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

My Photo
Name:

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/

Monday, October 21, 2013

Mrs. Appleseed - Sara Grady Trumpets the Revivalof Hard Cider

 
John Chapman (September 26, 1774 – March 11, 1845), often called Johnny Appleseed, was an American pioneer nurseryman who introduced apple trees to large parts of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, including the northern counties of present day West Virginia. He became an American legend while still alive, due to his kind, generous ways, his leadership in conservation, and the symbolic importance he attributed to apples.

The popular image is of Johnny Appleseed spreading apple seeds randomly, everywhere he went. In fact, he planted nurseries rather than orchards, built fences around them to protect them from livestock, left the nurseries in the care of a neighbor who sold trees on shares, and returned every year or two to tend the nursery. Although apples grown from seed are rarely sweet or tasty, apple orchards with sour apples were popular among the settlers because apples were mainly used for producing hard cider and apple jack.

Cider became very popular in colonial America for two reasons – firstly because it tasted good, and secondly, potable water wasn’t always so easy to secure, so low alcohol hard cider and sweet cider were good alternatives. The Hudson Valley is among the biggest apple producing regions on the east coast (though it is well shy of its prowess from a hundred years ago). Cider’s popularity declined with the influx of German, Irish, and central European who gave rise to the beer industry.

Enter Sara Grady. Sara is not the first of the cider pioneers. Annie Proulx, the Pulitzer-Prize winning author, wrote one of the best books on cider 20 years ago, and it is still considered a classic. Steve Wood at Farnum Hill, Ben Watson at Slyboro, and Jason Grizzanti at Warwick Valley have been beating the cider drum for years. They gave the movement strength.

But Sara made the movement “happen.” Sara coalesced it. She took a group of disparate produces, and gave them a common ground. Brought them together. She established a community of them, and got them talking to one another. She established a conversation. And she established Cider Week.

“I created Cider Week,” she told Sara Forrest of ShopBird.com last year, “as part of the work I’m doing to support the viability of orchards, and to establish hard cider and apple spirits as signature Hudson Valley apple products. Actually, Cider Week has grown beyond just Hudson Valley cider and now involves a group of craft cider producers from throughout New York and New England – all of whom have a shared goal to build appreciation for and awareness of (real) hard cider.”

Ann Monroe wrote in Edible Manhattan, “Cider Week, mounted as part of a much bigger Apple Project run by the upstate agricultural not-for-profit Glynwood Center, is a celebration of apple alcohol and all the benefits it can bring to local orchards and drinkers alike. Sara Grady, Glynwood’s special projects director and Cider Week mastermind, has arranged an exchange between nascent Northeast cider makers and their storied French counterparts, who’ll be here in October, and is developing a Hudson Valley Cider Route, inspired by similar trails in Europe.” 
When asked how she got involved with Glennwood, Sara told ShopBird.com, “I got deeply interested in food and agriculture because it’s where all my interests in culture, history, nature, art, and science intersect. I used to produce educational and doc-style media for television and exhibitions… but it felt like commentary and I wanted to feel like I was making things happen. So I started doing video work about farms and food projects, one of which was Glynwood. I was just in the right place at the right time! I got a job there as a program director, and now I create programs to support regional food production. It’s creative, I get to help people who are passionate about what they do, and I am always learning! I love it.”

“Orchards were razed in the name of sobriety, and apples were recast as a fruit for healthy eating. Today America is home to only a quarter of the 20 million apple trees we grew in 1900, and our apple diversity has been pared back to just a few varieties. Most of the apples we consume are drunk as juice reconstituted from concentrate, 82 percent of it imported, mostly from China,” Sara told Edible Manhattan.

“New York is the second largest grower of apples in the nation,” Sara has said, “acreage in apples in the Hudson Valley declined by 14 percent and the number of orchards went down by 25 percent.”

Sara went on to explain the value of cider to farmers and farming, saying, “Apple growers in the Hudson Valley, like many farmers, have been challenged in recent years by rising costs of production, changing weather patterns, and development pressures. Hard cider and apple spirits are higher value products that allow farms to diversify, add value to the crop, even out the growing season – and therefore can bring higher profits and a steadier income.”

