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 hudsonriverwine@yahoo.com

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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. https://carlodevito.wordpress.com/

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Benmarl's Wines Just Keep Getting Better!!!

 
Benmarl is the original farm winery, licensed no. 1 in New York State. Mark Miller, the owner and founder of Benmarl (along with Ben Feder of Clinton Vineyards and John Dyson, now owner of Millbrook) helped create the farm winery bill in New York state.
 
When I first tried Benmarl Baco Noir it was a revelation for me. Fantastic! But Benmarl, in recent years, has gone through a very healthy and big transition, moving forward to vinifera such as Cab Franc. And in their push forward they've begun to adapt the model of blending, which I personally think is so smart.
 
There's two blends here, I think worth mentioning. First is Slate Hill White 2010, which is a lovely, bright, zippy white. The previous vintage of this wine was Chardonnay (65%), Riesling (30%) and Traminette (5%). I am assuming the blend ratio isn't that much different this time around.
 
Green apple, Bosc pear, and tropical fruit come through. A nice dose of lemon on the back end. A dry crisp finish. Lovely!!!!

 
Now I am not much for medals, but the Benmarl Proprietor's Reseve 2010 won a gold medal at the 2013 Finger Lakes Wine Competition! That's beating the big boys in New York. I have to say, I tasted this wine in March and I was astounded. This is a blend of 82% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 3% Malbec. Big dark cherry and ripe raspberry front this wine, blackberry and cassis making notable appearances. Vanilla, spice, and the slightest hint of fallen leaves. A lovely, lovely wine. A fantastic blend. Easily becomes the big red in their line up and a fabulous new red wine in the Hudson Valley that will shine very bright outside the region as well! Fantastic!

 
Benmarl's Cab Franc (not to be confused with their estate cab franc) is a lovely, lovely wine. It's bright raspberry and hints of cherry, with hints of darker fruits. Beautiful violet notes on the nose come through as promised. Bright red fruits come across again on the palate with a lovely smooth finih. A lovely, long lasting feel of fruit and vanilla lingers. A beautiful wine.

 
I have long been a fan of Benmarl. And I am certainly a fan of Matt and Casey who run the winery! Great folks. But there's no question that these wines show a big turn the winery is making. The winery, under Matt has attempted to go much more toward a vinifera profile, and is producing much, much better wines. I liked their wines already, as I said, so this up-tick in quality and style is a which has been slowly coming on over the last three years, is now at a profound moment. Benmarl is making some wonderful wines!!!!! I mean, they can compete out of state in a big way. I'm talking Long Island, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania brawl here. I could not be happier for them or for such as old and established a place as Benmarl. 
 
Congrats to Matt and Casey! And congrats to the rest of us, who get to try this stuff!!!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Visit Vortex - A Summer Place - The Hudson Valley


The Hudson Valley is just glorious in summer. Boating up and down the river’s broad waters, picnicking in the many large, well-kept parks, visiting farms whose fields and orchards bulge with swelling crops, and hiking through trails in the Shawangunks and Catskills are just some of the things that make summer in the Valley so unforgettable. Of course, summer is always a perfect time for wine too!

Here are three ways to enjoy wines during the warm months: summer whites, sangrias, and wine festivals!
 

Summer Whites
The classic images of summer haven’t really changed for decades. Cars with convertible roofs. Yard sales. Antiquing. Drive-ins. Golf clubs and tennis racquets. Pools and sprinklers. Picnic tables and cookouts. And summer whites. White jeans, white t-shirts, white shorts, white bathing suits, and white cotton dresses. Cool, classic, and comfortable.

And the same goes for wine as well! Who can resist cool, crisp, refreshing whites with great tropical fruit flavors, great minerality, and zippy acidity? Whites go great with salads, grilled veggies, fresh local artisanal cheeses, crudité, bruschetta, and other fun summer cool weather snacks.

There is nothing better than visiting your local wineries in the middle of summer and sampling the Valley’s highly acclaimed wines. Light bright whites, rosés, and light reds are perfect during the hot season to cool us down or to accompany grilled meats, fish, and vegetables.

