Monday, October 26, 2009


Dressed as Mrs. Bachus, Dominique won third place at the Schenectady Farmer's Market Halloween Costume Conest yesterday, Sunday at Proctor's in Albany.

Congrats to Dominique and to all the folks that have made the summer market such a great success!


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Schenectady Curlers Visit
Hudson-Chatham Winery

Dorothy, Bette, Helen, Jim, Lisa, and Sue of the Schenectady Curler's Club visited at the winery last night! We were so glad they had such a beautiful night for the tasting. They were such a fun group!

Thank you, too, for your encouragement and support of the winery. We hope you enjoyed the wines last night, and that the people you share them with do, too.

And keep on curling!

To visit the Schenectady Curling Club online:

Best wishes and good fortune,
Dominique & Carlo De Vito

Monday, October 19, 2009


This past Saturday, we hosted the 2009 Pyschic Fair in Ghent, and it was a smashing success. We also introduced our new pasta sauce and our new cheese spreads. Everything went very well, and it was one of our most widely attended events. Special thanks to Linda and Francesca. A tremendous event!

Above, Ali, Jaime, Krissy and Jenn, some of the seasonal goers, took time out to enjoy a glass of wine and relax. Meanwhile, below, it was back to picking, crushing, pressing and storing of this season's wines on the crush pad. The boys were back at work, joined by Rob Shields, a friend from New Jersey.

We had a lot of fun and got a lot done!
Thanks all!

All-American Dog Breeds
What do the Australian shepherd, olde English bulldogge, and Catahoula leopard dog have in common? They're all breeds that originated in the U.S. If you haven't heard of them, that may be because only 14 of the 44-odd all-American breeds are recognized by the American Kennel Club (though some are in the process of being so). This and lots of other information is available for your discovery in the World Atlas of Dog Breeds, the latest edition of which lists more than 420 internationally recognized dog breeds and varieties and provides detailed history, personality, traits, and care and training requirements for each one.
All photographs by Isabelle Francais unless otherwise noted.


Pet Talk: Let's unleash a conversation about books
By Sharon L. Peters, Special for USA TODAY

World Atlas of Dog Breeds (TFH Publications, $99.95). OK, I know, the price is staggering (I've seen it for $70, if that helps), but whenever I leave this new edition lying about and a friend with only mild interest (or less) in dogs arrives and thumbs casually through it, I've lost that person for hours. A truly comprehensive guide to dog breeds, not only those recognized by the American Kennel Club but also those of other registries, like the American Rare Breed Association and Canadian Kennel Club, it provides an astonishing amount (plus good photos) about each breed, including its history, general demeanor and needs And there's even a thumbnail of fast facts, including energy level, trainability and compatibility with kids.

Because the descriptions aren't written by breed loyalists (who are often behind the books devoted to a single breed), the descriptions don't hyperventilate; thorough, everything-you-should-know details provide a clear-eyed look at each breed. Also, the mystery of why in certain regions you see so many of a certain-looking dog (that you've never seen when you've watched the Westminster Dog Show on TV) is unveiled — it's actually a breed.
Register Star
Peter Pan coach grounded

A Peter Pan coach carrying Connecticut daytrippers bottomed out during a visit to the Hudson-Chatham Winery on Friday afternoon. (Karrie Allen/Hudson-Catskill Newspapers)
Sunday, October 18, 2009 2:14 AM EDT

A coach bus bottomed out entering the driveway of the Hudson-Chatham Winery on Route 66 in Ghent Friday afternoon, causing a delay in traffic and for the passengers from Connecticut, a slight delay in their plans. According to the bus driver, their first stop was the winery and then lunch and then a stop at Love Apple Farm. The bus driver quipped that it looked like he hadn’t been the first to bottom out as evidenced by previous ruts left in the road in front of the driveway. A New York State trooper was on scene directing traffic and Robbie Speed of Speed’s Garage in Mellenville helped the bus back out of the driveway. Around 12:30 p.m., the bus was ready to roll again.

Photo and text by Karrie Allen.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


Hudson-Chatham Winery introduces our new Marinara Pasta Sauce this weekend.

