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.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Peace Vodka from Catskill Distilling

Monte Sachs is the mater distiller at Catskill Distilling. He’s passionate about two things – chemistry and distilling. And he believes that local ingredients make the difference in quality and taste.

Located moments from the site of the original Woodstock Music Festival (now Bethel Woods Center for the Performing Arts), the Catskill Distilling Company honors the rich history of the Sullivan County Catskills – a unique blend of tradition and revolution.

According to, "Over three decades ago, Monte Sachs — Catskill Distilling Company’s founder and distiller — attended veterinary school at the University of Pisa in Italy. After class each day, Sachs would meet with an Italian farmer named Bernardini, who taught Sachs how to distill grappa."

“He taught me about the importance of sourcing quality ingredients from small farms and about how the shape and size of a still is reflected in the weight and mouthfeel of the spirits,” says Sachs.

The Catskill Distilling Company’s inaugural bottle, Peace Vodka, is a wheat vodka distinctive for both its complexity and refinement. A delicate balance that reminds you why smaller is better and that there is no substitute for passion

The water is from the Catskill Mountains, and the grains, purchased at a nearby mill, are returned as mash to a nearby farm to feed a herd of red stag. From the locally-grown grains to fruit from local orchards and botanicals grown on site, the Catskill Distillery embodies the spirit of the farm distillery and demonstrates a strong commitment to the local agricultural community.

The custom-made copper stills, the work of master European craftsmen, were designed to accommodate a variety of distillation techniques. They are a work of art that serve as the backdrop to the tasting room at the Catskill Distillery.

According the the notes from Astors Wines & Spirits, “This brand new vodka is loaded with delicious aromas and flavors. That’s right, vodka with flavor and aroma!! And don’t get me wrong this is not a flavored product, or some anonymous harsh ethyl alcohol pumped off of a grey factory line, just plain old vodka made in small batches at a small distillery on a farm in the Catskills. The local New York wheat used for Peace produces a spirit that is simultaneously complex and refined. Multiple passes on the nose reveal new surprises of aroma including, sweet cream butter, soft caramel, pure vanilla bean, and baking bread. You will be highly delighted to find all these flavors intact on the palate wrapped up in an impossibly smooth and luscious mouth-feel that’s as close to liquid silk as I’ve ever come across. So good, everybody should try this. An eye-opening bottle”

It’s a very, very good vodka….and I highly recommend it!


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