Friday, July 31, 2009


Water, water everywhere, and not a drop to drink!

We're getting ready to start taking animals and boarding up the hatch ways. The winery is about to set sail. It is in the middle of a lake roughly the size of Hudson Bay!

Water is everywhere. One good thing....the vines are on two small, but arable hills. They're fine. Bad news, the winery is now surrounded by trout.

This is a drag. We can't bottle several badly needed barrels of Merlot, because we can't get close enough to move in all the materials we need to bottle...50-60 cases of bottles, etc. With a truck, because there's literally four inches of water surrounding the winery!

And we can't excavate behind the barn because there's now a stream running across where we're supposed to be digging.

And we have a wine festival tomorrow and we've got to pack while our drive way is a raging river.

On a more serious note, this season has been challenging, and more importantly, farms around us are plowing under and/or burning their crops, as this has been the worst tomato and potato season in memory. Many farms will have to file for disaster relief. A tough summer for farmers.


Thursday, July 30, 2009


The cover story of the August issue of Hudson Valley Magazine features 20+ Winning Wineries from throughout the valley. The story was written by Shannon Gallagher.

"HUDSON-CHATHAM WINERYColumbia County’s first winery — though still in its early years — has already wowed discerning palates, winning several awards at the HVWC. The boutique winery specializes in small-batch reds and whites made from Long Island, Finger Lakes, and Hudson Valley grapes. Tastings, weddings, local artisanal cheeses and desserts. Open Sat.-Sun. Sip this: The 2007 Hudson River Red won not only a gold medal, but Best in Category (Red Hybrid) at the HVWC (having already sold out once this summer, a fresh batch should be available this month). Ghent. 518-392-9463"

Thanks Shannon!!!

Shannon Gallagher is a Hudson Valley native, having recently returned from academic pursuits below the Mason-Dixon and more recently in Portland, Maine. She lives in Rhinebeck, happy to once again be close to the mountains that distinguish home.

Read the whole story at:

And remember, come on down for the August 8th Sangria Festival at the winery!

Sunday, July 26, 2009


"Bounty of the Hudson" Wine Festival
Saturday and Sunday, August 1 & 2, 2009

Festival Hours are 12 Noon to 5PM each day

Tickets $25 per person in advance $35 at the door

~ 2009 Location - Millbrook Winery, Millbrook NY ~

To order tickets by phone call our automated ticket hotline

Taste the wines from the Hudson-Chatham Winery as well as all the wineries on the Shawangunk Wine Trail and from around the Hudson Valley region. Enjoy tastes and dishes from area restaurants, epicurean delights, farm fresh produce, cooking workshops and Live Music!


Last night, the Hudson-Chatham Winery was very pleased and proud to host the first Hudson Valley Winemaker's BBQ. Winemakers from all over the region, from the bottom of the valley and as far north as Saratoga Springs (although the valley officially stops at Albany) attended.

Many wineries were represented. And they noshed on such delights as cheeses from Harperfield and Coach Farm, beef from Trowbridge Farms, and breads from River Street Bakers. Two grilled chickens were served, one using a marinade using Hudson-Chatham Balsamic Vinegar and one using Old Kinderhook BBQ sauce.

Anthony Trigo of Cleremont Vineyards

Ken Lifshitz from Silverstream Winery

Dennis Pitts from Preston Hollow Vineyards

John Huddleson, Hudson Highlands grower, Steve Casscles, Hudson-Chatham Winery winemaker, and Dick Eldrige of Brimstone Hill.

Anthony Trigo of Cleremont Vineyards, Michael Migliore of Whitecliff Vineyards, and Paul Gioquindo, handsomely standing in for the HudsonValley Wine Goddess Debbie Gioquindo.

Ralph Cooley, general manager, was our master griller, and Carlo DeVito and D Curto split duties on the second grill. Thanks Ralph and D!!!!

We drank a whole lot of wine, and talked wine all night. It was a lot of fun!


The Canaan Historical Society held a screening of our film A Family Farm, and Carlo gave a talk afterwards about the pratfalls, perils, and pride that goes along with having a working farm winery.
The Canaan Historical Society is based in an old Presbyterian Church that stopped offering services back in the 1950s. It is chock-a-block with all manner of things, from old signs and post office boxes, to local artifacts of archeological digs, as well as dolls, needwork, farm impliments, and other fascinating items.

Here's a photo of when the church was last in use.

The screening was well attended, and afterwards there was a tasting of three maple syrups available from the winery.

During the summer, the Canaan Historical Society holds numerous talks and events. You should go. It's a lot of fun!

And thanks to all those who attended!