Here are just a few great local classic whites for the season: Applewood Seyval Chardonnay, Altamont St. Crispin, Benmarl Slate Hill White, Brotherhood Riesling and Dry Riesling, Brookview Station Whistle Stop White, Cereghino-Smith Bianca, Clinton Seyval Blanc, Hudson-Chatham Seyval Blanc, Millbrook Tocai Fruliano, Oak Summit Chardonnay, Stoutridge Seyval Blanc, Tousey Chardonnay, Warwick Valley Riesling, or Whitecliff Awosting White.

 
Sangrias and Wine Coolers
But summer is not just about whites. Coolers and sangrias are fun and festive for entertaining and making any backyard gathering an occasion!

In Spain and Portugal, the idea of blending fruit juice and wine dates back centuries. Sangria is named after the Spanish word for blood, sangre, because of its typical dark red color. Traditionally, fruits such as oranges, lemons, and apples are cut up and placed in the wine, generally in a large punch bowl. It is then chilled and served. Some recipes call for the addition of other spirits, such as brandy, but some do not. Lemonade or orange juice is typically added. In modern times, sangria has taken on new twists, such as mixing reds and white, adding strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries, or making sangrias with white wines (called sangria blanca in Spain or cleric in Argentina), rosé, or blush wines.


Hearty Red Wine Sangria:
2 bottles (750 ml each) Hudson Valley red wine
1 Granny Smith apple, diced into bite-sized pieces
1 Empire or other red apple, diced into bite-sized pieces
1 orange, sliced length-wise
1 lemon, sliced length-wise
1 bunch of green (or red) seedless grapes, halved
1/4 cup Grand Marnier or Triple Sec (can replace with brandy for white sangria)
1/2 cup orange juice

Place sliced oranges and lemons in the bottom of a large bowl or container. Top with other fruits. Add the wine, liqueur, and orange juice, and stir lightly to combine. Refrigerate until ready to serve. To serve, dole out some fruit into individual wine glasses and top with the wine. You can add ice or even a splash of club soda or ginger ale to finish it.

Wine coolers so popular today can be traced back to another ancient Spanish wine tradition called Tinto de Verano (Summer Red Wine), which is a wine-based cold drink similar to sangria. The blend is usually one part red wine and one part soda, such as Sprite or 7-Up, so the alcohol is generally around four to five percent. Wine coolers are refreshing, cooling, and low in alcohol.

White Wine Cooler Recipe:
1/2 ounce lemon juice
1/2 ounce lime juice
1/2 ounce pineapple juice
1/2 ounce grapefruit juice
4 ounces Hudson Valley white wine
6 ounces seltzer water

Use a large wine glass or a highball glass. Add ingredients over ice, and serve. Garnish with fresh local fruits of the season, such as strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and/or blackberries.

 
Wine Festivals and Events in the Valley This Summer:
There is nothing more fun than going to a wine festival. You can sample a wide variety of wines in a short amount of time or try great locally prepared foods, and, in many instances, you can meet the wine maker or owner! The Hudson Valley has a number of fun events scheduled this year for your enjoyment!

Sangria Festival at Robibero Vineyards
July 20 & 21

Sangria Festival at Benmarl Winery
July 20 & 21

Bounty of the Hudson Wine and Food Festival at Whitecliff Vineyards
July 27 & 28

Sangria Festival at Hudson-Chatham Winery
August 10

Hudson Valley Wine & Food Fest at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds
September 7 & 8

So, kick off your shoes and sit back while enjoying a glass of cold white wine, sangria, or wine cooler, and relish the wine country of the Hudson Valley!


Summer Romance
A Summer Place, released in the fall of 1959, was a romantic film starring Sandra Dee and Tab Hunter. Other great summer romance movies include Beach Party, The Graduate, Grease, The Flamingo Kid, Dirty Dancing, 500 Days of Summer, Can’t Hardly Wait, The Notebook, and classics like Summertime (with Katherine Hepburn) and Roman Holiday (with Audrey Hepburn).

Monday, June 10, 2013

West Milford Messnger: Clearview Vineyards Joins Shawangunk Wine Trail

Clearview Vineyard joins Wine Trail

Warwick vineyard also opening 3,800-square-foot winery

and tasting room at the end of May


 
 


  • Source: www.clearviewvineyard.com Clearview Vineyard is owned and maintained by Frank and Karen Graessle, who purchased the property in 2004 and began growing grapes on the land and bottling fine red and white wines.