“Also, apples sold for fresh eating are expected to be perfect-looking and unblemished – so any fruit that is not cosmetically perfect can’t be sold fresh. But when you’re just going to crush the fruit and ferment the juice, beauty is irrelevant. So it’s a great way for a grower to reclaim the value on fruit that might be rejected for supermarket shelves – maybe it got hit by hail or is otherwise marred, but it’s still perfectly delicious! Incidentally, growers who specialize in hard cider apples may be able to spray fewer chemicals since a lot of that is just to ensure perfect-looking fruit,” Sara told Forrest.

“The biggest challenge is making people understand what cider is, that it’s not this sweet fizzy stuff you get in a deli or as a beer alternative,” Grady told AmericanFoodRoots.com. “Having a sense of place through food is very powerful,” she says. “The idea that there is something that was very American, very much a part of American culture and American history that is also tied to that sense of place. … People feel connected to that idea, that this is something that was a part of our history and can be again a part of our culture.”

And that is the special gift of Sara Grady. She is Mrs. Appleseed. She is the second coming of Mr. Chapman. She may not be out there planting trees, but she mind as well be. She has synthesized the message and is the foghorn for it. In the mist of beers, and wine, and spirits, she is the siren singing the song of cider, calling out for people not to forget where they came from. Calling them home to an earlier, simpler, more healthy time. Healthier for the land especially.

In Cider Week, Grady has created a maelstrom of good press for cidermakers all over the east coast, but especially in the Hudson Valley. Not only did she create the Cider Trail, but in 2013 her organization helped create dozens of stories in the media celebrating cider, and coordinated more than 55 events from New York City to Albany with tastings, dinners, and food pairings. She is determined and single-minded. She has done an excellent job. And luckily for us, she's been a success.
To read more about Sara:
http://shopbird.com/blog/2012/10/cider-week-an-interview-with-sara-grady/#.UmJgbk7D8qQ

http://www.ediblemanhattan.com/magazine/for-a-week-in-october-glynwood-center-wants-you-to-drink-real-ny-cider/



Saturday, October 19, 2013

Fall In Love With Hudson Valley Wine 2013 Continues!!! Oct 18-20, 2013!!!

 

This weekend begins Hudson Valley Cider Week! Discover the brave new world of Hudson Valley cider! From traditional all the way to the most sophisticated ciders! All week, from NYC to Albany there are many events to be tasted and tried! More than 55 events over the whole week. Check it out!
 
And in the wine country, there are more than12 more events to choose from this weekend!!! Another series of amazing events!!! We have a wine tent at Rhinebeck Sheep & Wool Festival and the Annual Harvest Party at Millbrook Vineyards, a dog circus, and much more!!! There's music, wine tastings, food, fun, and laughter!!! C'mon, Fall in Love With Hudson Valley Wine!!!
 
Oct 18-27 Hudson Valley Cider Week http://ciderweekny.com/

Oct 19 & 20 NY State Sheep and Wool Festival, Dutchess Cty. Fairgrounds, Rhinebeck, NY WINE TENT 

Oct 19 23rd Annual Harvest Party Luncheon 12-4pm MILLBROOK VINEYARDS

Oct 19th    Muttville Commix Dog Circus 2 Shows 1 & 3 pm BROOKVIEW STATION

Oct 19 Longchamp and Manzo Concert 2-5pm WARWICK VALLLEY WINERY

Oct 19 Me & My Ex Concert ROBIBERO VINEYARDS

Oct 19 & 20 Grape Stomping BROTHERHOOD WINERY

Oct 19 & 20 Strawberry, Chocolate and Wine Festival Noon BALDWIN VINEYARDS

Oct 20  Complete Wine Tour With Owner 3pm WHITECLIFF VINEYARDS

Oct 20 Marc Von Em Concert ROBIBERO VINEYARDS

Oct 20 Halloween “Pets on Parade”  2pm BROOKVIEW STATION

Oct 20 4 Gun Ridge Concert 2 to 5 pm WARWICK VALLEY WINERY

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

3rd Annual Cider Week starts October 18-27, 2013!!!!


