2013

John Bruno is one of the most well traveled, elegant, and irascible men I have ever men. When I say irascible he is a scoundrel in jeans, a jacket with a crest, a beard, and a wry smile and a sharp wit. He is one of my favorite characters in the Hudson Valley, and one I do not get to spend enough time with, much to my own regret.

That said, John is a fanatical farmers in the valley, and he tends his Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Cabernet Franc like a jealous hen. And he makes one of the best Pinot Noirs in the state. Period.

So it was a great thrill recently when I saw John and his wife, Nancy. Great folks!

John makes only Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, so it was a shock, at the end of the grape school day, that John pulled one of his familiar bottles out of a bag, only for it to say Oak Summit Rose'!

The wine was wonderful. A light red dry wine with lots of light cherry and strawberry fruit and a touch a kiwi with some slate and a nice dry, smooth finish!

A lovely, lovely wine....but then what should have I expected of John?!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Hudson Valley Makes It An Even Dozen Medals at IEWC 2013!

Hudson Valley Makes It An Even Dozen Medals at IEWC 2013!
2013 International Eastern Wine Competition results are in! Baldwin Vineyards, Brotherhood Winery, Hudson-Chatham Winery, and Ledge Rock Hill Winery all brought the bling to the Hudson Valley!
The International Eastern Wine Competition (IEWC) is one of the oldest and largest professional wine competitions in the United States.  Entries are available to wineries produced in the Eastern and Midwestern regions of the United States and eastern Canada, making a truly regional affair.  IEWC is judged by knowledgeable wine professionals and media from the east, Midwest and beyond. This event includes the Riesling Championship, which honors the best Riesling of the competition.
Wines produced in the following states and provinces are eligible: AL, AR, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MANITOBA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NOVA SCOTIA, NY, OH, OK, ONTARIO, PA, QUEBEC, RI, SASKETCHEWAN, SC, SD, TN, TX, VA, VT, WI, WV, WY.

Baldwin Vineyards
NV Baldwin Vineyards Raspberry Wine New York (State Appellation) $20.00 Gold
NV Baldwin Vineyards Trilogy New York (State Appellation) $20.00 Silver
NV Baldwin Vineyards Strawberry Wine New York $16.00 Silver

Brotherhood, America's Oldest Winery
2011 Brotherhood, America's Oldest Winery Riesling New York $9.99 Bronze
2010 Brotherhood, America's Oldest Winery Cabernet Sauvignon New York $14.99 Bronze
NV Brotherhood, America's Oldest Winery Blanc de Blancs New York $10.99 Silver
NV Brotherhood, America's Oldest Winery Carpe Diem American $12.99 Silver
2011 Brotherhood, America's Oldest Winery Dry Riesling $9.99 Silver
2011 Brotherhood, America's Oldest Winery Pinot Noir $14.99 Silver

Hudson-Chatham Winery
2011 Hudson-Chatham Leon Millot New York, Hudson River Region Barrel Aged $21.95 Bronze
2010 Hudson-Chatham Empire Reserve Red New York Reserve $21.95 Silver

Ledge Rock Hill Winery
2011 Ledge Rock Hill Winery Marquette Finger Lakes Winemaker's Release $25.00 Bronze

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Warwick Valley Doc's Draft Pumpkin Hard Apple Cider (NY)

Warwick Valley winery and Distillery is located in Warwick, NY, and is one of the Hudson Valley's premiere cider makers. Their apple and pear and raspberry ciders are staples inmost package stores in more than 10 states!
This past fall, they made a Pumpkin Hard Apple Cider. This was a seasonal cider made with roasted pumpkins, cinnamon, allspice, fresh ginger and nutmeg. Alcohol was around 5%.
Thi was an interesting entry into the whole pumpkin ale scene that seems to explode every year, expanding faster than my waistline.
But I thought this was a good addition to this genre. The cider still had a tremendous tart apple taste, so it was absolutely cider. But the addition of the pumpkin, ginger and nutmeg, definitely layered in the pumpkin in a lovely way. Instead of the flavors competing, they melded into a pumpkin pie kind of feel, with a smooth, almost creamy after taste.
I was prepared not to like this cider, but I must say that this was a terrific entry into the cider world. I enjoyed it so much, I bought a bunch and just recently enjoyed one during the Super Bowl.
It's tremendous, enjoy!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Warwick Valley Cabernet Franc 2010

Warwick Valley Winery and Distillery are located near the bottom of the Hudson Valley an west, up in Warwick, NY. The tastingroom is located on a crooked country road lined with stone walls and small houses, just up a pace from the flat, black dirt fields that make this region famous for growing corn, onions, and potatoes in some of the most fertile soil on the east coast.