Monday, July 20, 2009


Day 3 began the same as Day 2, we entered the Dragon - the Dunkin Dounuts parking lot in Watkins Glen - UGH! What a nightmare. Us, the other festival professionals, attendees, and Sunday services observers. Awful! Took 20 minutes to get a coffee and a bagel.

Then off to the tents. Another brief shower had hit. But we were good this time. And the water was starting to subside.

The drunkenness that some exhibit on Saturday generally subsides, and Sunday is buying day. The serious wine folks have tasted everything the day before. Sunday, they taste the few they missed the day before, and then make their buying decisions. They generally want to be out by Sunday around 2 to 3 pm. So Sunday morning is buying time. While Saturday had been manic and wild, Sunday mornings are for business. And we did business.

That said, Sundays start out a little subdued, so I went around, after chugging my coffee and bagel, and went and did some tasting. But by middle of the day everything was hopping. I walked away for about an hour total - about four 15 minute breaks, only to comeback to a mobbed table every time. First we sold out the Paperbirch Raspberry Fine Ruby. Then the Hudson River Valley Red. Then the Paperbirch Fine Ruby. Then the Paperbirch Palladian White. We sold lots of wine.

Met lots of other winemakers. Great overall experience.

Then comes the end of the show. It's what you're begging for - when the big, hulking state trooper steps in front of the stragglers, and says, "That's it. Show's over. Go home. No more serving!" He was our hero.

Then it's the mad dash. We look like refugees. The whole camp breaks up within an hour and half. The wine is boxed, trucks are backed in, and the stalls are broken down as fast an anyone can. Bottles are thrown in the recycling dumpster. Leftover boxes are broken down. Banners are taken down. The circus is closing up.

Then we were on the road. With 4 1/2 hours of driving to go. After two days of standing we all decided we needed a quick dinner, but a sit down one. Diner or fast food - which ever came first. MacDonalds.

David and Chris had never seen anything like it. They did a great job. We were all exhausted. We ate quickly and with little fan fare. We drank lots of soda, tea, and water replenishing our bodies.

David drove up front ahead of the van in his BMW. We had phone contact form time to time. Chris drove the van while I worked on the numbers for the winery and for the festival, and then started working on my blog entries.

We followed David deep into the night and somewhere on I-90, 3 1/2 hours later we lost sight of each other and just each made our way for home.

We finally pulled into the winery at around 10:30. I couldn't wait to get to bed. Poor Chris still had another forty minutes to his home before finally getting into his bed. We offered his our guest room, but he wanted his own bed. As the saying goes, "Familiarity breeds a better sleep." I know I slept well.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Day 2: D-Day, The First Day of the Festival

It came and went in a flash. These are quick remembrances of the day.

The Dunkin Dounuts parking lot was like a Chinese puzzle, with each car, truck or van moving a few feet so the other could go. By the time I was able to completely turn the car around, Chris had brought our coffee and assorted breakfast treats out. Took 20 minutes. Still don’t know why I agreed to pull in.

We got to the vendor parking lot when one smart traffic director asked us why we didn’t have our parking permit? No clue. I had out packet right there. Showed it to him. He let us park but told me I had to go to the office and walk back out with a permit or they would have me towed.

Arrived at the booth – now nicknamed The Poseidon! During the night there had been a bad storm. Our booth now sat in at least and inch-and- a-half of water. During the day David and I kept repeating lines from the original movie and asking, “Which way to the engine room?” As one clever attendee quipped – “Did you have to pay extra for he water feature?”

However, the real worst of it was that our stationery box had been blown over. More than 300 brochures (the bulk of what we brought) were soaking wet and had to be thrown out. We salvaged what we could. Same for boxes. We threw out half of all out paper products.

So now I went to the booth. Ah, yes. I forgot out donation for the cause – two bottles of any wine for the cause. OK. And then where’s my permit? “Let me see, ah yes, here it is,” said the official, in a stack of wineries who inadvertently were not sent their permits either. Will wonders never cease.

Not a fun way to start the day. Then we made sangria and pushed forward.

The rest of the day was a blur. By the time I got back to the booth it was 10:30, and the guys were under siege. The booth was surrounded. I imagined it was like the last three of four guys at Little Big Horn must have faced. And the onslaught continued with happy festival goers hovering around our tables the entire day until two big troopers came by and yelled to everyone – “No more serving or selling. It’s over!”

It was a very good day.

Then it was off to dinner. David convinced us to go to Elmira for dinner. We had originally planned to go to the Stone Cat or the Café at Red Newt, but the line of traffic going back down into town was brutal. It would take us an hour or so to get there. We didn’t have the patience. David led us toward Elmira.