 
 
  
Participate in Tastings, Classes, Cocktails, Pairings and Flights at more than 75 Restaurants, Pubs, Shops and Markets throughout the Hudson Valley!
  
Cider makers across the country and in the Northeast are now spearheading a resurgence of orchard-based libations, crafting distinctive hard ciders that pair well with food, can be enjoyed on their own or mixed into delectable cocktails.
 
Join the Cider Revival! 
Visit Cider Week locations featuring Edible Friends:   
Peekskill Brewery in Peekskill
Stockade Tavernin Kingston   
The Heron in Narrowsburg
Aroma Thyme Bistro in Ellenville
Partition Street Wines in Saugerties
Rhinebeck Farmers Market
 
(for the full list visit  ciderweekny.com/locations)
 
 
Learn everything you need to know about cider and apples, meet cider makers, enjoy special tastings and dinners ... Click thru for the ever growing list of events throughout the Hudson Valley!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Fall In Love With Hudson Valley Wine 2013 Continues!!! Columbus Day Weekend Oct 12-13, 2013!!!



Now you can be an explorer Christopher Columbus and discover your own brave new world of Hudson Valley wine, beers, and spirits. There are more than15 more events to choose from this weekend!!! Another series of amazing events!!! We have a wine tent at Goold's Apple Orchards, grape stomping, concerts, and much more!!! There's music, wine tastings, food, fun, and laughter!!! C'mon, Fall in Love With Hudson Valley Wine!!!

Oct 12-13 The 25th Annual Apple Festival & Craft Show BROOKVIEW STATION

Oct 12-13 Grape Stomping BROTHERHOOD WINERY

Oct 12 & 13 Strawberry, Chocolate and Wine Festival Noon BALDWIN VINEYARDS

Oct 12 & 13 Harvest Grape Stomping Festival BENMARL WINERY

Oct 12 Hudson Valley Wine & Leaf Peeping Fest 1pm-4pm Hudson Valley Wine Market, Gardiner, NY

Oct 12 The Brian Dougherty Band Concert ROBIBERO VINEYARDS

Oct 12 Et Tu Bruce Concert 2 to 5 pm Warwick Valley Winery

Oct 13 Rave On Concert 2 to 5 pm at Warwick Valley Winery

Oct 13 Complete Wine Tour With Owner 3pm WHITECLIFF VINEYARDS

Oct 13 The Me 3 Band Concert ROBIBERO VINEYARDS

Oct 14 John Sheehan Concert 2 to 5 pm WARWICK VALLEY WINERY

And of course, for more events, go to:http://fallinlovewithhudsonvalleywine.com/events/

Friday, October 04, 2013

Fall In Love With Hudson Valley Wine 2013 Continues!!! Week 5 Oct 5-6, 2013!!!


10 more events to choose from this weekend!!! Another series of amazing events!!! We have a HUGE wine festival at Bethel Woods (site of the original Woodstock Concert), grape stomping, concerts, and much more!!! There's music, wine tastings, food, fun, and laughter!!! C'mon, Fall in Love With Hudson Valley Wine!!!

OCTOBER
Oct 5 Wine Festival at BETHEL WOODS (Bethel, NY)

Oct 5 & 6 Grape Stomping BROTHERHOOD WINERY

Oct 5 & 6 Strawberry, Chocolate and Wine Festival Noon BALDWIN VINEYARDS

Oct 5 Double Play Concert ROBIBERO VINEYARDS

Oct 5 McMule Concert 2 to 5 pm at Warwick Valley Winery

Oct 6 Uncorked and Unplugged Concert Series Warwick Valley Winery

Oct 6 Petey Hop Concert ROBIBERO VINEYARDS

Oct 6 Complete Wine Tour With Owner 3pm WHITECLIFF VINEYARDS


And of course, for more events, go to:
http://fallinlovewithhudsonvalleywine.com/events/

Bethel Woods Wine Festival October 5, 2013!!! This Saturday!