  •  
— Shawangunk Wine Trail has announced that Clearview Vineyard, a new Warwick-based vineyard and winery, has become the 14th member of the growing trail. Clearview Vineyard will participate in the Trail’s upcoming Around the World event, Saturday, June 8 and Sunday, June 9, representing Greece.
 
Clearview Vineyard also is celebrating the grand opening of its 3,800-square-foot winery and tasting room at the end of May. Clearview Vineyard is owned and maintained by Frank and Karen Graessle, who purchased the property in 2004 and began growing grapes on the land and bottling fine red and white wines.
 
“We could not be more excited to become members of the Shawangunk Wine Trail and work with wonderful Hudson Valley winemakers,” said Frank Graessle. “Opening a vineyard and winery has always been our dream, and we hope to share the happiness and joy it brings us with others. Taking part in Around the World is fun way to engage with wine lovers in the community.”
 
“The members of the Shawangunk Wine Trail are thrilled with the recent addition of Clearview Vineyard,” said Randy Maduras, spokeswoman for Shawangunk Wine Trail, which just added its 13th member in March. “This is an exciting period of growth for New York State wines, and our growing membership reflects that.”

Read more:
http://westmilfordmessenger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20130516/ENTERTAINMENT/130519969/Clearview-Vineyard-joins-Wine-Trail

John Graziano is the Stan Musial of New York Wine – The Quiet Superstar

 
 
Millbrook Vineyards is one of the premiere wineries in New York state, and the reigning queen of the Hudson Valley. It is owned by John Dyson, who is also owner of an international portfolio of wineries, including the highly acclaimed west coast vintner Williams-Selyam. Dyson has assembled an exceptional team of people including winemaker John Graziano, who has been with the winery from the very beginning (1984), no small feat for a winery that is now closing in on thirty years. Currently, John is producing approximately 10,000 – 14,000 cases of wine annually from their own fruit, as well as fruit from across New York and our California vineyards. Scott Koster is their veteran salesman and Stacey Hudson is their bright, energetic marketing manager, and David Bova is the General Manager that seems to be able to keep everything together, and the ship moving forward. Since its inception Millbrook has never faltered, an impressive run in any business.
Millbrooks' wine is cultivated on thirty of the vineyards' 130 acres. Current  varietals include Chardonnay (13 acres) Pinot Noir (5 acres), Cabernet Franc (7 acres), and Tocai Friulano (5 acres). They planted a healthy amount of Riesling not too long ago. At a recent event, I was lucky enough to taste a series of new vintages from their portfolio and had a chance to chat with Graziano. If I may mix my metaphors, Graziano is the Stan Musial of New York state wine.
Stan Musial was the enigmatic outfielder, slugger of the St. Louis Cardinals, for most of the 20th century the most popular major league baseball franchise between the east coast and the west coast. Musial, also known as “Stan the Man” was a stupendous ballplayer who toiled in a smaller market than New York or Los Angeles, and never received the endorsements or notoriety that some of his contemporaries like DiMaggio, Mantle, Mays, Snider, or Williams did. But nonetheless he was every bit as good a ball player. In a lengthy career, Musial avoided most controversies of his period, rarely made gaffs in the press (if any) and just played hard. He was a veteran of WWII (losing several seasons to his service years), and was a first ballot Hall of Famer.
 
Like Musial, Graziano comes to work every day with little fuss. Plucked from obscurity from Pennsylvania winery Twin Brook, John has been a gamer ever since. A gym rat.  He doesn’t do a lot of interviews or grand tastings. You won’t see him Facebooking or Tweeting. He thinks his computer is a TV that doesn’t work if you judge him by how long it takes him to answer an email if at all. He shuns these modern day contrivances. He’s just as happy driving a tractor, a forklift, or pulling samples from barrels. Conversations with John are quiet, short. He likes to talk about grapes and clonal differences. He farms; he makes wine; he goes home. He performs his prodigious feats in a smaller, less obvious market like the Hudson Valley instead of the Finger Lakes or Long Island, where visibility is a bigger part of the game. His career spans four decades. His numbers and reviews speak for themselves, and stand up in any market. He is the quiet superstar…and anomaly in our day in age. A throwback. A craftsman. An artist whose sole occupation is to make sure his art is consistent from year to year. He has become such a part of the fabric of this valley, and the New York winemaking scene almost so much so to go un-noticed maybe. But make no mistake about it – John Graziano is a Hall of Famer. First ballot.



