Tuesday, March 30, 2010


The Hudson-Chatham Winery is pleased to announce the launch of our Wine Club - a members-only association with the winery whereby you can receive special wines and special discounts. Details about membership are below. We look forward to welcoming you to the Club.

Carlo & Dominique De Vito

Hudson-Chatham Winery
1900 State Rte. 66
Ghent, NY 12075

When you join the Wine Club, you will receive:

* A "Welcome to the Wine Club" gift of a Hudson-Chatham Winery specialty corkscrew, and a member keytag.

* Quarterly shipments of 2 wines, with tasting notes. One of those two bottles per shipment will be a club-only wine.

* 5% off all purchases in the tasting room at all times (in addition to existing discounts, i.e. 15% off one case; 20% off two or more cases)

* Complimentary tasting for wine club member and 1 guest in the tasting room.
Pre-release offers on upcoming wines.

* Invitations to exclusive barrel tastings, and reduced admission to upcoming wine dinners.

Wine selections will be made by us at Hudson-Chatham Winery, and will feature one club-only wine along with one of our regularly featured award-winning wines or dessert wines. The cost of each shipment is $50, and includes shipping and handling. Shipments will be in early April, mid June, mid September, and mid December.

You can choose from two payment options to join the Wine Club.
1. Pay a one-time charge for all shipments ($200 for the year), which would also enroll you in all benefits throughout the year.
2. Pay half at initiation and be billed the other half before the third scheduled shipment ($100 and $100). Please note that with this option additional wine club benefits will only be in place for the time you are paid, which would be six months, then six months.

Shipments will be made in mid April, mid June, mid September, and mid December of each year. If you have any questions, or to sign up, please email us at info@hudson-chathamwinery.com. Put Wine Club in the subject bar. Thank you!

Last week we pruned the Kinderhook AC Vineyard own by Peter and Danni Palaschi.

Our man Dan Rowland helped in the cold weather prune this big wild tangle of grapes and wire and wilderness.

Thanks, Dan!

Friday, March 26, 2010


It's an ugly job this time of year, but someone's gotta do it! So, the Casscles Vineyards and the North Creek Vineyards at Hudson-Chatham are done pruning. And now we have Kinderhook and Middlehope vineyards to do. Ouch!

Who said wine making is fun?! Thanks to Steve, Ben, Earle, Noah, and Rob!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


West Point, from above Washington Valley, looking down the river
by George Cooke ; engraved by William James Bennett
New York : Published by Parker & Clover, c1834.

This year’s Hudson River Valley Red label art is by artist George Cooke. His West Point, from above Washington Valley is one of the most famous and oft used paintings/prints that highlights the Hudson River. Cooke was a famous portraitist and landscape painter, and eventually became known as a great painter of the south after he accepted a patronage position from Daniel Pratt, a southern aristocrat and entrepreneur.

“Born in eastern Maryland in 1793, Cooke taught himself to paint in the flat, linear manner often found in American art in the early decades of the nineteenth century. By the early 1820s he was executing portraits in Washington, D.C., and northern Virginia. His first formal training was with Charles Bird King (1785-1862), a respected portraitist and painter of Indians and humorous scenes of everyday life,” wrote Donald D. Keyes, of the Marietta/Cobb Museum of Art, in The New Georgia Encyclopedia.

Cooke and his wife Maria Heath spent six years in Italy, England, and France from 1826 to 1832. Like many touring artists of the time, Cooke copied classical sculpture, prints after Greek and Roman art, Italian Renaissance and baroque paintings, and modern Neoclassical and Romantic paintings.

“These included Théodore Gericault's The Raft of the Medusa (1830, New York Historical Society) and Transfiguration (early 1830s, private collection) after Raphael's celebrated painting. Cooke's largest and best-known painting is Interior of St. Peter's Rome (1847, Chapel, University of Georgia, Athens),” added Keyes.

Cooke’s version of The Raft of Medusa became something of a cause celebre both it it’s day and recently. The work was controversial in its day as it depicted the horrific conditions of the wrecked sailors of the French frigate Meduse’, who were shipwrecked and resorted to cannibalism before being rescued. It was an international political scandal of the period. The painting itself was well received, and it made Cooke famous.

