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.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Shawangunk Around the World June 8 and 9, 2013

Shawangunk's Two Day Ticket allows you to spend a full weekend soaking up the flavor of 14 different countries and 14 different wineries. Travel the world armed with a passport as your tasting ticket into each country. Sample tapas size portions of wonderful foods from 14 different countries paired with regional handcrafted wines. Don't spend a fortune to travel the world when you have the chance to experience the culture and flavor right here in the valley!

Reserve early as this popular event sells out!

Participating Wineries:
Baldwin Vineyards
Brotherhood Winery
Brimstone Hill Winery
Warwick Valley Winery
Adair Vineyards
Applewood Winery
Benmarl Winery
Glorie Farm Winery
Palaia Vineyards
Robibero Winery
Stoutridge Vineyard
Whitecliff Vineyard
Demarest Hill Winery
Clearview Vineyards

Here's some photo from previous years:

To buy tickets go to:

Albany Times Union: Chad Polenz on Leading a Beer Tasting at a Wine Festival in the Hudson Valley

This is an abbreviated version of Chad's post. For tasting notes, you'll need to read the entire thing at the URL below! - C. DeVito

Beer Nut
By George de Piro, Ben Harris and Chad Polenz
Hosting a beer tasting panel… at a wine festival
Tuesday, May 28, 2013 by:Chad Polenz
Albany Times-Union

If you know me you know I’m a beer guy, not a wine guy. So I was pretty surprised when I was asked to host a beer tasting panel at the Hudson Berkshire Wine and Food Festival on Sunday, May 26 (Ben was invited too, but he was out of town). When I first received the invitation from Carlo De Vito, the head organizer of the event, I panicked a little. I’ve never done any presentations for a live audience and it’s been about 15 years since my last Public Speaking 101 class. He assured me it would be a casual, friendly crowd who just wanted to try some good local beer and I had nothing to be anxious about.

Carlo and I spent a few days trying to come up with a selection of beers from breweries located in the Hudson Valley and Berkshires. We wanted to exhibit dark and light beers, as well as showcase as many breweries as possible. Trying to narrow down the list down to only one beer per brewery was quite a challenge. I gave Carlo a ridiculously long list of beers to procure, and he was able to come through with some pretty good ones.

“Chad’s Weeknight Wheat” (my homebrewed hefeweizen)

Barrington Brewery’s “Not Your Father’s Dortmunder”

Brown’s Pale Ale

Discussing Captain Lawrence Brewing’s “Captain’s Reserve Imperial IPA” with the audience.
Captain Lawrence Brewing’s “Captain’s Reserve Imperial IPA”

Chatham Brewing’s “Maple Amber”

Crossroads Brewing’s “Black Rock Stout”

While six beers may not sound like a lot, I think we were able to demonstrate what craft beer is all about and what breweries in this region are doing. I would have preferred to include a few more beers among the panel, but time was limited. It was fun interacting with people and answering their questions about beer. I’d imagine these are the perks professional brewers get to deal with often.

I was also pleasantly surprised by the casual and relaxed atmosphere. I’d never been to a wine festival before, so I was expecting clientele from that Paul Giamatti movie “Sideways.” Fortunately, it was everyday people who just wanted to try some good food and drinks. After my discussion ended I checked out the entire festival. I tried quite a few wines and found some that were tasty, but none that I enjoyed as much as beer (though there was a pumpkin wine I liked enough to consider buying). I had a similar reaction to the mead and the distilled spirits that I sampled; they were good, but I don’t feel the need to drink them more often.

I’m already looking forward to next year and have plenty of ideas on how we can improve it. Thanks to everyone that came out. I’ll see you in 2014!