 
2012 Tocai Friulano Proprietor's Special Reserve

Millbrook is famous for its Tocai Fruliano. An obscure grape in Italy, it was not an obvious choice for a place like Millbrook. But it seems to like the Hudson Valley, and John Graziano obviously has “the touch” with this grape. Citrus, kiwi and pear come across on the nose along with hints of mandarin orange. Kiwi and pears also come across on the palate, as well as citrusy ending. Nice bright acidity. A great wine. Elegant. European in inspiration, classic in finish.

 
 
 2012 Unoaked Chardonnay
Take a bite of big, green apples, melon, honey, and orange blossoms as promised. Lots of tropical  notes. Apple and pear come across with lovely, fresh fruit. A beautiful dry white wine. Fabulous.


2011 Proprietor's Special Reserve Chardonnay

Millbrook has been making wonderful Chardonnays for years. Their estate Chardonnay wine is aged for 9 months in predominantly French oak. Notes of green apple, honeysuckle and ripe Bosc pear. Hints of vanilla and spice. A lovely, real acidity is balanced by a lovely dry, finish with a touch of citrus. Wonderful!

 
2010 Cabernet Franc Proprietor's Reserve
A sophisticated, estate Cabernet Franc, with grass, cherry, dark berries, vanilla and floral notes. Hints of spice and earth. Nice acidity keeps the fruit fresh and beautiful, while subtle tannins give it structure and its classic backbone. This is an lovely, lovely Cabernet Franc.

 
Pinot Noir has long been one of the specialties of Millbrook Vineyards. Last March I tasted a 1993 Pinot Noir Special Reserve. The fruit was still vibrant, and the tannins still solid. A special wine.
 

2010 Proprietor's Special Reserve Pinot Noir
In this 2010 estate Pinot Noir is a dark cherry wine with hints of raspberry, spice, fallen leaves and white pepper. The tannins are beautiful and present without being over powering. The finish lasts a long, long, long time. It is a beautiful, complex, elegant wine. Wonderful.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

SHAWANGUNK AROUND THE WORLD JUNE 8 AND 9, 2013


SHAWANGUNK WINE TRAILGOES GLOBAL FOR ANNUAL EVENT
Around the World to feature globally-inspired food and wine pairings

HUDSON VALLEY, N.Y. (XXXX 2013) – Shawangunk Wine Trail is pleased to announce that this year’s Around the World, and annual event that draws hundreds to the region, will take place on Saturday, June 8, and Sunday, June 9.
Around the World is a two-day event that takes place at each of the 13 wineries along the Shawangunk Wine Trail, allowing guests to go global without leaving the Hudson Valley. Each winery will serve tapas inspired by cuisine from a different country, from the decadence of France to the bold spices of India. The wineries will accompany the tapas with a complementary wine tasting of up to four unique samples. Ticketholders may visit as many wineries as they would like throughout the weekend, exploring the food delights of 13 countries.

Around the World will take place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on June 8 and June 9. Tickets are good for both days and are $35 per person when purchased in advance, or $10 for designated drivers who will not sample wine. Sunday-only tickets will also be available for $25 per person. Transportation is not included. To register or for more information, visitwww.gunkswine.comor call 845-256-8456.

Shawangunk Wine Trail wineries and their assigned countries include:
·         Jamaica:Adair Vineyards, 52 Allhusen Road, New Paltz
·         Spain:Applewood Winery, 82 Four Corners Road, Warwick
·         Mexico:Baldwin Vineyard, 176 Hardenburgh Road, Pine Bush
·         Poland:Benmarl Winery, 156 Highland Avenue, Marlboro
·         France:Brimstone Hill Vineyard, 61 Brimstone Hill Road, Pine Bush
·         Argentina:Brotherhood, America’s Oldest Winery, 100 Brotherhood Plaza Drive, Washingtonville
·         Dominican Republic:Demarest Hill Winery, 81 Pine Island Turnpike, Warwick
·         Germany:Glorie Farm Winery, 40 Mountain Road, Marlboro
·         Italy:Palaia Winery, 10 Sweet Clover Road, Highland Mills
·         Colombia:Robibero Winery, 714 Albany Post Road, New Paltz
·         Austria:Stoutridge Vineyards, 10 Ann Kaley Lane, Marlboro
·         U.S.A:Warwick Valley Winery & Distillery, 114 Little York Road, Warwick
·         India:Whitecliff Vineyard & Winery, 331 McKinstry Road, Gardiner