Come on down and taste the sauce!

Fresh tomatoes, basil, and herbs and spices. A delicious accompaniment for pasta, chicken, vegetables or many other dishes.

And it's local!

Come on down and taste it!

Lenndevours recently reviewed Hudson-Chatham Empire.

A great review and nice comments stream.

Empire continues to garner notice across the state.

Only 20 cases left!!!!

Read the whole review at:

And thanks Lenn!

These three new delicious spreads combine the flavor of horseradish with cheese for an unforgettable taste sensation!

Horseradish Cheese Spread is a zesty combination of New York State cheese blended with horseradish.

Horseradish Blue Cheese is a delightful, complex spread blending the pungent goodness of New York State Blue Cheese and horseradish for an unforgettable flavor.

Cheddar Cheese Horseradish is a hearty mixture of aged yellow New York State Cheddar, mustard, and horseradish. Incredible!

Horseradish has been cultivated since antiquity. According to Greek mythology, the Delphic Oracle told Apollo that the horseradish was worth its weight in gold. Horseradish was known in Egypt in 1500 BC and has traditionally been used by Jews from eastern Europe in Passover Seders, often representing maror. Cato discusses the plant in his treatises on agriculture, and a mural in Pompeii showing the plant has survived until today. Horseradish is probably the plant mentioned by Pliny the Elder in his Natural History under the name of Amoracia, and recommended by him for its medicinal qualities, and possibly the Wild Radish, or raphanos agrios of the Greeks.

Both root and leaves were used as a medicine during the Middle Ages and the root was used as a condiment on meats in Germany, Scandinavia, and Britain. It was taken to North America during Colonial times.

William Turner mentions horseradish as Red Cole in his "Herbal" (1551-1568), but not as a condiment. In "The Herball, or Generall Historie of Plantes" (1597), John Gerard describes it under the name of raphanus rusticanus, stating that it occurs wild in several parts of England. After referring to its medicinal uses, he says: "the Horse Radish stamped with a little vinegar put thereto, is commonly used among the Germans for sauce to eat fish with and such like meates as we do mustarde."

Where the English name horseradish comes from is not certain. It may derive by misinterpretation of the German Meerrettich as mare radish. Some think it is because of the coarseness of the root. In Europe the common version is that it refers to the old method of processing the root called "hoofing". Horses were used to stamp the root tender before grating it.

Horseradish (Armoracia rusticana, syn. Cochlearia armoracia) is a perennial plant of the Brassicaceae family, which also includes mustard, wasabi, broccoli, and cabbages. The plant is probably native to southeastern Europe and western Asia, but is popular around the world today. It grows up to 1.5 meters (five feet) tall and is mainly cultivated for its large white, tapered root.

The intact horseradish root has hardly any aroma. When cut or grated, however, enzymes from the damaged plant cells break down sinigrin (a glucosinolate) to produce allyl isothiocyanate (mustard oil), which gives it the smell and taste that people associate with horseradish.

Cooks use the terms "horseradish" or "prepared horseradish" to refer to the grated root of the horseradish plant mixed with vinegar. Prepared horseradish is white to creamy-beige in color. It will keep for months refrigerated but eventually will start to darken, indicating it is losing flavor and should be replaced. The leaves of the plant, which while edible are not commonly eaten, are referred to as "horseradish greens". Although technically a root, horseradish is generally treated as a condiment or ingredient.

Generally speaking, Horseradish Sauce made from grated horseradish root, vinegar and cream. It is usually served with roast beef, often as part of a traditional Sunday roast, but can be used in a number of other dishes also, including sandwiches or salads. In the U.S., the term Horseradish Sauce refers to grated horseradish combined with mayonnaise.

Come on down to the winery and try them all.

Friday, October 16, 2009

October at the
Hudson-Chatham Winery

Besides the usual October occurrences at a winery -harvesting, crushing, blending, bottling - we're going from Psychic to Psycho in the next few weeks. Hey, why not? We hope you'll join us

Saturday, October 17
12 noon to 5:30 pm

This was one of our most popular events of the year last year, so we just had to do it again!

