Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Picking raspberries sucks! DOn;t let anyone tell you different. It's hard, back breaking work. The berries are low to the ground, and you have to squeeze the just right to pull them off. Too light, and they don't always come. Too hard and they squish right in your hand.

You are either on your knees most of the time, or bending over most of the time.
And they are all over the place! They down low, they way deep inside. They are under leaves and behind thickets. They are so hard to pick.

Now the good news. We have a bumper crop of raspberries this year. We had several farm hands in from other farms to help us pick the other day, an an exhausted hand turned to me and said, "You gotta a LOT OF RASPBERRIES HERE!" He was tired.

We have two folk on hand at the farm who are picking everyday - Sam and Val. Here's Sam hard at work.

And the berries taste great. We have a nice combination of dark raspberries and fresh bright ones. And they all have a tartness and sweetness you can;t find in store bought fruit. They will make excellent wine!

We're about to make our final blend of Paperbirch Raspberry Fine Ruby from last year's harvest. This one's will be twice the size and twice the flavor. Very exciting!

Friday, June 25, 2010


So many of our visitors talk about and sometimes bring their dogs to the winery – which we all love – that we decided it would be fun to have an official Dog Day here. What this means is that all are welcome to bring their pooches to meet and greet with other like-minded folks and canines. We will have the following fun classes:
Dog-Owner Lookalike Contest – 1 pm
Most Talented Dog – 2 pm (this “talent” can be anything from Best Kisser to Fastest Paw-Shaker – be creative in your interpretation of your dog’s talent)
Cutest Dog – 3 pm
Our judges are Annie Brody of Camp Unleashed; Erica Nance from Dogs of Hudson; and Colleen Safford of Walk-n-Train in Chatham. There will be fun prizes. Gianni Ortiz will also be here to talk about nutrition and what’s best to feed your dog, and there will be all kinds of goodies for canine caretakers. To make it easy for all, we will be orienting the day outside, and there will be lots of shady places to rest and plenty of cool water for the dogs.
Part of the proceeds from this event will go to Peppertree Rescue ( and Good Shepherd K9 Rescue (, two Capital region rescue groups. Come for a tail-waggin’ good time. (And please be considerate of others by bringing along pooper-scooper baggies to clean up after your dog. Thx!)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

When a Farmer’s Market Isn’t So Fun

There’s nothing like a day well spent at a Farmer’s Market. The stalls are packed with produce, handmade goods, baked goods, hand wrought craft items, and so much more. The sky is blue, the strawberries red, the lettuce bright green, and you can smell the baked goods three tents down.

The constant, happy chatter is only is intermittently interrupted by dogs barking, children laughing, and the occasional car horn. It is a happy celebration of local agriculture and community.

But a rainy day at a farmers market is a different experience. A few Saturdays ago I had the privilege of working the Hudson Farmers Market on such a rainy Saturday.

Firstly, it was chilly. Now, I prefer chilly weather, so initially the temperature did not put me off. But the unrelenting rain slowly turned a cool summer day into a damp, cold, miserable day. Not unlike, one must assume, the weather that seemed to cloud Heathcliff’s home in Wuthering Heights. Unfortunately, I had neither a jacket nor Merle Oberon to keep me warm.

Secondly, after it was all over, I felt like Colridge’s Ancient Mariner. “Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink….” No matter where one looked, the rain came down. There were puddles, and splashing, slushing, slurping, slashing rain and torrents of water that seemed to penetrate the roofs of out tents like cheesecloth. It slipped and slid its way down crevices and pinholes to drip, drop, plop its way onto our table, our heads, our backs, and our products.

With such rain, few people came. Most of the brave souls who did attend were dedicated regulars, kind, community minded people who like fresh produce. Most huddled underneath umbrellas, trying to dodge the drops, faces scrunched up, as if the rain stung, while other wandered in ponchos, incredulous at the deluge. They hurried on their way, cowed and determined.

