Monday, March 07, 2011


A Refreshing Idea From a Local Winery
March 6, 2011
by Daniel B.
I’ve been hard on New York wine. My suspicion is that given the sweetness of much of the wine grown in the state and some of the grapes that seem to grow well in the area, New York could eventually be a world-class producer of brandy.
Given the state’s recent adoption of craft and farm distillery licenses, all that remains is finding someone who can do it well.

But there are some wines that stand out from the mass of fruit-infused, sweet and simple bottlings that rightly or wrongly have largely defined New York wine for the American consumer. And some of those wines are right in our back yard. Just last night I happened to stumble upon a blog written by the owner of the Hudson-Chatham winery in Ghent, NY (Google says it’s a 45 minute drive from Albany).
Carlo DeVito is growing grapes in the Hudson Valley and using them to make wine. Maybe not necessarily the wine he always dreamed of making, but the best wine he can coax from the land. And for that I salute him.

I really encourage you to read his entire blog post, but here is a bit in Carlo’s own words:
Personally, I always dreamed of making a big Cabernet Sauvignon or a Merlot. A Robert Parker fruitbomb par excellence. But in order to make the best red wine the land itself will give you, you have to bend your back a little, or you will miss it.

From the time since Stuyvesant ruled the state with all the powers of a supreme ruler, people in the Hudson Valley have struggled to make Bordeaux styled wines. And some of the best wines in the Valley right now are made with grapes from the Finger Lakes or Long Island. Nothing wrong with that. I drink a lot of them.

But people outside the Valley, who are asking for Hudson Valley fruit in the bottle, are talking about our most approachable reds. These seem to be the ones breaking through. People are doing a double take and saying, “Wow!”

These grapes that grow locally are not the ones most wine writers gush about. Despite their lack of cachet Baco Noir and Seyval Blanc are no slouches in the wine world. Given that I have an unnatural love for obscure grapes, I will share these varietal’s entries from the Wine Lovers Companion.



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