He made it sound close, but it was not. We went through the mountains and saw nary a human being. I said to Chris that I was still too young to play the part of Ned Beatty in Deliverance. I thought that if I came to it, I would happily sacrifice his young life before mine – after all, I still owe a lot more people and I would really just be helping the economy. We ended up at a very large regional mall, with a Chilis, Olive Garden, Ruby Tuesdays and a Red Lobster, not to mention a McDonalds. We ended our day at Red Lobster with a little surf and turf action, and the prettier waitresses ogling Chris. And then in complete darkness, Chris and I drove back to Watkins Glenn, getting lost for sure, but somehow finding our way home. I must say, surprisingly, Chris has an excellent sense of direction. And after a few beers was much more chatty on the way back.

We got back to the hotel, and Chris put on some Chinese kung-fu movie, and I eventually rolled over and passed out in my own bed within minutes.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

John Vorperian Visits
Hudson-Chatham Winery
Acclaimed sports talk show host John Voperian recently came and visited the Hudson-Chatham Winery with some friends.

John Vorperian spent his childhood summers at Fenway Park and Plum Island, MA. Those halcyon days led to an incurable Red Sox obsession. A SABR member since 2000 he hosts "Beyond the Game" on White Plains Cable TV. When not writing for or teaching Sports Law at Concordia College (NY) John daydreams about flyfishing with Ted Williams, Tris Speaker, and The Babe.

John hosts his weekly television show and has drawn some huge names across the years and has been profiled by the New York Times.

"The conversation on the show is seldom ordinary and often goes beyond baseball. Tim Flannery, a coach with the San Diego Padres, talked about his career as an accomplished country musician. Don Buford, the former Baltimore Orioles’ outfielder, and Mr. Vorperian talked about their love of college football. More recently, the Giants’ Hall of Fame linebacker Harry Carson discussed the plight of retired players who suffer the long-term effects of concussions," wrote James Reislerin July of 2007. "Mr. Vorperian tapes his show on his lunch breaks, evening hours and vacations. He said that balancing his commitment to the studio with his work in the courtroom and in the classroom was demanding, but well worth the effort."

“Part of the blast of the show is the opportunity to indulge in my passion for sports and history,” Mr. Vorperian told the Times. “I ask my guests to tell me stories, and the results can be a lot of fun. Talking with some of the heroes of yesteryear is like making my childhood baseball card collection come alive.”
Thanks John for making the trip!!
Hudson-Chatham Winery
to Host Chamber Business After Hours
July 23, 2009

Hudson, NY – Join the Chamber and enjoy some wonderful local wine as Hudson-Chatham Winery as they host a Business After Hours on Thursday, July 23. The event will run from 5:00 to 7:00 pm.
Hudson-Chatham Winery is the dream of Carlo and Dominique DeVito, both publishing professionals who have long shared a love of wine. This exciting new winery, which specializes in small hand-made batches of wine, is dedicated to the richness of the Hudson River Valley , particularly its wine, agriculture, literature, art, history, and many other attractions that make it a rich and special region. The winery features hand-crafted wines, cheeses and desserts, and includes vineyard tours and a gazebo with scenic views. A visit to the Hudson-Chatham Winery will inspire all your senses.
Business After Hours' offer excellent networking opportunities for area business people. All members of the business community are invited to attend this business event. Hors d'oeuvres and beverages will be offered during the After Hours. Hudson-Chatham Winery is located at 1900 Route 66 in Ghent . There is no cost to attend but guests are encouraged to contact the Chamber at (518) 828-4417 if they plan to attend.

The Columbia County Chamber of Commerce, with its 850 members, is the leading voice of business in Columbia County, providing advocacy, promotional and benefit solutions for its members. Those seeking more information concerning the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce and membership can contact the Chamber at (518) 828-4417 or visit the website at
DAY 1:

So Ben Casscles and I loaded up the van Thursday, after we spray painted the new booth accessories for hours in the hot baking sun. We had to make sure we had the new banners, the table leg extenders, the dump buckets, the cash box, extra credit card receipts, triple copy sales books, cork removers, Dixie cups, syrup, balsamic vinegar, and many other sundry items.

Then I went to bed and awoke the next morning only to realize we were short two cases. Quickly labeled two cases (we were out of labeled wine) and then ran into the shower to get ready.

There, I was greeted by the largest and most aggressive spider I have ever seen. It came from across the bathroom and into the shower and was coming right at me! I hate spiders. It was the size of a Buick! I hit him with spray and washed hm down the drain. He hung on for dear life, fighting going down the drain. I felt kind of bad. But when I relented, he started coming right at me again. Bye-bye!