To read the whole thing:

Hudson Valley Suds & Cider Festival June 8, 2013

Hudson Valley Suds & Cider Festival 2013

Featuring the Craft Breweries and Cideries of the Hudson Valley and New York. The first ever event of it's kind combining the synergy of the craft cider and beer revival in the Hudson Valley. You'll get a free logo tasting glass with 2 OZ pour line, Live Music, Tasting of over 40 beers and ciders. Free tasting in our wine tasting room.  Food available for purchase from the Cider Cafe Eddies Road House and Brians Backyard BBQ  No outside food or beverages permitted. Meet with the Cider and Brewmasters. Participating Cideries: Naked Flock, Pennings Farm, Aaron Burr, Breezy Hill Orchards, Breweries: Keegan Ales, Newburgh Brewery, Rushing Duck, Peekskill Brewery, Sloop, Warwick Valley Winery, Crossroads Brewery, Defiant, Bronx, Browns, Six Point,Yard Owl, Blue Point, Greenport and Yonkers.  Over 40 Ciders, Beers and WInes to taste. Tickets are $40 in advance $50 at the door if available.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Hudson Berkshire Wine & Food Festival 2013 A Success!

Josephine Proul from Local 11
The Hudson Berkshire Beverage Trail hosted the first major wine festival of the season over the Memorial Day weekend in hosting their wine and food festival at the Columbia County Fairgrounds Saturday and Sunday. It was the first festival that featured wines, beers, and spirits from New York and Massachusetts. It was largely made possible by Governor Cuomo's legislative shove resulting from the Wine, Beers, and Spirits Summit in 2012. 

Fred LeBrun of the Albany Times-Union

The festival was a major success drawing thousands of people from as far away as Boston
and New York, as well as Connecticut and New Jersey, and was jammed packed despite soggy, torrential rains.

CIA Trained Chef Mike Castellano
Seminars were well attended with everything from cooking classes and demonstrations by local well known chefs, as well as beer and wine seminars. Speakers included Fed LeBrun, The World Wine Guys, and Chad Polenz.

Read the review from THE REGISTER STAR of the wine festival:

Tarot by Prudence

Festival Goers Sarah and Sal Robles

The World Wine Guys Mike DeSimone and Jeff Jensen of Wine Enthusiast, and a author of THE FIRE ISLAND COOK BOOK and THE COMPLETE WINES OF THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE.

Chad Polenz, of Chad's Beer Reviews and the Albany Times-Union

A great time was had by all. See you all next year May 24 and 25, 2014!!!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Regsiter Star: Hudson Berkshire Wine & Food Festival 2013 a Hit!

Food and wine fest a hit despite deluge
Posted: Sunday, May 26, 2013 12:30 am
By John Mason
Hudson-Catskill Newspapers 

CHATHAM — A wine-and-food festival? Perfect for a nice, sunny day. That’s not what they got Saturday at the Columbia County Fairgrounds, but despite the incessant rain, the first-ever Hudson-Berkshire Wine & Food Festival was packed.

It was just the first of two days, but some vendors were already nearly sold out, said organizer Dominique Devito of the Hudson-Chatham Winery, one of the sponsors. The event was scheduled to continue from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today.

It has the advantage, for a rainy day, of being set in two buildings, so except for the walk to the car, you can stay dry.

Karen Gardy, director of the Hudson-Berkshire Beverage Trail, said the festival was three years in the making. It was only possible after Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s summit on beer, wine and spirits in November. At that time, the rule that prohibited beer and spirits producers from selling their products off-site was lifted.

“For the distillery, this is a new thing for me,” said Derek Grout, owner-operator of Harvest Spirits Farm Distillery at Golden Harvest Farm in Valatie. In the past, he said, he could advertise his product by having a table at a festival. “Now, instead of just spending my time and spirits, I can recoup some of my costs.”

Grout said the festival exceeded his expectations, “not just by the number of people, but the quality of the people. Everyone appreciates wine; many are buying bottles to take home.”

Grout said he’ll take apple jack, which drinks like whiskey, to a party, but his favorite of his beverages is the pear brandy, which takes more of an education. The peach jack, he said, was a runaway hit Saturday.