Saturday, October 05, 2013
Wine Festival at Bethel Woods
Featuring Live Music by Kelley Suttenfield Band (Jazz Quintet) & MiZ

Market Sheds

11:00am - 4:00pm

$15.00 Tasting Fee with wine glass
$5.00 GA / Designated Driver

More than 20 regional wineries will gather once again at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts for the annual Wine Festival on Saturday, October 5 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The Wine Festival will feature tastings from wineries in the Hudson Valley and Finger Lakes region, all of which will be available for sale.

The tasting fee admission ticket is $15, which includes a complimentary wine glass.* General admission to the festival and The Museum at Bethel Woods for designated drivers is $5. Tickets can be purchased in advance online, at the Bethel Woods Box Office or by phone at 1.800.745.3000. Parking for the Wine Festival is free and the event will take place rain or shine. Tickets will also be available at the gate.

Everyone MUST BE 21+ years of age to purchase tickets and valid ID is required for admission. Event staff reserves the right to refuse service to anyone at anytime. Sorry, no children, strollers or pets. No outside food or beverage permitted. The event held in the Market Sheds and is rain or shine.

Attendees will enjoy a sampling of wine from the vine, as well as specialty foods, cheeses and craft vendors. The afternoon will also feature musical performances by the Kelly Suttenfield Band and MiZ to entertain guests while they enjoy the festival set against the beautiful backdrop and scenery of Bethel Woods.

*While supplies last

Kelley Suttenfield is an acoustic jazz vocalist known for her unique interpretive style that clearly resonates with her listeners. With a diverse repertoire ranging from Brazilian standards to the Beatles and beyond, Kelley’s music is known for creating an evocative mood that clearly resonates with her audience. Kelley performs regularly in her home base of New York City and has toured the Eastern US, Denmark, and the UK.

She is a former finalist in the NYC Jazzmobile Jazz Vocalist competition and released her debut CD entitled "Where Is Love?" on Rhombus Records in 2009. A second CD is planned for release in 2014.
For more information, visit: www.kelleysuttenfield.com.
Joining her are longtime musical collaborators: Michael Cabe (piano), Tosh Sheridan (guitar), Matt Aronoff (bass), Brian Adler (drums).
MiZ is a soulful, Rock-Americana artist from Northeast Pennsylvania who is know as an acoustic and electric guitar virtuoso. His sound is directly impacted by the coal mining region of PA and the songs evoke the rustic tones and imagery you would expect from the region and it's cultural heritage. The singer / songwriter / guitarist Mike Mizwinski gives name to the band and his solo work and it is his heart and soul-- poured into the words and his guitar-- that drives it all forward. In the last year MiZ has opened for Derek Trucks Band, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Blues Traveler, Shawn Colvin, Lyle Lovett, Leon Russell, Railroad Earth and many more. Mike has played over 450 shows since 2010 spanning from Berlin Germany -Northern Canada - Los Angeles - Austin, Texas - New York City and everywhere in between. This summer proved to be one of the most rewarding times in the artist's career as MiZ was invited to play the Allman Brother's- Peach Festival, and the Gathering of the Vibes in Bridgeport CT, amongst many others. Mike is now endorsing Framus/Warwick guitars and won the Tri-State Indie "Acoustic Artist of the Year" award two years in a row- 2011 & 2012.

Festival Stage Schedule:
12:00 - 2:00 p.m. Kelly Suttenfield Band (with intermission)
2:30 - 3:45 p.m. MiZ


