Browsing CategoryHudson Valley

Hudson-Berkshire Wine & Food Festival This Weekend

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People often debate whether “local” is measured by state or by miles.  The Hudson-Berkshire Beverage Trail measures it in miles. Tucked in between the northern-most portion of the Hudson Valley and the Berkshire Mountains, the Trail is home to a handful of wine, beer and spirit producers that cross the New York – Massachusetts state line. If you’ve never heard of them before, they’re offering you an excellent opportunity to check all their members in one spot this Memorial Day Weekend, when they’ll be hosting their inaugural Hudson-Berkshire Wine and Food Festival. The three wineries involved — Brookview Station, Hudson-Chatham,…

Palaia Vineyards 2011 “Hello my name is Irene” (White Blend)

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As you may remember, 2011 was a tough growing season in the Hudson River Region — mostly because of Hurricane Irene. Winemakers — like all people, really — deal with disasters differently. Jan Palaggi, owner/winemaker at Palaia Vineyards took what lemons she could find and made a bit of lemonade. When nearby Woodbury Creek flooded most of her vineyards, she most of her grape crop “Any grapes that were on the vine, rotted, or had to be cut off because the trellis either fell over or washed away,” she told me in a recent email. “People kept asking me if…

Naked Flock: the Tinkerers of Hudson Valley

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Jonathan Hull has done what many of us city dwellers only dream of: he has run off to the country to make stuff. A former insurance broker, he recently quit that job and has now immersed himself full-time in making cider and wine deep in the Hudson Valley. Working in the same orchard planted by his grandfather (and subsequently run by his father), Jonathan oversees nearly 40 acres of apples, as well as a one-acre vineyard.  His son, Dylan, 22, has been working with him for over 15 years, and is now in charge of outside sales and meeting new…

Benmarl Winery 2010 Ridge Road Estate Cabernet Franc

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Toasty oak and caramel candy mask red raspberry and peppery spice aromas on the nose. Lacks fruit on the palate as well — tasting far older than it is. Medium-full body, dominated by oak and Werther’s Originals flavors. Ripe, medium-intensity tannins bring nice structure, but the oak influence is just too strong here. Not a very good value at $28, although it’s great to see more estate-grown cabernet franc in the Hudson River Region AVA. Producer: Benmarl Winery AVA: New York ABV: 13% Price: $28*   (2 out of 5, Average)

Hudson-Chatham Winery 2011 Leon Millot

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As I taste more wines made from hybrid varieties — particularly red ones — I’m starting to think that the problems I’ve had in the past with these wines is not so much a grape problem, but rather a winemaker/winemaking one. For many years, the winemaking talent in regions reliant on hybrids (mainly because they are on the viticultural fringe) has been a bit lacking when compared to the world’s top regions. Wines like baco noir and DeChaunac weren’t very good, sure, but neither were the wines made from merlot, chardonnay and riesling. I was talking this over with a…

Whitecliff Vineyard NV Red Trail

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People think that I hate hybrids — but that just isn’t true. There are hybrid grapes that I think are pretty awful generally — I’m looking at you seyval blanc and traminette. But at the end of the day, if a wine tastes good, I don’t care what grape it’s made from. This wine tastes good, even if it’s a four-grape blend that includes three hybrids that I haven’t enjoyed much in the past. Whitecliff Vineyard NV Red Trail ($14) is a blend of dechaunac, frontenac, noiret and merlot — and the result is a spicy, easy-drinking red. Fresh strawberry…

New York Cork Report Tasting Table — November 16, 2012

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It has been my goal for some time to retire the “Tasting Table” posts. I prefer to give every wine an individual post — even a short one — but unique circumstances have brought the Table back again. Though NYCR headquarters didn’t suffer any flooding or tree-falling-on-house damage, we were without power for 11 days in Hurricane Sandy’s wake. That meant only sporadic Internet access (primarily on my iPhone) and while there was plenty of wine drinking (what else can one do in the dark, by candlelight… wait, don’t answer that) there wasn’t much opportunity for writing. Add to that…

New York Wines in China: Opportunities, Challenges and a Unique Education

Editor’s Note: Tomorrow, Jim Silver, general manager of Peconic Bay Winery and Empire State Cellars, will fly to China as part of a delegation set to represent and eventually sell New York wines there. While he’s there, he will be publishing a travel diary here on the New York Cork Report. I asked him to introduce that diary before he left. Bloomberg reports that the Chinese Gross Domestic Product grew 7.6% in the third quarter of this year over last year. The same report considers that a “drag from inventory restocking…” One has to wonder what they would consider robust growth. Sparing…

New York Wine, Beer, and Spirits Summit: Focus on Marketing, Not Fracking or WIGS

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When two dozen invited wine industry professionals take their seats at the head table at the New York Wine, Beer and Spirits Summit later this month, they’ll have specific goals in mind. So will Governor Andrew Cuomo, and that includes his desire to make sure the summit is not bogged down by two recurring debates: wine in grocery stores, and hydrofracking. Several sources confirm that the summit will be geared toward other issues, leaving the volatile hot buttons for another day. Indeed, Governor Cuomo has repeatedly stated his opposition to wine in grocery stores, and his administration continues to review…

Pop-Up Mead Tasting in Brooklyn with Enlightenment Wines

I received this invite this afternoon and thought it was more than interesting enough to post here. I have very little experience with mead, but after reading a bit about Enlightment Wines, I’m intrigued by the wild ferments, local ingredients and interesting flavor combinations. The event is this Thursday, October 4 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It’s a one-night-only pop up mead bar that will feature “some very limited edition esoteric wines” described as “locally sourced bone dry fruit wines and limited edition infused meads.” Enlightenment Wines Pop-Up Thursday, October 4 7 p.m. – 12 midnight 254 South 2nd Street  Williamsburg, NY 11211 Menu:…