About Shawangunk Wine Trail                                         

Shawangunk Wine Trail, proudly located in the Hudson Valley, is composed of 13 distinct wineries, each following the tradition of fine winemaking established by the early French Huguenot settlers who brought their winemaking expertise to the area over 300 years ago. The wineries along the Shawangunk Wine Trail range from large to small and feature a variety of award-winning red and white wines, from sparkling and fruit wines to sweet and bone dry blends. Shawangunk Wine Trail is committed to hosting special events throughout the year that showcase the exciting wines the Hudson Valley has to offer. Learn more at www.gunkswine.com.

For more information, contact:
Josh Sommers
Focus Media, Inc.
845-294-3342

ANNOUNCING THE HUDSON VALLEY WINE COUNTRY SCAVENGER HUNT 2013








hvwc logo.JPG



HOW MANY GOLDEN BOTTLES WILL YOU FIND? 

We take great pleasure in announcing the HVWC’s great new promotion for summer 2013, the Hudson Valley Wine Country Scavenger Hunt. The scavenger hunt will take place from 10 AM, Friday, August 2, 2013 to 5 PM Sunday, August 11, 2013.

The HVWC Scavenger will allow individuals and teams the opportunity to travel the length of the valley’s wine county, and experience all there is to sample of the great wines of the region.

The idea is to promote Hudson Valley wine and offer an exciting new way to introduce summer vacationers to Hudson Valley wine.

Consumers will enter online only using Eventbrite. Contestants will pay a $15-20 fee, which will go to the HVWC. This fee will pay for a limited tasting at every participating winery. Each winery will offer three wines of their choosing for a limited tasting menu for contestants. Any contests who want a full tasting will have to pay for it. After the tasting is complete, they will be handed an easy puzzle to solve. When the puzzle is solved, then they will be awarded a piece of Booty. Booty can be a cork with the winery’s name on it, a label, coaster, whatever the winery wants it to be. It must be consistent. The winery must award the same booty to every contestant. The contestants are awarded 1 point for eachpiece of Booty acquired from throughout the valley. All contestants will be handed a small passport, as means of proof of entry. All participating wineries will be given passports to hand out.

Each winery will be given two Golden Bottles (treasure). One Gold Bottle will be hidden somewhere in a tastingroom or grounds (completely up to the participating winery) on Friday, August 9, 2013. The second treasure will be placed into hiding on Friday, August 16, 2013. A difficult puzzle will be written for each participating winery to give contestants who have completely correctly the Booty challenge. This puzzle will help the contestants discover a Golden Bottle (one per winery per weekend). The Golden Bottle is worth 6 points.
The entire game will be monitored online on our Facebook page. As part of the game, contestants will have to post or tweet to gain points, and confirm treasure or booty. A leader board will be established, and updated once or twice every 24 hours during the duration of the event.

The Hunt Master is Patrick Blindauer who is a professional puzzlemaster. Has written dozens of crosswords, Sudoku, and logic puzzle books, as well as having edited dozens more. His puzzles have appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and other national publications. Patrick is among the most highly regarded puzzle editors in North America. He organized the prestigious MIT Boston Scavenger Hunt 2012.
 
Prizes at the end of the promotion include a weekend stay at Palaia’s vineyard guesthouse for 4-6 people, a mixed case of HV wine for second place, and a half case of HV wine for third place.

Attached is a photo of one of the unique golden bottles. Each numbered bottle will be signed by the owners/staff, and marked with that winery's label or brand. A proposed scoring system is also attached. HVWC reserves the right to change or modify the rules up to and before the time the contest begins.

