Browsing CategoryHudson Valley

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About 5,000 people live in Walton, New York, an unassuming town on the edge of the Catskills whose main drag is lined with quaint brick buildings and come fall, so many scarecrows that it’s sometimes called ‘Scarecrow Capital of the World.’ Walton might also earn a prominent spot in the story New York’s modern cider boom as the home of Awestruck Ciders. I took the hilly, two-and-a-half hour drive to Walton recently after sampling some fizzy Eastern Dry, a vaguely tropical cider that was so poised  — and at $9 for a 750-milliliter bottle, so well-priced — that I thought the…

Whitecliff Tasting Room 2

For all the wine I have enjoyed, which by any measure is quite a lot, I have visited surprisingly few vineyards. A few in Italy, one or two in California, some in Virginia and New Jersey. But, that has all changed since I took on the Hudson Valley Beat at the New York Cork Report. In fewer than three months I’ve visited four and there are many more on the calendar. For the first three I arrived with an appointment, a planned interview, A reporter’s tour. On this most recent visit, I decided to go undercover, as an everyday consumer off the street.…

Stephen Osborn at Stoutridge Vineyard

Stephen Osborn at Stoutridge Vineyard What started as a grand experiment, one with results that were successful beyond anyone’s expectations, Stoutridge Vineyard is a very unique winery. In 2001, founders Stephen Osborn and Kim Wagner set out to prove a thesis, they believed that great New York wines could be made truly locally, with local grape species, using the most simple, Old World, terrior-driven vinification processes — some call this “natural” wine making. To achieve wines that taste like they truly come from here. Their wines are perhaps like no others you have ever had. The best way I can begin to…

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  Hello, newest New York Cork Report correspondent, Peter Conway, here. I’ve learned, as no doubt you have, here at New York Cork Report we are all about New York wine, and the beer and spirits, and of course we’re all about — the New York lifestyle. So, we were delighted to say yes when offered the opportunity to partner with Random House to participate in and sponsor a fabulous New York event occurring this July called “Off the Page” at Basilica in Hudson, NY. Let me tell you a bit about it. “Off The Page” billed as a Saturday…

Matthew Spaccarelli General Manager and Winemaker Benmarl Winery

Matthew Spaccarelli of Benmarl Winery Matthew Spaccarelli speaks with the cautious optimism of a man who feels confident about what’s ahead on the sea of life. Knowing the risks and prepared to seize the opportunities. It has been ten years since he and his father, Victor, took ownership of Benmarl and five since he fully assumed the helm and for that matter engine room, as general manager and winemaker, of this storied Hudson Valley winery. Matt wonders about the claim that Benmarl is the America’s oldest winery, it may or may not be true, nevertheless he is very happy to be working lands…

Early spring vines at Millbrook Vineyards and Winery, ready to do their thing.

Early spring vines at Millbrook Vineyards and Winery, ready to do their thing. During the steep drive up to Millbrook Vineyards & Winery, in some spots the only thing you can see are rows of grapevines stretching to the horizon. The effect can be both eerie and disorienting — wasn’t I driving through the Hudson Valley a minute ago? — especially on a drizzly, raw April day when there’s not a soul, or leaf, in sight. Looks can be deceiving. Inside the beamed winery — a converted dairy barn — is the clamor and hum of machinery. It’s bottling day…

Jan Palaggi Palaia Vineyard

Jan Palaggi from Palaia Vineyards They say wine, women and song are inseparable. Add a few good men and we have the family affair of Palaia Vineyards in Highland Mills, NY. I just visited with Jan Palaggi, self-proclaimed queen of the operation that she and her husband Joseph founded thirteen years ago. We explored the property, winery and event spaces and tasted some wines. Before sharing my impressions of the wine let me say that while making great juice is a big part of the Palaia family tradition, music, good food and festive events are too. Together they make a delightful experience to…

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Please join me in welcoming Peter Conway as the newest member of the New York Cork Report’s correspondent team.  Since 2005 he has written the wine and food pairing blog, Mano a Vino. I met Peter at the North American Wine Bloggers Conference in Charlottesville, VA several years ago. Peter recently moved to the Hudson Valley, in Garrison, NY with his wife Diana Polack, after raising their two children in Montclair, NJ over 27 the last years. Peter tells me that his passion for wine was ignited in 1979 when he happened upon a spectacular wine in a tiny Florida Gulf Coast wine store.…

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Argyle Brewing Company is the first farm brewery to open in Washington County, NY. Ironically, Argyle takes its name from the “dry” town that one of the owners hails from. Their beer is brewed down the road in neighboring Greenwich, NY since “a successful brewery needs to sell its product.” The founders chose the name in order to pay homage to the hard working farmers and factory workers of Argyle. Their concept of sourcing hops and barley locally will help to bolster the surrounding farms and economy, befitting for a company that was born of local pride. I was unaware…

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Today I’m happy to announce that Corin Hirsch, a writer and beverage lover I met a few years ago at TasteCamp, has joined the NYCR team. Corin is an enthusiastic drinker, a history geek, and a freshly minted resident of the Hudson Valley, though she grew up in a cul-de-sac on Long Island. Before she joined the white-collar ranks, she worked as a used book buyer, hot-dog-hawker, sandwich maker, and barmaid, the last at a 16th-century pub in rural England. She’s spent almost her entire professional life in publishing — as a reporter, editor, designer, and art director. For the…