Wineries and Vineyards
Americana Vineyards
 
Anthony Road Wine Company
Brotherhood Winery
 
Catskill Distilling Company
 
Cereghino Smith
 
Crooked Lake Winery
 
Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits
 
Eagle Crest Vineyards
 
Fulkerson Winery
 
Glenora Wine Cellars
Glorie Farm Winery

Hudson-Chatham Winery
www.hudson-chathamwinery.com
 
Inspire Moore Winery
 
Knapp Winery
 
Lakeland Winery
 
Millbrook Vineyards and Winery
 
Pazdar Winery
 
Rasta Ranch Vineyards
 
Robibero Winery
 
Warwick Valley Winery
 
Whitecliff Winery
 
 
Specialty Vendors
Acorn Hill Farm
Goat Cheese and Fudge
 
Aunt NeNee's
Cookies, Cakes, Tea Breads, Scones, Jams
 
Blonde Chick Studio
Original Jewelry
 
Brandenburg Pastry Bakery
Pastries, Tarts, Breads, Chocolates
 
Buddhapesto
Delicious, handmade Basil Pesto
 
Dutch Desserts
Fruit and Chocolate Tarts
 
Formaggio Cheese
Mozzarella Cheeses
 
John Kline
Natural Wood Wine Racks
 
JD Gourmet
Aged Balsamic Vinegars and Olive Oil Blends
 
Munro Granite Cheeseboards
Granite Cheeseboards
 
Northern Farmhouse Pasta
Ravioli, Fresh and Dried Pastas
 
Palatine Valley Dairy
Variety of Flavors of Cheddar Cheeses
 
Peace Love and Ice Cream
Wine Slushies
Pika’s Farm Table
Quiches, Soups, Pesto, Salsa, Dips
 
Platte Clove Naturals
Granolas and Salad Dressings
 
Saratoga Peanut Butter
Gourmet Peanut Butters
 
This Old Bottle
Recycled Wine Bottle Art for the Home    


The Wine Festival at Bethel Woods is sponsored by
Formaggio Cheese


Special Guests of The Museum at Bethel Woods stay at the nearby beautiful Lazy Pond Bed and Breakfast
Formaggio Lazy Pond Bed & Breakfast

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Coppersea New York Raw Rye

   

So a few weeks ago I was at the Olana Fest, which celebrates local farmers, chefs, and artisanal producers. Local meats, cheese, and vegetables were wielded with incredible finesse by some of the Hudson Valley’s best chefs. Of course, I needed a drink. Among the offerings was a taste of a new local distillery.
Coppersea Distilling attempts to recreate products from a time when numerous distilleries, in villages and towns across the continent, produced from their stills unique spirits based on what was grown seasonally. Be it spring or summer or fall, the distillers used what the local bounty provided and made unique products. Using what they call “Heritage Methods”, such as using water from their own well, mashing in wooden tanks, and distilling in direct-fire copper pot stills Coppersea tries to bring back those days.
The idea is that every product is imbued with the terrior of the Hudson Valley producing spirits that are of high quality and that are distinctive.

Angus MacDonald, Coppersea’s Master Distiller, has been studying the craft of fine spirit distillation for over 30 years, calling on a family tradition that goes back centuries. His quest to master this art led him to relationships with dozens of traditional folk distillers, becoming a keeper of this rare lore. Angus’ goal in starting Coppersea Distilling is to put in practice his hard-won knowledge, and reinvigorate American spirits making with a return to its traditional roots.
Coppersea Distillery Manager Christopher Williams joined us following stints in both brewing and distilling. His hands-on energy is instrumental in making Coppersea run.
Michael Kinstlick, CEO, brings entrepreneurial drive and acumen from his 20 years in business. His prior work includes finance, software, and commercial insurance. He has a BA in Economics from Columbia, a MS in Industrial Engineering from Northwestern, and an MBA from the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley.

Coppersea Raw Rye comes from a mashbill of 75% raw, unmalted Rye and 25% Malt Barley.
We have long held that distilling is a culinary art, and we are glad to help the local food revolution extend into distilled spirits. We take our ingredients seriously and began building relationships with local farmers long before we had started Coppersea.

"Although it sounds simple, better grain and better water make better whiskey," they state. "We are sourcing our Rye, Corn, and Barley from nearby farms whose philosophies and practices around sustainability mirror ours. We have some farms growing specific grain varietals directly for us, and when we have found organic supplies, we have jumped to bring them in."
 
That’s a lot of fancy talk. But the end result it this – a smooth unoaked Rye of unique character and taste. It was excellent. I kinda missed the usual overtones on butterscotch and caramel that toasted oak usually imbues Rye with. On the other hand, it’s what made this Rye so smooth. Almost like a vodka. It was excellent. I really liked it.
I tasted the spirit straight. They were not offering it in any kind of cocktail, but I am curious what Coppersea New York Raw Rye would taste like in a drink. But I can tell you this, you won’t go wrong with a bottle.

