Friday, April 30, 2010
If you don't know about these wines, the Lindenwald White is a blend of the Diamond & Niagara grapes. It is a sweet white wine that has a Concord grape-like quality, but is not quite as sweet and finishes clean. Delightful, refreshing, and surprisingly food-friendly.
The Riesling is a dry version of this New York State-renowned wine. We like it this way because it yields a crisp, clean white wine whose finish tastes of green apples. We love to serve this with a Hudson Valley cheese plate, bread, and fresh fruit.
The Gewurtztraminer is a fun white that is dry but not too dry. It has a lovely floral front with hints of lychee nut, but finishes with a citrusy snap reminiscent of grapefruit. Gewurtz is often served at Thanksgiving because it goes with so many different foods. We love it chilled and "straight up."
Monday, April 26, 2010
EVENT BIG SUCCESS AT
Thursday, April 15, 2010
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 others 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.
The 2010 competition was the 26th year of The Dallas Morning News Wine Competition. The first competition was held in March of 1985 at the Hyatt Regency Dallas. That first year they invited 15 judges to evaluate the 570 entries they received. For their first 14 years the competition was open only to wines produced in the United States. In 1999 they opened the competition to wines produced in all wine regions of the world. That year they received 1,783 entries. For the 2009 competition they received 3,146 entries from 28 states and 18 countries.
As usual, Rebecca Murphy and staff crafted a panel of experts second to none. Among the judges were the immensely qualified Marguerite Thomas, Travel Editor, The Wine News, Los Angeles Times International Syndicate/Tribune Media Services & winereviewonline.com; Jeff Siegel, well known freelance wine and spirits writer; Jerry Shriver, Veteran Journalist and Wine Judge; Traci Dutton, Beverage Manager and Sommelier, The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone; Amy Albert, Senior Associate Editor, Bon Appetit and many, many more.
The 2010 competition was held again at the Dallas Convention Center.
Steve Casscles and Dennis Pitts run a nursery program of heirloom grape vines. And I have taken a liking to them. Among their assortment of grape varietals are some vines that are readily available, especially Baco Noir (but there’s are Caywood Vineyard/Benmarl descendants), and there are less well known vines, like Chelois, which we love, and several others that are old Cornell discards that only ever had a number, but actually, it turns out make great wines, as well as hybrids from the 1850s and 1860s.
Last week, while at work Steve called me to tell me he and Dennis had run out of room in their nursery, and could I put in a small nursery to house 150 vines. I thought it sounded insane, but I agreed.
Buying Lumber and Laying out the Nursery
Two years ago, Steve had asked this same question, and I readily obliged. He left use some canes and told us what to do. We were imbeciles. We stuck the twigs in the ground, watered them once or twice, and then they were run over by the guy who does the mowing in your fields. So much for that!
We didn’t have a nursery, so we had to build one. So I thought I’d go on line and do some reading. While there were much more fancy ones, what we really needed to create was nothing more than a flowerbed. So I went and bout some 4 x 4s, some large spikes, and 6 large sacks of organic, nutrient rich dirt.
I chose a flat-ish space (there’s not one, flat, level space on our whole farm) at the end of one of our raspberry rows, and I laid down my lumber in the appropriate shape, and started pounding stakes in the ground, so the bed wouldn’t lose it’s shape through all the work that was going to take place.
I placed the six large sacks on the ground and walked away. The rest was for Steve.
Steve our winemaker and erstwhile vineyard consultant arrived with a posse of workers. Son Noah and old hand Earl went out into the fields to start tying up vines. Son Ben, and his friend Rob, went up to the nursery. Steve was thrilled with the organic dirt, but felt it was too rich in natural fertilizers, and wanted to make sure some of our own dirt, mineral rich, was also folded into the mixture. They dug some dirt up from a near by location, and broke up the soil that was there inside the confines of the bed. They mixed the soils. It was like a giant mud pie game. The young men dug in, with their hands, and blended the two soils like they were making dough. Because of their composition, the two dirts could not have been more different in color and texture. It was amazing to watch.