“Eventually, the painting ended up as the property of Uriah Phillips Levy, a former American admiral turned prosperous New York real estate magnate, who bequeathed it to the New York Historical Society in 1862. It then vanished from public and private view,” wrote art journalist Sue Moncure in Novemeber 2006. “Detective work and perseverance by Nina Athanassoglou-Kallmyer, UD professor of art history, have brought about the discovery of an important American painting…At some time in the past, the painting was mistakenly attributed to famous, early American artist Gilbert Stuart and consequently was not catalogued correctly.”

“Almost 150 years later, enter Kallmyer, who was carrying out research on the original Raft of the Medusa and the copy by Cooke for an upcoming book on Géricault, which will be published by Phaidon Press in London. Her research indicated that Cooke's copy was held by the New-York Historical Society, but because of the early error, the society's cataloging system recorded no works by the artist. Curator Marybeth De Filippis, however, decided to try one last time to comb the historical society archives by description rather than by artist, and discovered the painting depicting the Medusa raft and contacted Kallmyer,” continued Moncure. “When Kallmyer went to New York to see the painting, she knew her quest was successful and that this was the copy by Cooke she had sought for so long.”

“Many American artists of the period, including Cooke, found outlets for their work in prints. His most notable series was done in 1832 for the British illustrator William James Bennett (ca. 1787-1844),” wrote Keyes. “These four views of American cities—Washington, D.C.; Richmond, Virginia; West Point, New York; and Charleston, South Carolina—typify the picturesque mode of American landscape painting that came immediately before the Hudson River school, the first native school of art.” This not with standing, by the 1840s, Cooke was considered one of the best portraitists of the South, and attained a certain amount of fame.
Cooke’s life was mostly that of an itinerant artist. In 1844 in New Orleans, Cooke started what would become his most important professional relationship when he met Alabama industrialist Daniel Pratt. Pratt was immediately drawn to Cooke's work, and decided to give the artist two floors in one of his warehouses for Cooke to use as a gallery and studio. After a few years, Pratt decided to take the unusual step of adding a separate gallery to his home in Prattville, Alabama, solely to house Cooke's art. Pratt also commissioned Cooke to paint what would become his best known work, the Interior of St. Peter's Rome, a giant painting based on a smaller piece that Cooke had previously painted during his travels in Europe.

In 1867, Pratt donated Interior of St. Peter's Rome to the University of Georgia, where it still hangs today in the University's chapel. At 17 by 23.5 feet, the work was said to be the largest framed oil painting in the world at the time of its donation, and it still ranks among the world's largest.

George Cooke's health had never been very good, and in 1849 in New Orleans, he contracted cholera and died rapidly of the illness.

Print of West Point Courtesy of Library of Congress.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


In a recent issue of Wine Enthusiast (Feb. 2010) Executive Editor, Susan Kostrzewa, wrote about our Empire 2007, "Cherry, blueberry, tea…this combination of Cab Franc from the Finger Lakes, Merlot from Long Island, and Baco Noir from the Hudson Valley is aged 24 months in oak and offers ample spice because of it. The black fruit/red berry is balanced by a minerality and a clean finish."

Thanks, Susan!

Monday, March 08, 2010


"There are four seasons in Mohawk," wrote Richard Russo. "Fourth of July, Mohawk Fair, Eat the Bird, and Winter." Now, we're not as far north as Mohawk, but we're not that far south either. Where we live, spring is a short season. And it is preceded by the fifth season that we have upstate - Mud Season.

It is now mud season. It is six to eight weeks of melting snow, rain, soaked earth, and burgeoning bogs of water, dead grass, and lots of mud. In the hill behind our house in March and April we can make an artesian at the bottom of one of the hills behind out house. Stick a pipe in the ground, or even gouge the hill with the end of a shovel, and water will spout. Water and dirt mix in copious amounts.

It makes getting around difficult, especially when we're trying to move boxes of empty bottles and filled cases of wine. Back and forth, the muddy earth is treacherous. People slip and fall. And in the vineyard, the mud cakes your boots while you wrestle with the twisted vines.