Brokview Station Estate Frontenac 2012

   
 
According to the university of Minnesota, "Frontenac reflects the best characteristics of its parents, V. riparia 89 and the French hybrid Landot 4511. This vine has borne a full crop after temperatures as low as -33ºF when properly cared for. It's very disease resistant, with near-immunity to downy mildew. Frontenac is a consistently heavy producer, with small, black berries in medium to large clusters. Frontenac's deep garnet color complements its distinctive cherry aroma and inviting palate of blackberry, black currant, and plum. This versatile grape can be made into a variety of wine styles, including rosé, red, and port."
 
 
 
Ed and Sue Miller, owners of Brookview Station Winery at Goold Orchards, along with Marketing Director Karen Gardy, made a strategic decision in making this wine. Goold's is one of the oldest continuously operating, same family owning apple orchards in the entire Capital Region. And they had made red wines before. But this would be their first estate grown red wine.

 
Ed chose Marachel Foch, Frontenac, and Marquette grapes to grow. Ed has been farming since 1977. Over the last three years, he and his staff have done an incredible job growing this vineyard. Now he fruits of their labor have come home.
 
File:Frontenac grapes.png
 
The Brookview Station Estate Frontenac 2012 is the first of a series of ultra premium estate grown wines to come from that winery. And if this wine is any indication, we're all in for a treat. Without question, this is the best full-bodied dry red estate Frontenac I have tried on the east coast. Big red cherry and raspberry, with hints of cassis and plum, are well balanced with acidity and tannins to make a classic red wine. 


This is an excellent dry red table wine. An excellent first offering. Exciting to see what Brookview will develop next in this line. But for now, it's exciting enough!!
 
Try a bottle asap!

Pressing Matters - Ed Miller of Brookview Station Winery


Marvelously ingenious and perfect, from a mechanical standpoint; worthless commercially, the costiliest machine ever built will stand in a Cornell university laboratory as a monument to Mark Twain's vanished fortune. – New York Evening Telegram October 9, 1898

Mark Twain went broke trying to financially back a new typesetting machine. A former typesetter himself, Twain knew that it was hard work, and that any improvements to its laborious machinations would be a huge advance in the business. But the Paige Typesetter, while being an interesting machine, had no commercial application. It was a good idea and an impractical one all at the same time. But no one had more reverence for typesetters and their work than Twain.

 
Strange thing about a press. It can be used to squeeze a person’s thoughts out onto to a piece of paper, or turn a fruit into a glass of wine. Each task takes something and makes it into another. One takes an idea and gives it form, solidity, and shape. The other takes something solid and turns it into an idea. No one knows that more than Ed Miller.

Ed Miller’s trip into the world of wine is one of the longest winding roads I have ever encountered. Ed, throughout his lifetime, he has worked with presses of varying types.

 
Ed was born in Dutchess County. His father loved the country life, and his mother couldn’t abide it. They moved to the Bronx in 1960, and Long Island two years later. But Ed loved the farming life. He was a country boy at heart. He had an Aunt who had a farm in Dutchess county. He spent as much time there as he possibly could. And as he grew older, he spent summers when he could helping out on the farm.

But Ed also needed a job, so he went into the typesetting business. Still living on Long Island, he started working for a print shop that did typesetting for magazines and advertising. He also worked on typesetting for products, the most difficult of which was having to squeezing mountains of tiny type on bottles of Helena Rubenstein nail polish bottles. Ed was versed in hot type and linotype. He’d worked in rooms where there were huge trays of die-cast printers letters. He was a press man and eventually became the night foreman of the print shop.

But Ed never tired of the agricultural life. He kept spending time in the country. And through his cousin, he met a family – the Goold family, who he’d helped out from time to time. There he met and fell in love with the farmers daughter, Sue Goold.

