Browsing CategoryHudson Valley

Inside Copake Wine Works, aka “Frankly Wines North”

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The first Saturday tasting at Copake Wine Works felt slightly subversive: Standing behind a table in the front window, co-owner Christy Frank splashed Greek white and Moroccan syrah into the glasses of customers who were possibly more used to tried-and-true Chardonnay and G&Ts on lazy August afternoons. The wines were quenching, though, and well-priced, so many left with bottles of Semeli “Mountain Sun” Moschofilero and Ouled Thaleb Syrah cradled in their arms. On Instagram, Frank has called Copake Wine Works, the three-month old wine shop she and her husband, Yanai, run in this sleepy upstate village, “Frankly Wines North,” and its shelves offer a mashup…

Upper Hudson Wines Smell Like Victory

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In 1777, the Battle of Saratoga was declared a decisive turning point in the struggle for American independence. Just a few miles from that pivotal ground, Victory View Vineyard slopes in three directions spinning from Southeast to Southwest situated along the local highway, NY State Route 40, and there they are firing warning shots that herald a new revolution in upstate New York agriculture. The site was selected because of its visibility from the road but it turned out to be a lucky choice because it turns out to be excellent for both air and water drainage. Mary and Gerry Barnhart have a…

New Kid on the Block, Bruno and Rafael Winery

Bruno and Rafael Tasting Room

For many people wine is just another item on their supermarket shopping list, a gallon of milk, a liter of soda, Coke or Sprite, some wine red or white. True, not so in New York which is one of the 15 states that still doesn’t allow supermarket wine sales, which by the way account for about 42% of all wines sales in the U.S.  And certainly not so for wine geeks like me.  Or Bob from Sonoma and Bruno Alterescu who I met today at Bruno’s new winery in Marlboro, NY. For us the wine experience is something to be…

How Awestruck Is Wooing Drinkers To Cider

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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…

On the Shawangunk Wine Trail, a Visit to Whitecliff

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.…

Stoutridge a Uniquely Local Winery

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…

New York Cork Report Goes “Off The Page” With Random House on July 11, 2015

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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…

Benmarl Winery, Very Ready for the Next Ten Years

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…

Millbrook Vineyards’ “Local Juice” — Then and Now

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…