Participating wineries include:
Adair Winery
Amorici Vineyards
Altamont Vineyards
Baldwin Vineyards
Benmarl Winery
Brimstone Hill Winery
Brookview Station Winery
Brotherhood Winery
Glorie Farm Winery
Hudson-Chatham Winery
Millbrook Vineyards
Palaia Vineyards
Robibero Vineyards
Stoutridge Vineyards
Tousey Winery
Warwick Vineyards and Distillery
Whitecliff Vineyards
 
We are very excited about this incredibly innovative and exciting new promotional opportunity! This is just one of many more things the HVWC will be promoting this year. Will hope you are excited about it too!




FUSSYLittleBlog Loves Hudson Berkshire Wine & Food Fest

Hudson Berkshire Wine Fest Recap

June 3, 2013

FUSSYlittleNOTE: Today we’re doing something different. Below is a guest post from my friend, former cupcake co-judge and fellow Fighting Quaker Innae Park. When I couldn’t attend the inaugural Hudson-Berkshire Wine & Food Fest, she bravely stepped up and volunteered. Here is her report. It even includes pictures. - Daniel, editor of FUSSYLittleBlog
 
Cloudy, cold, windy and rainy. All adjectives you would normally shudder at when describing Memorial Day weekend – but it just so happened that this holiday coincided with an indoor wine and food festival. That’s right, indoor.

The first ever Hudson Berkshire Wine and Food Festival was held at the Columbia County fairgrounds in Chatham, with 16 food vendors, 9 exhibitors, 12 wineries, four distilleries and two breweries taking part.

This may not seem all that bizarre to you, but until last fall, craft breweries, distilleries, and even wineries weren’t able to sell their product at certain events where they provided tastings. Since Governor Cuomo announced regulatory changes at the state’s first Wine, Beer and Spirits Summit, that’s changed. And inevitably, my wallet is much emptier.
Enough about me. Back to the beverages!
photo 1
I began at Hillrock Estate Distillery, located in Ancram. They boast of the world’s first Solera Aged Bourbon. If that means nothing to you, you’re not alone. Here’s what I learned: Imagine a pyramid of barrels, with the youngest bourbon on top, the most aged spirit filling the bottom rows. As whiskey is drawn at the appropriate time from the oldest rows, the newer whiskey flows downward in the pyramid. As head of operations Tim Welly explained to me, “The young spirits are taught by the older spirits” as they combine.

Who knew? Life lessons from whiskey.

So what does pseudo-ageless bourbon taste like? Warm and a smidge spicy. Very rounded, and you get a touch of sherry since the whiskey is finished in old sherry casks.
For the many other unique things Hillrock is doing, check out www.hillrockdistillery.com
Harvest Spirits of Valatie was next, a core member of the Hudson-Berkshire Beverage Trail.
photo 2
More firsts for me! I sampled their applejack, pear brandy and rare pear brandy. Their spirits are made from their farm’s very own fruits. Don’t be fooled: they pack a punch and would never be seen in the presence of wine coolers. My favorite was the Rare Pear Brandy: nice and oaky, subtly sweet. There is a sharper taste of pear from the Hudson Valley pear brandy – but it will cut across your tongue.
photo 3
Then off to Dutch’s Spirits, where I got my first smackin’ of their Sugar Wash Moonshine.
It was citrusy yet sharp enough to get the blood flowing. The lingering sweetness had me exhaling deeply and enjoying the smoothness that remained. Their Peach Brandy was also a hit with me, soft and spicy, with a hint of smokiness.

Then I stopped by the two breweries: Chatham Brewing, also of the Hudson-Berkshire Beverage Trail, and Barrington Brewery. Both should expect a visit from me in the near future, especially since Barrington has a brewpub. Let me just say this: there is love in those beers. Clarity, viscosity, spices, sweetness, complexity, everything but umami found in these carefully crafted bottles. You should visit.

Did I mention I also bought this cheese that made me want to melt into a puddle? A camembert made from cow’s and sheep’s milk. Then there were tasty eats from the Local Flavor Café, mead from Helderberg Meadworks, chocolate pizzas created by a former truck driver with a sweet tooth, and tamales. Hello, food!
image
I am going to be bold and say this: Let it rain next Memorial Day weekend, if it means the opportunity to hit up the second annual Hudson-Berkshire Food and Wine Festival. You won’t be disappointed.

Read more at:
http://fussylittleblog.com/2013/06/03/innae-reports-hudson-berkshire-wine-fest/