Chris was late and we got in the heavily weighted van and left. Chris was his usual talkative self. He put on his ipod earphones and tuned out. He's a really good guy though. I had brought a VHS movie player, and plugged it in and drove the four hours watching The Lion In Winter, which Chris found boring. I loved it. So much for shared movie taste.

The most annoying thing was the smell coming from the back of the van where the painted parts were, which gave off a lovely aroma. When the windows were closed, and we ran the air conditioner, we didn't notice it so much. But any time we let in fresh, outside air, we noticed it much more so. Awful!

We met up with David Jackson, who is our sales director, at Watkins Glen. David's a great guy. He's doing his darndest try try and bring the winery into the modern era. And to grow he's right, but Luddites like myself, Dominique and Ralph are resisting. However, David is not to be denied. He'll eventually win. We set up the booth, bought some burgers, and headed up the west side of Lake Seneca in the rain to sample wines.

We stopped at many of our favorite wineries, as well as Finger Lakes Distillery and for the beer at Wagners.

Not a bad first night.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

AUGUST 8, 2009

Hudson-Chatham Winery at
Millay Colony for the Arts
Summer Fete!

My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends --
It gives a lovely light!
"First Fig," 1918

If you're looking for something truly out-of-the-ordinary to do this Saturday night, July 18, come to the Millay Colony of the Arts for their Summer Fete. It's an Art & Music Festival that's an evening party of art, music, wine, and hors d'oeuvres in a festive party tent under the stars. There will be music from Millay alumni and special guests; delicious treats from local restaurants and farms; featured wines from Hudson-Chatham Winery (what more could you want?!); and special wine choices from Hudson Wine Merchants, as well. There will also be a silent auction of original postcard art by Millay alumni. The event is from 6-10 pm at the Colony, 454 East Hill Rd., Austerlitz, NY, and tickets are $75/person.

The Millay Colony promotes the vitality of the arts and the development of writers, visual artists, and composers by providing a retreat for creative work.

Millay the Poet
Born in Rockland, Maine in 1892, Edna St. Vincent Millay early on displayed the literary talents that she later became known for. She was only nineteen years old when she published one of her most famous poems, Renascence. Over the next three decades, she published poetry, plays, political writings, and a libretto for an opera set to music by Deems Taylor. She also went on cross-country reading tours and recited poetry over the radio to support the war effort. Her work was honored in 1923 with the Pulitzer Prize.
In the immediate post-World War I era, Millay emerged as a major figure in the cultural life of Greenwich Village, when the Village served as an incubator of every important American literary, artistic, and political movement of the period. As part of this milieu, Millay's work and life came to represent the modern, liberated woman of the Jazz age, free of the restrictions of the past, as represented in her famous lines of poetry, "My candle burns at both ends..."
In 1925, Millay and her husband, Eugen Boissevain, a Dutch importer, purchased the property at Steepletop, a 19th-century farmhouse, in Austerlitz, New York. They spent the next 25 years creating both a peaceful place where Millay could write and a social gathering spot that their friends—writers, musicians, and others—could enjoy.

Millay died at Steepletop in 1950. Her gravesite is on the property, along with those of her husband, her mother Cora, her sister Norma, and her brother-in-law Charles Ellis.

(courtesy Edna St. Vincent Millay Society)

Sunday, July 12, 2009


Follow our crack team as we take you on a step-by-step journey to the Finger Lakes Wine Festival 2009 in Watkin Glenn, on July 17, 18, 19.

FINGER LAKES WINE FESTIVAL is next weekend, starting with the infamous “Toga Party” on Friday night and followed by two days of wine sampling and sales by over 85 wineries. Held at Watkins Glen International race track and presented by Yancey’s Fancy New York’s Artisan Cheese, the wonderful wine weekend also features many other products from food to jewelry and pottery. New this year is a Vintner’s Riesling Room, hosted by Finger Lakes Wine Country Tourism Marketing Association, where tasters may learn all about Riesling and why the Finger Lakes is such a great region for producing it. As usual, we’ll be coordinating a series of seminars including Wine & Chocolate, Wine & Cheese, Riesling, Ask the Winemaker, and presentations by regional wine trails on what makes them special. This Festival draws thousands of people from around the country, boosting the local economy and spreading the word about fine New York wine. It’s a great time for a very reasonable price.
For more information:

See you all at the Finger Lakes!

We now have a fabulous new, Dijon-styled mustard made from our own Seyval Blanc. Its tangy and spicy and smooth. Great with meats and cheese. A fabulous new addition to our food products line.