The two married, and lived on the island for a little while before it became clear they were headed back to the farm. Ed became a farmer in the winter of 1977 at Goold Orchards.

The Goold family have been farming their land for more than 100 years. It is a Centennial Farm. Goold Orchards story begins in the early spring of 1910. Newlyweds James and Bertha Goold arrived by rail at Castleton’s town hub, a small whistle stop called the Brookview Station and walked to the farm they had recently purchased. Bertha, schooled at Emma Willard in Troy and husband James, a recent graduate from Cornell were eager to apply the latest in agricultural technologies on their new fruit farm. In 1933 after James’ sudden death, Bertha and her son teenage son Robert continued to operate and grow the family farm. In 1941 Bob married Marcia Grainer and together settled into the business of raising a family and running the apple farm. They continued to work and grow the family fruit farm into what is now Goold Orchards. Bob and Marcia eventually passed the day to day running of the farm onto their children.

Ed learned the difference between a MacIntosh and a Delicious. He learned about pruning in cold weather. Spraying crops, and picking apples, and about making cider. And that’s when iron entered into Ed Miller’s life.

Goold Orchards is one of the largest producers of apple cider in the region. They press thousands of gallons a week for local and regional supermarkets as well as for their own farm store. And that’s when Ed first started working with another kind of press. A cider press. Suddenly, he realized, he’d traded in trays of letters in for bins of apples. From ink and paper, he had now graduated to juice and plastic bottles.

In the meantime, Ed became involved with the Cornel Cooperative Extension and the Hudson Valley Cornell Lab. He’s been involved with the lab for more than 20 years. He is on their board of directors. It’s his new raison d’etre. The HV Lab is an important asset to the valley, and Miller will be happy to tell anyone who listens why it is needed. It was founded basically by apple farmers, back when the valley was dominated by them. But today it is used to gage many fruit growing issues, from apples, to berries, to vegetables and even grapes.

Today, with cut, after cut, after cut, from the state, the Hudson Valley Laboratory is in danger of having it’s Cornell staff withdrawn. It’s an expensive proposition in a time of fiscal trimming. It is not the only Cornell outpost in trouble within the state.

“It’s important to be involved in it. The Hudson Valley lab is a great information source. We have a unique growing region. We don’t have the Lake Affect they have in the Finger Lakes We don’t live near the ocean or benefit from Long Island Sound. We live in the Hudson Valley. It is a unique climate, That’s what makes the station so important. As a farmer, I need to know what’s happening here, in the Valley. Not what’s happening elsewhere in the state. What insects are coming u through the valley? What parasites or disease pressure?”

The Lab has experimental orchards and vineyards. They can ell you their historical data on what has had good impact on their crops, and what has had deleterious effects Ed was lamenting that what killed the raspberry harvest this season wasn’t a wet spring but an infestation of fruit flies that destroyed the fruit. That’s why to him, the Lab is so important. He urges all folks, grower and winemakers to help get involved in the station, to make use of its resources and to make sure it survives and thrives over the next 20 years. “We need that station to remain open.”

In 2007, 30 years after he began pressing apples for cider, Goold introduced Brookview Station Winery, and farm winery based at Goold’s Apple Orchards.  They were the first winemakers in Rensselaer County.
 

“The winery has taken the farm into a whole new demographic,” Marketing Director Karen Gardy told Hudson Valley Wine magazine. “When we started the winery, it made us a year round destination.”

Sue and Ed are also big proponents of Pride of New York. The Pride of New York is the state’s branding program for the promotion of New York State food and agricultural products. In addition to helping consumers find New York food, the program also assists farmers and food processors in promoting their products by using the Pride of New York emblem.

“The Pride of New York program helps so much, for not only us, but businesses across the state,” Ed told the press. “They do such a good job of promoting the quality products and produce which are produced in this state.”

The biggest surprise came to the fledgling Brookview Station Winery when it shocked the Hudson Valley wine community when it took the prestigious Cornell Cup when Whistle Stop White won best wine in the Hudson Valley in 2007, topping even Millbrook Vineyards! It was a semi-sweet, off-dry apple wine!
 