Join Linda Shields, Francesca, and Ann Fisher inside our cozy tent and tasting room as they read your cards and advise you on the past, present, and future. You may need a glass of wine before and after your reading!

Author, Psychic, Linda Shields

Readings will be $20 for 10 minutes, and will be conducted from noon to 5 pm (with the winery remaining open til 5:30).

Saturday, October 31
Regular hours 12 noon - 5:30 pm
Tasting by Candlelight 6 - 8 pm

One of our very favorite holidays - and conveniently on a Saturday this year! The winery will be decorated to celebrate, and there will be lots of tricks (and treats). Come to our evening wine tasting by candlelight after regulary winery hours - if you dare!

Wear a costume and get 10% off!

Special events or not, the winery is an exciting place to be in October. We are open every Saturday and Sunday, 12 noon to 5:30 pm.

Among our classic favorites, we're also tasting our new EMPIRE RESERVE- a New York State "super blend" of Cab Franc, Merlot, and Baco Noir, aged 28 months. If you love Port, you should try our new Paperbirch Cabernet Sauvignon Fine Ruby Dessert Wine. It's been oak-aged for 5 years and is as smooth as silk. Our highly anticipated release of the 2008 Baco Noir is coming up, and through the end of the month there is a lot of wine-making activity.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009


Pampered Cow was born to help market, promote, and distribute New YorkState’s artisinal farmstead cheeses. Pampered Cow views the HudsonValley Region of New York as one of the most significant and beautiful gastronomic destinations in the world. They are dedicated to promoting theregion’s rich agricultural history, working farms and value added farmstead producers.

They represent some of the finest cheesemakers in the region including Hawthorne Valley Farm, Old Chatham Sheephearding, Nettle Meadow, Brovetto Dairy and Cheese Farm, Berkshire Blue, Four Brothers Goat Dairy and their own licensed creamery at Twin Maple Farm

Yesterday, Pampered Cow hosted an event for chefs from Westchester County at Twin Maple Farm in Ghent, New York, in Columbia County.

The chefs tasted the Twin Maple Farm Hudson Red and washed it down with fine, sparkling Blanc de Blanc from Hudson-Chatham Winery.

With the beautiful Catskills and Berkshires in full view on a beautiful day, the chefs also tasted other cheeses distrbuted by Pampered Cow, and also tasted Hudson-Chatham's newest biggest red, Empire.

It was a great and we'd like to thank Matthew Scott and all the folks at Twin Maple Farm for the invite, and the opportunity to sample along with those chefs.

Thanks guys!

Nothing exciting happened last week except for the harvesting of more grapes and the making of more wine. Yeahhhhhh?

Of course that was fun. And hard work.

We bottled again in the morning, and were crushing my lunch and making wine until around 9:30 PM. In between we squeezed in another bus tour, and a very exciting and fun engagement party which was hosted in in our beautifully decorated tent.
Sarah and Laura worked hard, but also had fun driving around in the company golf cart - kids will be kids.

At one point the work stopped, and everyone had cold seltzer water and tuna fish heroes.

And for those who stayed for dinner, we did something a little different. Dominique made a tremendous and hardy beef stew, which had been simmering all day long, and tasted tremendously.

And then a reward. Three bottles of wine for those who worked the tastingroom and crush-pad with ardor.

First bottle - Cakebread 1998 Cabernet Sauvignon
Second Bottle - Cos'Estornel 1994
Third Bottle - 2005 Chassange-Montrachet (rouge)

It was an awesome evening, with everyone laughing and telling stories. Then the crush pad guys went back to work for another hour or so, led by winemaker Steve Casscles, and then we all went to bed and slept very well.

Friday, October 02, 2009


Hudson-Chatham Winery is proud and pleased to announce its very own line of small, artisanal cheeses, available only at the Hudson-Chatham Winery.

New York state and the Hudson-Valley is especially well known for its tremendous high quality treasure trove of small-batch cheese artisans. What better way for you to tour the cheeses of the state, than through the Hudson-Chatham Winery, one of the best purveyors of Hudson Valley Cheeses in the Hudson Valley!

