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 12, 2013

Register Star Raves About Rip Van Winkle Wine & Cheese Festival 2013

In good spirits
Sam Daleo (right), of Hurley, samples the brandies of Harvest Spirits from Valatie. The award-winning distillery, with spirits like Cornelius Applejack, Core Vodka and Pear Brandy, was a big hit at the Rip Van Winkle Wine & Cheese Festival. (Kyle Adams/Hudson-Catskill Newspapers)
In Good Spirits
Posted: Sunday, May 12, 2013 12:30 am
By Kyle Adams
Hudson-Catskill Newspapers  

CATSKILL — Renee and John Peckovitch were pleasantly surprised Saturday afternoon as they sampled a Riesling from Clermont’s Tousey Winery at Catskill’s seventh annual Rip Van Winkle Wine & Cheese Festival.

The Catskill residents, like many of the more than 500 guests packed into the Freightmasters Building at the Historic Catskill Point, were discovering Tousey for the first time. 

“It’s nice to find out that there are local wineries we didn’t even know about,” said Renee. “These guys are right across the river.” 

Kimberly Peacock of Tousey, who was serving up the samples with plenty of info and advice to a never-ending line of patrons, said events like this are good exposure for local wineries. 

“I think a lot of people go away on vacation and visit a winery but maybe don’t even know their neighboring destinations,” she said. 

The more than 40 vendors at the festival included 10 Hudson Valley-based wineries like Tousey and the Hudson Chatham Winery, as well as the Cask and Rasher brewery out of Coxsackie and Valatie’s Harvest Spirits distillery, which offered various brandies and vodka. There were also about 10 food vendors, from cheese and honey to cupcakes and sauces, as well as a variety of handcrafted goods — jewelry, tote bags, goat milk soap, candles, shoes and so on. 

“I think we’ve had the largest number of vendors ever and I think we’ve had the largest crowd so far ever,” said Teri Weiss, co-chair of the festival and member of the Fortnightly Club of Catskill, which hosted the event. “We did exceptionally well this year. Our local sponsors have been amazing.” 

One hundred percent of the proceeds from the event benefit Catskill’s parks, said Weiss. Last year’s event raised about $10,000 she said, and this year they’d raised that before even counting ticket sales. 

Money from previous years had been used to re-construct the playground at Elliott Park. This year, she said, they’re planning to finish Elliott Park, replace some equipment at Dutchmen’s Landing, and possibly build an outdoor gym for adults with walking paths and basic equipment like chin-up bars. 

Throughout the day, local musicians volunteered their time and talents to entertain guests as they perused the handmade goods and sampled the spirits. 

Weiss said the festival has come a long way from its humble beginnings with about two wineries at the Beattie-Powers Place. 

“It’s just taken off,” she said. “It’s growing, it’s getting a great reputation.” 

Raj and Minni Sharma, of Monroe, N.J., were taking a leisurely drive through the Hudson Valley when they found themselves at the festival, and in Catskill for the first time. 

“It’s a great event,” said Raj. “People should come out and support local farmers and manufacturers. We’ve got to support our local producers.” 

Weiss noted that the event, which is held the Saturday before Mother’s Day every year, is a great way to treat mom to a special day or find a gift. 

“You can eat, drink and shop all at once,” she said. “Nothing’s better.” 


To reach reporter Kyle Adams, call 518-943-2100, ext. 3323, or email

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