It s everywhere. Inescapable and damnable. A fact of life.

Saturday, March 06, 2010


I was sitting with David Jackon one day, our sales director, and we were in ameeting discussing different ideas about sales and marketing for the up-coming year. At the end of the meeting, I asked David if that was all, and he said he had one more thing.

"I've come up with an idea I call 'The Three Sisters,'" said David. He looked at me.

"Good title, what is it?" I said, of course knowing there was a Chekov play by the same name.
Maybe David knew that too, I didn't bother to ask.

Anyway he explained the idea, and I immediately ran with it. He and I approached Lenn Thompson and Evan Dawson, two New York state wine experts who might be able to introduce us to wineries in the Finger Lakes and Long Island that would be open to such an idea. The sell was as easy to them as it was to us, and the easy part was that several of the wineries asked who the other winery in the Hudson Valley would be, and expressed an interest in Benmarl. And boom it was done. At that point Evan and Lenn recused themselves from the roject, which was understandable. Then David and I immediately started working on the rest.

We're hoping this becomes a yearly April promotion, with the idea of people sharing wine and ideas, helping each other to get their product out, and exchanging varietals that that are popular in other regions. Our real hope would be that we would be able to make this an exciting draw for consumers and winemakers. We've had fun so far.

Special thanks to Lenn Thompson, Evan Dawson, all the winery owners and executives that have made this possible, Jim Trezise, our designer Laura, and all the people who've been so helpful putting this together!

Kickoff weekend is April 3rd and 4th, 2010

The Three Sisters Project is an innovative, new cooperative project that shares the best wines between three of New York's greatest wine growing regions. In each region, there are two wineries, that for the month of April, 2010, will taste and sell select wines from the other regions.

The three participating regions include: The North Fork of Long Island, the Finger Lakes, and the Hudson Valley. The goal of The Three Sisters Project is to help increase overall consumer awareness of the great local and quality wines being made in New York State, and to give wine buyers a chance to sample some of the great local wines from around the state.

These three regions all share something in common - water. The Finger Lakes region encompasses deep, clear water lakes that were gouged by Ice Age glaciers. The deep waters create a lake effect that tempers lush vineyards flanking their shores. Long Island is surrounded by water, with the Atlantic Ocean on one side, and Long Island Sound on the other. The North Fork of Long Island is on the north eastern shore of the island, between Long Island Sound and Peconic Bay with soils loaded with minerals. Through the rich and fertile Hudson Valley follows the great and mighty Hudson River, first explored by Henry Hudson and his men more than 400 years ago, that stretches from north of Albany down past Manhattan into New York Harbor.

Participants in the event include:

Benmarl Winery
Hudson-Chatham Winery

Anthony Road Wine Company
Fox Run Vineyards

Lieb Family Cellars
Macari Vineyards

This has been a great way to work with our sister wineries, share information, try new styles, introduce new wines into our tasting rooms, and get the word out on New York state wine. Interest in local foods and wine have never been hotter. We think this is a great opportunity.

“We love to support our neighbors in New York and are glad for the chance to do it. We’d like to think this gives people a chance to see that New York wines are delicious, food-friendly and hand-crafted,” said Leslie Kroeger of Fox Run Vineyards

"The major thing with New York wines is building awareness,” says Matthew Spaccarelli, owner of Benmarl Winery. “The Quality and consistency is already in place. This program is a great way to showcase what the wineries throughout New York are producing.”

Alexandra Macari of Macari Vineyards said it best, when she said, “From the Lake, to the River, to the Sound, wine from the Finger Lakes, Hudson Valley and North Fork of Long Island will be sampled at Macari Vineyards, Mattituck…….come and meet the Three Sisters!”

Friday, March 05, 2010


Dive Bar has been a staple on the New York City bar scene for almost two decades, and remains as hip and vibrant as ever.

They have three locations: The original on 96th Street, Dive 75 on W75th St., and Broadway Dive at B'way and 101st St.

We are pleased and proud to announce that Dive Bar at 96th Street now serves Hudson-Chatham Seyval Blanc and Hudson-Chatham Cabernet Franc.

Go and have a blast!
Go to their website at: