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, August 31, 2014

Wolf Hollow - Something to Howl About!


I tasted Wolf Hollow when I went to a festival in May. I was immediately impressed by the three tastes I had! I was blown away! This small brewery, from West Glenville, NY, in the Hudson Valley is very impressive


Alright, all you have to do is read this statement on the website, and you know why I like these guys: "In an effort to bring the “micro” back to micro-brew, WHBC will focus on crafting beer and relationships. We believe that there is great value in the power of good beer to bring people together and that the more we grow as a community, the more good things might come from the building up of those relationships. To this end, WHBC will be a hub around which our small town of West Glenville might become even more connected. WHBC is not designed to be the next Sam Adams, but instead to stay true to the community from which it springs and to always do its best to provide its local residents, friends, and neighbors with world-class quality beer that they can truly call their own.  We like to say that we have a BIG vision, operating on a SMALL scale.  We wanted to concentrate on perfecting the craft and focus on our product and our customers in a responsible way."
 

 
Wolf Hollow Amber is an American Amber Ale of 5% ABV. This is the Wolf Hollow Amber is the flagship beer of WHBC because it is crafted after the unique character of West Glenville. The toasted notes and the warm reddish hue lure you in, and then the dry-hop keeps this beer honest. A very easy drinking beer.

District 6 IPA is an American India Pale Ale with a 6.7% ABV. According to Wolf Hollow, "The local firefighters of District 6 in West Glenville work hard for their community and they deserve a beer that reflects the intensity and clarity of that work." This is a pale yellow India Pale Ale is dry-hopped, so it has a big, floral nose. Absolutely beautiful! And a nice bitter finish. Great beer!

Pulpit Supply Brown is a lovely drinking 5.2%ABV American Brown Ale. A beautiful maltiness greats the nose, but it also has a lovely hoppiness at the finish. According to Wolf Hollow, "The Nugget hop used provides subtle florals reminiscent of the District 6. When Wolf Hollow’s Brewmaster made a decision to “put off” seminary in favor of brew school, one of his colleagues famously responded, “Lord knows, preachers need beer too.”" This is a great beer!
 

 
Three quick tastes were all I needed to make the decision on this brewery. And then I had a couple long pulls. And I was thrilled. And you will be too!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Beer Diviner Awaits You in Stephentown, NY

 
So this last summer, there was a small wine and beers fest at The Beer Diviner. You didn't have to pull my arm to get me to go. The beer diviner is a funky place. Dr. Jonathan Post, a former English professor (you know I like him already) traveled to Africa and mad beer.
 
 As Jonathan tells it, "Back in 2002, I was invited to brew beer by the elders of the Dagara village of Dano in Burkina Faso, West Africa. Dano means "Good Beer" in Dagara. While sharing my first batch with the elders, I was asked to build a small brewery. On a second trip the shamans divined that I was to do beer divination. I asked what beer divinination was. "We don't know," they said, "there has never been a beer diviner in Dagaraland. In fact there has never been a man who made beer."" And there the story begins.
 
 
A trip to The Beer Diviner is never boring. There is always something unusual. For example he sells hand made African drums in his tasting room. One of my sons, a drummer, was most, most impressed. And of course he carries some other products made in the region, like Lake George Distilling, and several other brands from other folks.
 
 
The tastingroom at The Beer Diviner is quirky. I love the chalkboard wall, and the rustic shelving, and the good selection. And if there's a spot at the bar, you are in luck. Also love the fired-up wood stove in winter. Very fun!
 
 
No question, Got Your Back is among my favorite beers at The Beer Diviner. This is an Imperial Coffee Oatmeal Stout, cold brewed with Sumatra French decaf, Maris Otter floor malted Scottish malt and seven other malts, English Fuggles and Goldings hops. It's big and bold and dark and chewy, but with just enough hops too finish dry and refreshing. A tremendous beer.

 
The Divinator is a Double IPA styled beer. Big and amber, with lots of malt, it nonetheless has plenty of hops to keep the ending on the beer honest. If you are expecting a hop-monster of a beer this isn't it. It's big and malty. But there is enough hops to keep it clean. And this is not a small beer. It comes in at a whopping 11% alcohol! Not for the feint of heart. A big beer!



 
He also sells The Great Chocolate Wreck from Good Natured Brewing. That will be a separate review! Good stuff.


 


 
So, after sever tastes form the tap, I settled into a Got Your Back, and enjoyed the afternoon. And before I left I bought a few beers. Fantastic!! So much fun!!!! A great time.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Hudson Valley Distillers Hardscrabble Applejack - The Applejack for Whiskey Lovers

 
Hudson Valley Distillers are two couples who have banded together to create a unique distillery here in the Hudson Valley. Earlier in the year, sometime in June, they opened the doors to their tasting room in a Grand Opening. As you can plainly see, I would never make it in the newspaper business.
 
 
The tastingroom and distillery are located in an old renovated barn. They are making heir applejack from locally grown apples. They are the kinda folks that are growing their own botanicals for their gin in a hot house there on the property. Doesn't that kinda say everything right there?
 
 
Anyway, the Grand Opening was a huge event. And an incredibly successful one!
 
 



 










 



 
 
Now, as much fun as this was, there is actually some news here, lest I am just publishing photos four months after the place has already been doing business. An that is about their Chancellor's Hardscrabble Applejack. Now, you might ask, what the big deal is? We've had applejack a while. But what's different about this applejack is that it tastes like whiskey! 

 
Chancellor Robert Livingston was an author of the Declaration of Independence, an entrepreneur that brought the steam ship to the Hudson River Valley, and the man that administered the oath of office to George Washington. He also once owned the land that we now call Spirits Grove Farm. During the Chancellor’s time, the town of Red Hook was known as Hardscrabble and was a crossroad on the main road between Albany and New York City. We like to think weary travelers may have stopped there and enjoyed Applejack similar to ours. Strong American oak start, hints of caramel and vanilla, ends like an aged scotch.

 
This is a big, dry, oaky, toasty, nutty, vanilla and spice-y, warm applejack that really does taste like whiskey. If you didn't know it was applejack, you wouldn't know it was applejack. In the tasting room there were a number of amazed disbelievers who suddenly did a double take. I was one of them with a sore neck, I turned so hard. It was amazing!!!









 

 



 
On the barn wall, they posted before pictures of the construction in the barn. Anyone who has ever done barn renovation will laugh and nod their head. Others will be powerfully amazed - as they should be. These two couples busted their butts turning this place over, and they have done an amazing job!!!!


 
 
 
Go to Hudson Valley Distillers and see what they have built! It's incredible what they have wrought. And try the Hardscrabble Applejack - it is also incredible. And you will be impressed, as we all were, at what these folks have wrought.