Then the cuttings, which had been soaking in water for three to four hours, were simply stuck in the big doughy mess that was now the nursery. The blocks were separate and distinct. Baco Noir. Chelois. Some numbered one from the 1960s. The guys worked on their hands and knees for two or three hours by the time it was all done. Then they were off to vine tying.
A few days later, the clean up crew arrived. They picked up all the detritus – empty soil bags, some shards of newspaper they vines had once been wrapped in, clumps of grass from which the dirt had all been shaken out of. It was all put into a barrel and separated back near the winery. Bags and newspapers went to recycling. The grass and other natural elements to our composting pile.
Sunday, April 11, 2010
STILL GOING STRONG AT
The Three Sisters Project is going strong at Hudson-Chatham Winery. People are showing up to taste the Lieb Family Cellars Chardonnay and the Fox Run Pinot Noir. Here's a picture of a Hudson Berkshire Beverage Trail goer, who was at Chatham Brewing, but thrilled with the Three Sisters Project. He bought a Hudson-Chatham wine, the LIeb Family Cellars and the Fox Run!
Lot's of fun stuff to try at the winery!
Friday, April 09, 2010
DEBUTS THIS SATURDAY APRIL 10, 2010
PASTA & SAUCE EVENT MARKS OPENING EVENT
The Hudson-Berkshire Beverage Trail will celebrate its debut on Saturday, April 10, 2010, with a special event called Pasta & Sauce. To welcome visitors, all Trail establishments will be open from 12 noon to 5 pm.
Trail members L-R include: Sue Goold Miller from Brookview Station Winery-Goold Orchards in Castleton; Helen Eline from Les Trois Emme in Great Barrington; Ben Peacock from Tousey Winery in Germantown; Dominique and Carlo DeVito from Hudson-Chatham Winery in Chatham; Derek & Ashley Grout from Harvest Spirits Valatie; and Wayne Eline from Les Trois Emme. Members not shown, The Chatham Brewery- Chatham; Furnace Brook Winery, Richmond Ma.. Not pictured Trail Director Karen Gardy.
The Hudson-Berkshire Beverage Trail is the premiere beverage trail in New York State, the Hudson Valley, and the Berkshires of Massachusetts. There is nothing like it! Tucked between the Hudson River and the Berkshires, the Trail extends from southeast of Albany down to Germantown, New York, and out to Richmond, Massachusetts in the Berkshires. This diversity also makes the Trail the largest interstate beverage trail in New England. On it, visitors will find handcrafted and award-winning wines, beers, spirits, and ciders. They’ll also experience local food products such as farm-fresh produce, artisanal cheeses, cider donuts and other baked goods, 100% natural maple syrup, and lots more!
“We’re a great culinary and gourmet destination for Albany, Boston, and New York,” says Sue Goold, Trail co-founder and owner of Brookview Station Winery. “We’re within short driving distance from the greater Albany area and the Berkshires, and with easy access from I-90, I-87, and the Taconic Parkway, the Hudson-Berkshire Beverage Trail is a fun and enjoyable experience that’s a great day trip!”
When asked "Why a beverage trail?" Carlo DeVito, Trail co-founder and owner of Hudson-Chatham Winery, responded, “We chose a beverage trail because Harvest Spirits and Chatham Brewing are two exceptional establishments in the area. Core Vodka has won numerous awards, and Chatham Brewing is sold in numerous restaurants throughout the state, including New York City. We can now offer an incredibly exciting, quality experience to visitors to our wonderful part of the country.” He continued, “What other beverage trail features hand-crafted, small batch ales, artisanal vodka, applejack, and eau de vie, as well as gold medal-winning classic vinifera and hybrid wines, gold medal-winning fruit wines, and world-class ciders? No wine or beverage trail can boast that kind of gourmet fire power.”
To mark the opening weekend, all Trail members are participating in a Pasta & Sauce Event from 12 noon to 5:00 pm, where people can 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 – and pasta - tastings at all the participating Trail locations!