For those whose temptation is chocolate, Hoosick Falls had let Mark Shaw escape for a day with his chocolate pizza slices flavored with such combinations as bacon, potato chips and cheddar, and chipotle, black pepper and cinnamon. Another pie, flavored with key lime, chipotle and lemon zest, took second place out of 1,000 vendors at the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Show in Orlando in September.

Shaw is a truck driver who began making chocolates as holiday gifts, then people started reordering.

The promoters of Saturday’s festival were outstanding to work with, he said. The event started slow, then took off. He was also at last weekend’s Classic Car and Motorcycle Show in Hudson, which was much slower, he said.

Ben Peacock and Kimberly Tousey own and operate Tousey Wineries on Route 9 in Clermont. Kimberly’s father, Ray, started the business with a Cassio black currant wine in 2007; Ben and Kimberly took over the management in 2010.

In their vineyard south of the Rip Van Winkle Bridge on the Hudson, they grow Riesling, Chardonnay and pinot noir grapes. They have a new facility with a tasting room, and are becoming recognized. Peacock said he believes their Riesling is the only Riesling made from 100 percent Hudson Valley grapes.

The pinot noir, which will be bottled in July, is “well sought after, known as a great pinot noir,” he said.

Tousey will not hold its Riesling exclusivity long; Doug Glorie, of Glorie Winery in Marlboro, Ulster County, is harvesting his first crop of Rieslings this year. He also grows seyval blancs and cabernet francs on seven acres.

Asked which is his favorite among the Glorie wines, he said cabernet franc, because he’s a dry wine drinker. But the Candy Ass Red pays the bills, he said, as easily evidenced by the parade of people coming up for tastes of it.

Demonstrating the variety of palate pleasers on hand were the crew from Grandpa Pete’s Gourmet Tomato Sauce of Catskill, offering samples of four kinds of sauce. Charlie Serro said his father, Pete, used to come up to the family’s business, Pollace’s Resort, and make his spaghetti sauce.

After Pete passed on, the kids wanted the sauces to keep going, Serro said, so they began jarring them five years ago. They’re gluten-free and use all-natural, high-end ingredients, with recipes from his grandmother.

Scott Craumer, a brewer for Barrington Brewery out of Great Barrington, was moving constantly: he said he wouldn’t be able to eat till it was over.

“We’ve had lots of sales today,” he said. “I’m actually surprised.” They have several variietes of craft beer, such as a Northern England farmer’s ale, that’s a little sweeter, he said, a Dortmunder German lager, a stout. They get their hops from Germany, England, France, the Northwest, and they grow enough for four to five batches.

All their grain for the farmer’s ale comes from Maine, Craumer said.

The Chatham Brewery is hoping to increase the amount of hops it gets from the dozen or so local growers, said co-owner Tom Crowell. Gov. Cuomo is instituting incentives for brewers to buy from local growers.

The brewery will be expanding in a major way this summer, increasing its output seven-to-10-fold, Crowell said. They’re getting the plumbing set up at their new location, 59 Main St., the site of the former Mini-Chopper, dollar store and ice creamery. Meanwhile, most of their brewing is being done at their old location at the other end of the block.

“We haven’t been able to meet the demand or take on new accounts for awhile now,” he said. “The microbrewery sector is seeing 16-to-20 percent growth; we’ve been doing 25-to-30.”

He, co-owner Jake Cunningham and brewer Matt Perry expect to hire three or four new people in the coming expansion. They’ve gotten good support from the Columbia Economic Development Corporation, Crowell said.

Not to be forgotten among the beverages on tap this weekend is Peter Voelker’s mead. He owns Helderberg Meadworks in Duanesburg.

Mead, he said, is the world’s oldest beverage, starting 7,000 years ago with the Chinese. The Vikings popularized it in Europe.

“I make it with honey and I age it with oak,” he said. Voelker uses different kinds of oak. A barrel that’s been more charred might give a sharper taste, he said, and a less charred barrel might have more complexity.

