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.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

You Have to Go to Demarest Hill Winery!

Demarest Hill Winery may have had humble origins, but the sheer heart and love that the founder and owner has put into his work over the years has raised the winery in Warwick Valley to be renown the world over. Demarest Hill Winery plays host to a number of award winning wines. The winery had a beginning as a dream, 50 years ago. Francesco Ciummo dreamed of starting a winery every since he was a young man. This wasn’t a whim that had arisen from nowhere- Francesco’s young life centered around wine and winemaking. In his home in Molise, Italy, Francesco grew up helping to tend the vineyards that belonged to his family, perfecting his skill in the art as he grew older.
Francesco, living the dream.
Learning winemaking from his father, he was steeped in the knowledge of how to work at- and perfect- his craft. Truly, no surprise that he would end up with an award winning winery, founded through his sweat, tears, and love. Francesco Ciummo traveled the world to earn money, committing himself to the labour for the hope that he could one day accomplish his dream.

Francesco’s hard work did pay off, and he was able to move to America and use all the money he had accumulated to purchase land in Warwick, New York. On this land would eventually rest the Demarest Hill Winery.

The Winery itself. 

Francesco and Demarest Hill Winery have created over 35 different wines and brandies. And with a man so immersed in wine knowledge, it would be strange indeed if some of those had not won awards.

Drinks that have won awards include:

The Grappa Cristalinna
The Demarest Hill Grape Vodka
The Demarest Hill Winery and Distillery Cherry Brandy
and The Demarest Hill Very Special Riser

Francesco Ciummo isn’t known as a “Master Vinter” within the Winery ( and to anyone who decides to sample its wears) for nothing. Fans of the winery attest that “Everything Frank makes is TOP quality!” and that both the wines and the family and man behind them are “great.” It makes sense that they hold such adoration for Francesco- it’s the reason he does what he does. In his own words, he makes his wines “for the people.” Because “When they take a sip of my wine and smile, that’s my reward.” And as much as he loves his craft and the people around him, Ciummo adds “If they (didn’t) smile, I don’t think I would make wine anymore.”
Tools of the trade: Master Vinter Francesco Ciummo checks on his work. 

People who visit the winery espouse praises for the place, citing an enjoyable experience. The Proprietor and Founder Ciummo is constantly there, always with new information about the wines and beverages that he pours. And he should know a lot about those wines, considering he invented most of them! Visitors say the property “looks gorgeous and serene”, and that the place “is not like the other more commercial wineries in the area.” The homey atmosphere makes the visitors feel like family, with Francesco and his wife acting like the grandparents of anyone who makes a visit. Above all, people say that they “always, always have a good time there”. 
Award winning wines
The winery serves the guest with delicious homemade food and wine- as well as a friendly family atmosphere that cannot be bought. When guests are done they can go outside, enjoying the beautiful scenery and the crisp air. Or you can enjoy a refreshing picnic with friends and family on the sunny hillside. A full meal under the sky, following some of the most expertly crafted wines you could find- the Demarest Hill Winery offers an experience unlike any other. Enjoy yourself!

Written by HWVC Media Staffer Jorden James.



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