Passport Members get:
* Complimentary tasting flights of wine, beer, and spirits at all locations on the specified date
* Complimentary tasting of the special pasta dish featured at each location
Passports will be available on the day of the event at each participating venue! The Hudson-Berkshire Beverage Trail is planning additional events throughout the year, and will be promoting the Trail as an exceptional travel experience for the region any time of year.
For more information contact:
Karen Gardy, Managing DirectorHudson-Berkshire Beverage Trail
VISIT HUDSON-CHATHAM WINERY
AND HUDSON VALLEY
Mike DeSimone and Jeff Jenssen are the Two World Wine Guys. They are actually quite accomplished. They came up to do a tasting at Hudson-Chatham Winery and Harvest Spirts, and then in between we travled around beautiful Columbia County for a while.
Mike DeSimone and Jeff Jenssen write about travel, food, wine, trends and culture. Their articles and photographs have appeared in Wine Spectator, (2.4 million readers) Wine Enthusiast, Sherman's Travel, The European, and International Living's IL Postcards. Their work frequently appears in SolTalk, the English-language magazine of the Costa del Sol. Well known in southern Spain, Mike and Jeff have made several appearances on The Mary Harboe Show and The Hannah Murray Show on REM-FM, the largest English-language radio network in continental Europe. They were featured speakers at International Living's Live and Prosper In Europe seminar in Barcelona and they have spoken at Kevin Zraly's Windows On The World Wine Course. Jeff and Mike can be seen in their podcast-style travel and cooking show, Bring it Back Home, on http://www.devour.tv/.
Mike and Jeff both hold certifications from the International Wine & Spirit Education Trust in London. Mike is a member of the International Travel Writers and Photographers Alliance. He studied journalism at New York University, and holds a degree in marketing from New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology. Jeff has over twenty years of experience in food, wine and hospitality. Mike and Jeff home-test recipes for cookbooks, including those published by Williams-Sonoma.
They have visited many of the world’s wine regions, including Spain’s La Rioja, Ribera del Duero, Penedes, Castilla y Leon, La Mancha, Rueda, Jerez, D.O. Malaga, Toro, and Cigales. In France, they have toured Burgundy, Provence, Bordeaux, Sud-Ouest, Alsace, Loire Valley, and Champagne. Among the regions visited in Italy are Tuscany, Chianti, and Friuli. Their travels have also brought them to Tokaj and Eger in Hungary, as well as wine-growing areas in Argentina, Australia, Slovenia, Austria, Germany, Turkey, Greece, and Morocco. Closer to home, they have been to Long Island’s North Fork, and Napa and Sonoma in California.
We stopped in at Old Chatham Sheep Herding Company.
Friday, April 02, 2010
Hudson-Chatham Winery 2008 Chelois
By Lenn Thompson, Editor-in-Chief
Despite all the naysayers in the media and various wine geek circles, some Hudson River Valley wineries have really embraced hybrids and are making far more serious wines with them.
Hudson-Chatham Winery in Ghent is one such winery. They make a line of vinifera reds, but that fruit comes from Long Island. Their riesling is made with Finger Lakes fruit.
Before trying this wine, I had never tasted Chelois one of over 16,000 hybrids developed by Albert Seibel (1844-1936). Nearly 500 of them went on to be grown commercilaly.
Hand picked, the fruit was manually pressed and aged in French oak for nine months, the wine was bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Without any tasting history with this grape, I won't delve into the potentially hyperbolic, but there certainly seems to be potential here. This is a good start.
Producer: Hudson-Chatham Winery
TAKES PART IN THREE SISTERS PROJECT
THIS WEEKEND....ALSO BIG CHEESE EVENT ON SATURDAY
RELEASE OF CHELOIS 2008!
HOURS: 12:00 - 5:30 pm
2008 Hudson-Chatham Chelois
Relased at last!
We put this 2008 vintage in the bottle last September and are just releasing it now (though we were tempted to keep it all for ourselves). A delicious Pinot Noir-style dry red that we have found to be irresistible. Try it for yourself. We only made 20 cases! Read Lenn Thompson's review at New York Cork Report.