He’d been making mead for himself for 10 years before he set the Meadworks up eight years ago.

“I always wondered why I couldn’t find anything like this in a store,” he said. “I did it because I love it.”

Louise Roback had been practicing law for a quarter of a century before she decided to follow her heart and become a full-time baker in March. Now she operates Fresh Start Bakehouse in Stuyvesant. She apprenticed to some “fabulous bakers” in San Antonio, Texas, she said, and now she’s baking out of her home, and selling her wares at the Chatham farmers market at 59 Main St., the New Lebanon and Coxsackie farmers markets, and is hoping to place her desserts in restaurants and stores like the Chatham Real Foods Market.

She said she likes to make fruit pastries that are not overly sweet, so the flavor of the fruit is allowed to come through, such as her fig bar with raspberry preserves.

She likes to use not so much sugar in her pecan pie, but will add a good chocolate. She buys cacaoberry chocolate and currants in large quantities.

But she’s proudest, she said, of her frangipane tart, which she called “very delicious.”

Gardy said the day was “very successful. It’s a very enthusiastic crowd of folks. It’s a wonderful weekend. I am enthused beyond belief.”


To reach reporter John Mason, call 518-828-1616, ext. 2500, or e-mail


Friday, May 24, 2013

Hudson Berkshire Wine & Food Festival 2013 Announces Schedule of Cooking Demos and Tastings

The Hudson Berkshire Wine & Food Festival 2013


Saturday, 5/25
11-12 - Josephine Proul, Executive Chef, Local 111, Philmont, NY. Chef Proul will be demonstrating how to make chilled goat cheese & herb cream with arugula, crispy kielbasa, dill vinaigrette, and toasted almonds. With beverage pairing suggestions.
12-1 - Fred LeBrun, will talk about local winemaking in and around the Hudson Berkshire region and discuss winemaking in New York. Fred Lebrun has been the metro columnist for the Albany Times Union for 45 years. He has been a wine judge since the early 70's and the renaissance of the New York wine industry. Mr. Lebrun judges annual wine competitions in NY. OR. CA,IN, MA and this year OH. 
1-3 - Roger Savoy of Homebrew Emporium will discuss home brewing and cheesemaking. the Homebrew Emporium in Rensselaer, NY is one of the nation's original homebrew suppliers. Now with four locations, the Homebrew Emporium group is America's largest homebrew chain. Each location is open seven days a week and 359 days a year.

3-4 - Matt Scott, owner of Twin Maple Farm and Pampered Cow in Ghent, NY, will discuss Hudson Valley Cheeses and Cheesemaking: the growth and viability of local creameries, and what pairs best with the variety of offerings.






Sunday , 5/26
11-12 - Mike Castellano, a CIA-trained chef as well as the owner of Kinderhook Wine & Spirits, will demonstrate how to make asparagus grilled with mozzarella and prosciutto. With beverage pairing suggestions.
12-1 - Prudence Theriault, a local psychic, will speak on Tapping Into Tarot. Prudence is a Certified Tarot Master/Instructor. She is the host of TV Tarot, and writes a column for the Columbia insider.
1-2 - Chad Polenz will do a local beer tasting. Chad is a Capital District native who started Chad'z Beer Reviews in 2008.
2-3 - The World Wine Guys will be on hand, talking about Wine Tourism: Drinking Wine In The Land Where The Grape Was Grown, including how to get the most out of visiting wine regions, what to do, what to eat, and what to see. Tasting of local wines. Authors of THE COMPLETE WINES OF THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE and THE FIRE ISLAND COOKBOOK.

3-4 -That's Different Chocolates- Mark Shaw is a truck driver turned chocolatier. He will be relaying his story, and talking about how the wild chocolate combos came to life. Some of his new wine pairing chocolates  now make include Cinnamon-Apple, Pomegranate/Tangerine/Cranberry, Chablis/Wintergreen, and even a Keylime/Chipotle/Lemon Zest.