What made matters worse? The fun of working a farmers market is shopping the stalls yourself between sales. Usually, among the many small breaks on a sunny day, vendors scamper and scurry back and forth to neighboring tents to purchase eggs, or fruit, or vegetables, wine, honey, syrup, baguettes, and so many other little delicacies. But in the rain, we seemed hardly to mingle even amongst ourselves, instead making faces at one another, as each heavy sheet of rain fell. Too heavy to sell in, too heavy to take down our tents in, too heavy to shop in. Instead we shrugged, shirked, and grimaced, mugging at each other, laughing at our shared misery.

With me was Susan, a wonderful woman who works at the winery. She had volunteered to learn the farmers market routine to fill in on days when I could not attend personally. Stuck under the tent, she and I chatted amicably away. She was charming, polite, and cheerful, but I am sure I was not her choice of company for a sleepy, rainy, Saturday morning.

Finally, at the tale end of the day, the clouds were exhausted of their moisture, and the sun peaked through here and there, and a breeze came through. We sold a few things, and bought a few things more. I probably made more than I spent, but not by much. But these things happen. The best part was chatting with everyone after it was all done. No sense in cursing the weather, or fate, or God. No sense in grinding your molars. We need to make money, just like any other business, but it was too late to complain. We were all in the same boat….maybe we were in fact up the creek without a paddle. Regardless, it was over.

We packed up our tent, laughed at the cruel misfortune of the day, and drove back to the winery. We’ve had many great days at the market, this just wasn’t one of them. When I got home, we unpacked the car, and I went inside and changed my clothes and put on some warm, dry socks, and tried to shake it off, and start my day anew. Thus is a life spent in agriculture.
And I realized later, I wasn’t so angry, because while being at a farmers market is about making money for a farmer, the bigger issue is being part of the community. About making connections. And I knew I couldn’t wait to go back at the soonest possible moment.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


June 19
All-Local BBQ - and Doug Marcus!

On Saturday, June 19, the Hudson-Chatham Winery will be hosting an all-local BBQ as a Father's Day preview/kick-off. Join us for sliders made with grass-fed beef from Kinderhook Farm topped with your choice of locally produced toppings including ketchup, mustard, chutneys, and mole sauce. We will also be grilling delicious chorizo and lamb sausage prepared by Swoon Kitchenbar in Hudson. Make a salad with just-picked greens from Holmquest Farm. Enjoy your BBQ before or after a wine tasting, or purchase a glass to have with your food. All food and beverage choices are à la carte, and there is no admission fee. To add to the festivities, Doug Marcus will be performing. Doug is an amazing singer/songwriter/bass player who wowed the crowd at the winery last fall. We are delighted to have him back. The event runs from 12 noon to 5 pm.

If you want to give Dad the gift of wine, read the article "Manly Wines for Dad" at the end of this newsletter.

Dog Day at the Winery - June 26

All of us at the winery are "dog people" - we love our dogs, and we love when people visit with their dogs. We decided it would be great fun to have a special event where dogs rule the winery - and to support local organizations that help dogs in need. Presenting Dog Day at the Winery 2010!

The day includes these fun classes:
Dog-Owner Lookalike Contest
Cutest Dog Contest
Most Talented Dog Contest
Judges are Annie Brody from Camp Unleashed, Elaine from Dogs of Hudson, and Colleen Safford of Walk-n-Train. There will be prizes for the top three finishers in each class. Classes will be held at 1 pm, 2 pm and 3 pm; the order of classes will be posted on our website the week before the event. There will also be experts on hand to discuss canine nutrition, training and behavior challenges, and common health issues. At 4 pm there will be a Fido & Family Parade around the winery. There will be lots of fresh water and shade for everyone's comfort.

We welcome everyone to bring their dogs large and small, but we ask that you bring your own bags for waste disposal and clean up after your dog(s), and we trust that only well-behaved dogs will join their families at this event. Thank you!