Warwick is one of the biggest operating wineries in the Hudson Valley, but is more well-known for their stellar ciders and specialty distilled products.
This wine is made from 100% Cabernet Franc.  The wine is fermented in stainless steel and then aged for six months on oak barrels. The result is a fruit forward, medium bodied red wine, that is soft on the palate. It has subtle hints, as promised, of black currant and black cherry with slight hints of vanilla and spice…maybe a hint of leather? This is a lovely, drinkable red.

Monday, February 11, 2013



Hudson Chatham Empire Red Reserve 2010
Why Wine Blog
Saturday, February 9, 2013

About a week ago I received a nice package from the Hudson-Chatham Winery in Ghent, NY.  The Hudson-Chatham Winery is the dream of Carlo and Dominique DeVito, both publishing professionals who have long shared a
of wine. This exciting new winery, which specializes in small hand-made batches of wine, is dedicated to the richness of the Hudson River Valley, particularly its wine, agriculture, literature, art, history, and many other attractions that make it a rich and special region. The Hudson-Chatham Winery, located  between the historic towns of Hudson and Chatham, is the first winery in Columbia County.

The package contained three Hudson-Chatham wines.  A 2011 Old Vines Baco Noir, a 2011 Baco Noir Reserve and a 2010 Empire Reserve Red Table Wine.

About two years ago, I reviewed the 2009 Old Vines Baco Noir and I'm very excited about tasting Carlo's latest release, but I am going to hold my excitement until we return from Florida in early March. The Empire Red, though, is being opened before our trip with a dinner of chicken breast filets done in a sauce of cider, cinnamon, nutmeg, corn starch, bouillon and apple slices served with fresh green beans and black rice.  The Empire Red is a blend of 33% Hudson Valley Baco Noir, 33% Finger Lakes Cabernet Franc and 33% Long Island Merlot.
Very fruit forward aromas of black cherry and currant with a little earthy like herbal and hints of vanilla added on the palate. Finish was mid range, smooth with dark fruit and herbs.  A very nice wine to sip on it's own, but really showed off with dinner. Will do very well with grilled meats and Italian sauces or cheese filled manicotti.

Read the who thing at:

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Crossroads Brewing Company in Athens, NY

Crossroads Brewing Company opened in October 2010 with a 7 barrel brew house and a small tasting room. Today there is a pub and restaurant right inside the historic Opera House that is home to the brewery. The unique building is once again the pride of the village of Athens, just as it was in 1893. Owners Ken Landin and Janine Bennett are excited to bring you the best of what the region has to offer in great craft beer and farm fresh food in a beautiful, friendly setting.
Head Brewer Hutch Kugeman brews quality craft ales. They have some basic brews (wheat, IPA, brown ale, etc.) and you'll always find something new to try with seasonal and specialty ales also being rotated through their taps.
Executive Chef Paul Parillo has created a delicious menu featuring meats, produce and cheeses from farms from throughout the local Hudson Valley area. The food was excellent. I had the meatloaf and the macaroni and cheese. Fantastic! 


I liked the cream ale (something I haven't had in years...and this is no commercial brew....crafted, delicious), liked the Red Ale, and my favorite was the Black Rock Stout.

Aside from the stout my other favorite was the Wee Heavy, a deep, dark Scotch Ale that was really tasty!

Crosssroads has already garnered excellent attention from the press, and continues to get rave reviews.

Around the brewery and pub and restaurant are historical photographs of Athens and Catskills, which add a lot of interest and fascinating viewpoints on the history of the village.

Go, this is a fun place. They have live music often, and great beer and food!

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Wine Radio Interviews Linda Pierro and Bob Bedford of Hudson Valley Magazine

Recently, Linda Pierro and Bob Bedford, the publishers of HUDSON VALLEY WINE magazine were interviewed on the radio. Here’s a great introduction to Hudson Valley wine and everything that’s going on in the valley.

HUDSON VALLEY WINE magazine is an oversized, full-color publication that promotes the wines and wineries of the Hudson Valley region – home to almost 30 wineries and the oldest and largest producing region in the nation. It is distributed twice a year, free of charge, and best of all it is printed on 100% recycled paper and made right here, in the Hudson Valley.

Their goal is to connect consumers to the world of locally-crafted wine, by offering an insider’s view to the people and the stories behind the wines and to encourage visits to the wineries. Linda and Bob are committed to promoting agri-tourism, environmental sustainability, and to supporting local business enterprises and the arts communities.

Enjoy the interview!