First and foremost is North Creek Tomme. The cheese is made by Doug Ginn of Twin Maple Farm, maker of Hudson Red. The cheese is a tomme cheese, which in Switzerland or France, is a generic name for a low fat, wash rind cheese. Mild and pleasant, the cheese is made right down the street from the winery's vineyards. We've named it for the stream that separates the two farms.

Then we have three Cheddars from central New York.

Jurassic Cheddar is the biggest and strongest of the three. A big, yellow, New York Cheddar, it's aged 7 years! A foodie's delight!

Then there is Special Reserve Extra Sharp Cheddar that's been aged 5 to 6 years, and is a classic New York State white cheddar. What wine will you choose for this one?

And of course there's 100% Natural Maple Smoked Cheddar. This white New York Cheddar is mild in flavor, but smoked with a tremendous flavor! Wow!

Come on down and try our cheeses!

Thursday, October 01, 2009


Last Saturday started with moving boxes of empty bottles into the blending room for bottling. We were bottling another batch of Merlot 2007, as well as a new Cabernet Sauvignon Port 2005.

It’s around 75 or so cases, especially since we bottle the port in 375ml bottles (we use the small, skinny ones, the Belissima for that wine). It’s all bottled and corked and capped by hand. We started near 8:30am and ended by 11:00.

While the bottling was just getting going, I drove the first team of harvesters over to the Kinderhook vineyard, where they would be until about 11:30 or 12 Noon, picking the first grapes of the year. At this point, the grapes were at their highest sugar reading, and a the leaves were turning from deep green, to a dusty light green, to yellow and brown, the grapes matured from bright green to speckled golden yellow.

Saturday, we needed to harvest three vineyards – Kinderhook, Catskill, and Hudson-Chatham. A separate team, the Casscles family, was set to harvest in Catskill. And then in the afternoon, we would rely on staff, visitors, and the already tired bottling team to scour the Hudson-Chatham vineyard for the last grapes of the day. All day long we hauled and dumped and traded bright yellow fruit lugs, both full and empty, while other work hummed around us.

By now, the Harvest Festival was underway, and the winery was now open, and attracting guests. Katchkie Farms was there selling their products. We had apples for sale and eating. And people by the dozens came out to see the harvesting of the grapes and their being crushed as well. People came and went in droves all day.

In the meantime we had a tremendous blue singer, who with his acoustic bass, sang folk and blues songs soulfully throughout the day. He was great!

While the bottling team finished the second barrel – the Cab Sav port – we splintered the bottling team in half, and sent two guys over to start making a new batch of port to dump into the barrel we had just pulled from. Ralph led that charge. While that was going on, after the bottling was complete and the machines hosed down and cleaned, we focused on the next winemaking job at hand – final blend of the Baco Noir.

We washed out are large blending tank and strapped it onto the back of Ralph’s Gator, and then started to pump from the separate barrels into the one main tank. The deep, purple liquid, that smelled like vanilla and plums, created lavender colored suds as it splashed. After all the different batches of wine were pumped into the one tank, Ralph drove the gator around the farm, hoping to get a consistent blend of the dark, inky liquid.

Then the first truck called. The Kinderhood vineyard was picked and ready for crushing. So I drove in the old $850 truck out to Kinderhook and picked up that team. We brought the lugs back and started to now set up for the second half of the day, it being now 1:00 o’clock, to start the first of this year’s crush.

Just as the first crush started to finish up, the second crew arrived from Kinderhook. The second crush went through the system, now that Steve, our winemaker was there to start overseeing the winemaking process. Yeasts were now blended and poured into each of the separate containers – a sand colored, muddy brew.

By this point, there wre a bunch if us out in the Hudson-Chatham vineyard harvesting away. Todd and Cindy Erhling came by with their friends, and oll their children in tow. Theyere wre a big help in the field. We picked grapes for the seyval blanc, and grapes for the sherry (bunches that were too far gone for a light, zesty white wine). Cindy and her friend, my grape and sherry wenches, respectfully, carried out trays light lusty beer hall wenches, catching the clusters as I plucked them and tossed them in their general direction. They laughed hysterically, and made my job that much easier.

To everybody, Thanks for coming!