The first wine was an easy decision. Goold Orchards grows 16 different varieties of apples on 17, 000 apple trees on more than 100 acres. The semi-dry apple wine made its debut at the 2006 Goold Orchard Annual Apple Festival, and before the 2-day event was over, the first bottling had sold out!

The wine drew great reviews and became an immediate hit. Lenn Thompson, Editor-in-Chief of the New York Cork Report wrote, “I'm excited to publish this review… because it represents a new category of adult beverages being covered here on the NYCR -- fruit wines. Many people scoff at the category without even exploring the wines within it, but I'm enthusiastic to try and learn about anything, including fruit wines in the Hudson Valley -- and there are a lot being made there. And you know what, I think this Brookview Station Winery Whistle Stop White ($13) has its place….”

 
 

Thompson gave the wine its props, writing, “The nose is simple, showing fresh-cut apple and something lightly floral. It brings more of the same to a medium-bodied palate that shows a bit of sugary sweetness at first, but finished almost dry, with a little rustic apple skin bitterness that actually worked quite well…”

Whistle Stop won five Gold Medals over the next four years, and garnered nine medals and awards over all! Ed presses thousands of gallons of apple cider for grocery stores and shops throughout the region, but now he also puts in hours standing over his wine press. As much as he is a farmer, he is now a pressman all over. Whether the cider press or the wine press, Ed is always squeezing something.

The next wine was Oh What a Pear! An off-dry pear wine, which is sold in 750ml bottles, as well as splits. The fine pear fragrance is accompanied by a kind of cobbler-esque bready smell, with some honey and apricot thrown in. Lovely. Again, one of the better fruit wines in the valley.  That was followed “Pomona” (“Goddess of the Orchards”) an apple-pear fruit wine. Three dessert style table wines were added in February 2008, “Lotta Bing” cherry wine, “Just Peachy” peach wine and “Strawberry Sunrise” strawberry wine. All were very good wines, and sold through immediately.

Then there was All Aboard Red and semi-sweet red table wine which was also a very popular choice.


Then along came Sunset Charlie which is easily one of their biggest successes. A semi-sweet blush wine, with a picture of their dog Charlie on the label, this wine took off like a rocket! It is currently among the staples of their wine list, and one of the backbones of their wine business.

Ed continued to make ground as a serious fruit winemaker. “The Conductor’s Cassis” is a black currant cordial that winemaker Ed Miller says “is handcrafted in the traditional style of French artisan winemakers.” It is one of the best, fruit forward Cassis in the valley.
 
 

Staying with the train theme, Brookview also released Porter’s Port, a port-like desert wine made from two different tyoes of cherries. Cherry wines are dicey. Made badly, then often end up tasting like Formula 44D. But this was no cough-syrup. This was a lovely dessert wine with overtones of cherry, vanilla, mocha, and spice. An excellent dessert wine. Nice acidity. Not too sweet.

Truly, Ed had now cemented a portfolio of excellent fruit wines. But there was more. Brookview expanded their wine list by using outside grapes to offer a Merlot and Baco Noir which both were very good. But it was just a softening up of the beaches. Ed was now ready to storm the wine world.

After releasing what else, a cider named  Jo-Daddy’s Hard Cider to chime in with the immense popularity of hard cider these, Ed had something else up his sleeve.

Several years ago, Ed decided to plant grapes, choosing French-American hybrids and Wisconsin varieties to plant vineyards throughout the farm, tucked between orchards. Marachel Foch, Frontenac, and Marquette were the grapes he chose. Being a farmer and a grower now by trade, his vineyards flourished! Exploded in fact, and he had a full crop on the third year. And what did he do with the first year? He released Brookview’s ultra-premium wine, Estate Frontenac.

This was a bombshell of a big red wine. Big fruit, with decent structure and solid backbone, this is as lovely a Frontenac as I have had anywhere (see the separate review). It is a sign that Ed Miller has passed yet another milestone in his career. From setting type like jewels, he now setting fruits like jewels.
Ed Miller is a pressman through and through. He’s been squeezing stuff through the press his whole life. Now he’s squeezing his whole life in a press.