Hudson River Valley Wineries

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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.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Poughkeepsie Journal: Hudson Valley Summit at Culinary Institute Targets Industry For Growth

Drinks summit talks business growth

Changes to the state's laws, fees and licenses for small-scale alcoholic beverage makers created a boom in the industry and additional jobs. More state streamlining is in the works.
That's according to business owners, state officials and others related to the drinks industry, who shared successes and challenges at the second annual Wine, Beer, Spirts & Cider Summit.
The Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation hosted the summit Thursday at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park. About 400 people attended, organizers said.

The Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation and its Hudson Valley Food and Beverage Alliance hosted the Beer, Wine Spirits and Cider Summit 2.0 (fl. oz.) at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park. About 400 people attended. Emily Stewart/Poughkeepsie Journal

"What is really growing in the business is higher-quality beverage alcohol," said James Mariani, the keynote speaker and co-CEO of Banfi Vintners in Long Island.

Mass-produced beer is losing some of its market share. Craft beverages (those produced on a small scale by independent businesses) are gaining, he said.

Selling well in restaurants is important to growth, particularly beer. But it's the same with wine, he said.

"(You) want to get sommeliers excited about it," he said. "It's more powerful than at the retail level."
Choose what segment is going to be the company's heart and soul, he said.
"It's very difficult to be all things to all people," he said.

Thomas J. Donohue, special counsel to the State Liquor Authority, gave an update on laws and regulations that have changed, and those in the works.

Along with the creation of the "farm cidery" license (in October 2013), beverage makers can now choose to market the drink as a wine or a cider. Different rules apply, he said, but "at least you have the option."

The state is eliminating surety bonds — money it can claim in the event disciplinary fees go unpaid — for small manufacturers, he said.

Laurence Gottlieb, HVEDC president at CEO, said a lot of the first summit was expressing issues to the state. He is glad to hear they listened.

Tom Edwards, president of the state Liquor Store Association, said his organization is hosting roundtable discussions in January — during the slow season — at four sites across the state, including the Hudson Valley.

"The retailers have a very large commitment to promoting NY products," he said. "If you want to break into a new markets, get to those roundtables."

Michael Babcock, President of in Tilson, Ulster County, said at the first summit it was intriguing to see people from the highest levels of state government interacting with and listening to people specifically in the industry.

"You can see from this year all of the changes that have occurred or are in the process of occurring as a direct result of the summit last year," he said.

Emily Stewart: 845-437-4882;; Twitter: @estwrt.

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