A percentage of the day's proceeds will benefit these local organizations:
Peppertree Rescue based in Albany, NY
K9 Adopt of the Capital Region

Manly Wines for Dads A guide to choosing the best wine for Father's Day celebrations. (The following is excerpted from Suite101: Wines for Father's Day.

"It's easy to ascribe gender to wines. Who would think of Petite Sirah as anything but a masculine wine, with its thick muscular texture and rich, no-nonsense taste. Viognier, on the other hand, is as feminine as wines ever get, with grace, delicacy, seduction, and great complexity. Roussanne (does that sound like a woman's name?) is even made in a dessert style, adding sweetness to the mix. Men generally dislike being considered sweet unless they happen to be liberated from the stereotypes of masculinity. So leave the sweet wines off Dad's list unless he happens to be a lover of Port. Port is the most masculine of sweet wines; vintage Ports possess a backbone of tannin which manly men find reassuring. Plus, they taste especially good with dark chocolate, a well-known manly fave.

More Father's Day Wine Suggestions
Men have evolved in honoring the age-old practice of animal sacrifice by espousing the barbecue. Sacrificial lambs are a common feature of modern Father's Day celebrations, as are pigs and cows. Cows never featured prominently in ancient sacrificial rituals because they were too heavy to lift up to the altars. But as luck and the progress of viniculture would have it, all these animals respond well to today's masculine red wines. Zinfandel is considered de rigueur for barbecued meats. But that's simplistic. Zins are usually a little soft and very fruity compared to other manly wines. More masculine options would look to a full-bodied Syrah or a delicious Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Many "Meritage" wines fill the bill quite nicely too. Since barbecues involve smoke (liquid or real), wines with a smoky aspect are especially suitable. Look for "smoky" in wine reviews. But not a smoky white. Those wines are reminiscent of feminism gone astray. We'll leave those wines for the gals' night out at the wine bar."

Hudson-Chatham Winery suggests our Hudson River Valley Red as the perfect Zin alternative to complement the barbequed burgers and sausages. If your man is liberated from the stereotypes of masculinity, we would also suggest the light and satisfying Ghent Blush or Lindenwald White to pair with smoky bbq. The sparkling Pomme Bulle is like crisp apple beer for guys who like yeasty bubbles, and there's always port (we call them rubys).

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Strawberries are the Stars on
Hudson Berkshire Beverage Trail
this Weekend, June 12 and 13, 2010!

On Saturday & Sunday, June 12 & 13, the Hudson Berkshire Beverage Trail is conducting its second group event of the season. This one is called “Strawberry Fields Sip & Savor,” and will feature a strawberry delicacy at each of the participating venues. For example, there will be strawberry sangria at the Hudson-Chatham Winery, chocolate-covered strawberries at Furnace Brook Winery, vodka-soaked strawberries with fresh cream at Harvest Spirits, and strawberries in phyllo at Brookview Station Winery. There will be lots to sip and savor this weekend on the premier beverage trail in the Northeast!

Guests may visit any Trail member of their choice and pay the normal tasting fees, or buy a Trail Passport for $15 per person ($5 for a designated driver), and receive a great discount that covers beverage samplings and strawberry creations at all the participating Trail locations! Passports will be available for sale on the day of the event at all of the venues. Trail members participating in “Strawberry Fields” will be open 12 to 5:00 pm.

Trail members include: Brookview Station Winery in Castleton, NY; Chatham Brewing in Chatham, NY; Furnace Brook Winery in Richmond, MA; Harvest Spirits in Valatie, NY; Hudson-Chatham Winery in Ghent, NY; Les Trois Emme in Great Barrington, MA; and, in fall 2010, Tousey Winery in Germantown, NY. Directions from one location to the others will be available at each place, and for more information you can visit the website at

This stylish Hudson-Chatham Canvas Tote is fun, durable and spacious. It features contrasting trim and front slip pocket. It's constructed of durable, tough 12 oz 100% cotton canvas. It's sturdy and can hold lots of stuff. Wether you're going picnicking at your favorite vineyard, a trip the the beach or lake, or a ride down the river on a boat, this handsome, rugged bag, can hold 4 bottles of your favorite wine and then some. Comes in seven different color combinations.

