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, December 28, 2014

Brunel & Rafael - A Great New Producer in the Hudson Valley

OK, so I went down to the Shawangunk wine trail and I found a brand new producer you really need to check out....Brunel & Rafael. This is a small production boutique winery. It's located not too far from Benmarl, Stoutridge, and other centrally located wineries in Marlboro. The winery's name is a combination of the grandfather Brunel and the grandson, Rafael. Kristop Brown is the winemaker/consultant.

It's set up in a house in a fairly residential area. But the inside is completely lovely! Beautiful antiques and butter yellow walls. Extremely handsome.

The first wines I tried was the Merlot Rose 2012. This is New York fruit and had a nose of strawberry and baguette. Lovely on the palate with light cherry and lime coming through. A fresh, zesty finish.

The Chardonnay 2012 is Hudson Rer Region fruit, which I was very excited to see. A lovely, elegant chardonnay. Bright crisp apple, hints of pear and melon with a lovely finish. Barrel fermented but not overly heavy, like you might expect. Nice nose. Pretty mouthfeel, but still fairly lean. Really lovely!

This Hudson Rver Region Pinot Noir 2012 instantly became one of my favorites! Beautiful bright and ripe cherries explode out of the glass and across the palate. This is a brilliant Pinot noir. Absolutely fabulous! This single wine is why you must come to taste this vineyard. Stellar!

A classic, lovely Cabernet Franc with dark cherries and No. 2 pencils. Good fruit gives was to a solid middle an a nice dry finish Complex. Balanced. Very nice.

For my money, the Chardonnay 2012 an the Pinot Noir 2012 were instantly join the ranks of some of the better wines in the Hudson Valley. This was amazing wine. Also, tasted but not pictured was their Gewurztraminer 2012. Hugely floral, like a bouquet of tropical fruit and flowers! Absolutely stunning. Another great reason to come down!

A lovely, classic Merlot. Lots of dark cherry, dark raspberry and vanilla. Very nice. Very respectable. A good, solid medium-bodied dry red table wine. By the numbers. Well done.

On the whole, the tasting was a great success. Great early stuff from a new, quality focused producer. Very exciting. Get on down there!


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