Natural/Hunter Green
Natural/Sunflower Yellow
Natural/Geranium Red

$10.00 per bag
Bag dimensions: 21. 5 inch W x 16 inch H x 7 inch D.
Exclusively available only at Hudson-Chatham Winery

Saturday, June 05, 2010

JUNE 18 AND 19, 2010

JUNE 18TH AND 19TH, 2010

The 30th Annual Owego Strawberry Festival has activities for people of every age. For the adult attendees, the Wine Tasting Tent is back by popular demand. AND WE'LL BE THERE!

The Wine Tasting Tent is open this year on both Friday night from 5:30pm-10:00pm and Saturday from 9:30am-6:00pm. Popular NY wineries will be represented like Crooked Lake Winery, Glenora Wine Cellars, Knapp Vineyards Winery, Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards, Hudson-Chatham Winery, Thousand Island Winery, and Villa Bellangelo. Also in the wine tent will be Laraysville Cheese Factory and Cabin Crafts (maker of wine gift bags).The Wine Tasting Tent will be located on the memorial square area in front of the beautiful Tioga County Courthouse overlooking the Susquehanna River. Admission is $5 per person and IDs will be checked at the door. Attendees are encouraged to sample wines at any of the vendors but to be responsible with consumption. Anyone who over indulges will be escorted from the premises.

Sealed bottles of wine will be for sale at each winery table and wine can be stored on site and picked up when you are ready to leave the festival for the day, so please feel free to purchase your favorites in any quantity. Many of these wines are difficult to find outside the actual winery so be sure to stock up at the festival!

Call the Tioga County Tourism office at 607-687-7440 for more information.

Friday, June 04, 2010


We are both pleased and proud to announce that Charles Darbyshire, the proprieter of Old Mill Wines & Spirits, the fine wine shop across the street from the Beekman Arms, now carries Hudson-Chatham brand wines!
We are thrilled being is such a fine shop, and with such an active promoter of Hudson Valley wine!

Paperbirch Bannerman's Castle Amber Cream will be featured at the Fine Wine & Fine Art Event on June 12th!

Paperbirch Bannerman’s Castle Amber Cream won a Gold Medal at the Dallas Morning News Wine Competition 2010.The Bannerman’s Amber Cream was one of only four Gold Medals for fortified wine. The other included:

NV Campbells Muscat Estate Produced and Bottled Australia – Rutherglen – Click Wine Group
2008 Quady Elysium, Black Muscat US – California – Quady Winery
NV Osborne 1827 Pedro Ximenez Spain – Jerez DO – The Wine Group

We think that’s pretty good company.

Bannerman’s Castle Amber Cream – Named after the famed castle-remains of the old munitions manufacturer, a landmark on the Hudson River, our Amber Cream is made in the grand tradition of the great sherries of Portugal. Paperbirch uses the solera method to age our wines in French oak and Italian chestnut to produce an award-winning, consistent, high-quality, cream sherry. A rich, flavorful caramel colored wine with notes of hazelnut and almond, it drinks smooth and finishes warm.

You'll also meet famed wine educators Kevin Zraly (author of Windows on the World and the soon to be published The Ultimate Wine Companion) and Steven Kolpan (author of Exploring Wine and co-author of A Sense of Place with Francis Ford Coppola). That is worth the price of admission alone. Kevin and Steven are both entertaining and incredibly knowledgable about wine - incredible value right there.

Also, wines will also be avialable for tasting, including international and local Hudson Valley wines.

Food supplied by the always excellent DePuy Canal House.

Plus more and more!