Monday, April 18, 2011


Ghent residents Tim Quigley and Cindy Dallas try the wines at the Hudson-Chatham Winery "Two for One, Twice the Fun" event tasting, while employee Bryan Van Deusen gives them a brief history of each wine and how it is made. Paul Crossman/Hudson-Catskill Newspapers


By Paul Crossman Hudson-Catskill Newspapers

Published: Monday, April 18, 2011 2:10 AM

COLUMBIA COUNTY — From noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, Hudson-Chatham Winery in Ghent, and Tousey Winery in Clermont hosted a special event designed to give people from around the area a chance to try out a great variety of locally made wines.

The two wineries are the closest to each other in Columbia County, and because of this have chosen to work together by letting anyone interested pay for a wine tasting at one vineyard, and get a postcard which allows them a free tasting at the second vineyard.

Just to add an even better twist, the wineries include a stamp so that each person can send the postcard to a friend, who then also gets a free wine tasting at the venue of their choice.

“We were very excited for the Tousey Winery to open,” said Dominique DeVito, co-owner of the Hudson-Chatham Winery.

“We’ve been involved with them before through the beverage trail, and we’re both in Columbia County. This has been a great event overall.”

Her husband and co-owner Carlo DeVito agreed, saying that it was a good chance for people to really get to know some of the different products Columbia County had to offer.

Co-owner of the Tousey Winery Ben Peacock was also extremely excited to be working with their fellow winery to set up this event.

“Today was fun, and the weekend was fantastic,” he told the Register-Star on Sunday. “People here have really connected with us and think [the tasting] is a neat idea.”

Peacock said that over the course of the weekend, well over 100 people showed up to experience the great deal on wine tasting, and find out some of the great wines the county has to offer.

“I think it’s a really great event,” said local resident Cindy Dallas, as she was finishing a tasting at the Hudson-Chatham Winery. “They have some really good tasting wines.” She added that her favorite by far, was a wine named after a Columbia County landmark called “Lindenwald White.”

The Hudson-Chatham Winery opened in the Fall of 2007 after Dominique and Carlo decided they would like to have their own winery rather than just go around to others in New Jersey, where they lived at the time. They eventually chose Columbia County, saying that as soon as they found the location on Route 66 they knew it was the perfect spot.

“It’s an great community of people, and an excellent culinary destination, as far as I’m concerned,” said Carlo. “We literally established roots here by planting 1,000 vines.”

The farm the DeVitos currently reside on used to be a 500-acre dairy farm, and the couple is glad they could bring the previously defunct property back as something of value in the community.

“We were able to put this place back on the map, which we’re really proud of.” said Carlo.

By the end of the year, the couple said they will expand their winery to nearly 2,000 vines, and hope to continue growing and serving the people of Columbia County for a long time to come.

The Tousey Winery hasn’t been open for as long as the Hudson Chatham Winery, but their passion for wine is the same. The Tousey farm had been a landmark in Clermont for generations, growing apples, small fruits, and beekeeping, and from there, it wasn’t much of a stretch for the owners — Ben and Kimberly Peacock — to “strive towards our passion — and plant a small vineyard and start the production of wine.”

The Tousey Winery will be open Easter Weekend Friday through Monday, and according to Ben, the couple hopes to make the two for one postcard tasting a regular event, possibly up to two or three times a year.

For more information on the Tousey Winery, visit, and for more information on the Hudson-Chatham Winery, visit


Saturday, April 16, 2011


Prepare for a day of drinking locally produced wine, beer, and spirits with brunch at Banjo Mountain Café, a cozy spot that opened last September in Ghent and is decorated with work by local artists. Next, drive a few minutes south on Rte. 21C to the Hawthorne Valley Farm Store to stock up on organic fruit, beverages, and snacks for the car. Then begin conquering the Columbia County portion of the Hudson-Berkshire Beverage Trail, a boozy pathway that winds from southeast Albany to Hudson. Start off at Harvest Spirits to tour the distillery and taste Core Vodka, made with apples from neighboring Golden Harvest Farms.

Next, drive about seven miles west on Rte. 203 to Chatham Brewing Companyand sample the rotating selection of crisp seasonal ales, rich porter, and the slightly sweet Maple Amber. Brewery tours and growler sales are offered on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. only, so plan accordingly. Head five miles away on Rte. 66 to the bucolic Hudson Chatham Winery to swill small-batch reds and whites made with a mix of grapes from Hudson Valley, Finger Lakes, and Long Island. When it’s time for dinner, head eight miles south to Philmont’s Main Street Public House, built in 1898, where you’ll rub elbows with blue-collar locals, artists, and the occasional live band. Co-owner Elizabeth Angello serves a rotating menu of craft beers and sources local ingredients to dress up humble dishes like the smoked chicken burrito ($11) and the lamb burger ($14).


Friday, April 15, 2011

Two-for-One, Twice the Fun Event

Two-for-One, Twice the Fun Event at the Hudson-Chatham & Tousey wineries Join us! Dates: Saturday & Sunday, April 16 & 17 Time: 12 - 5 pm Location: Tousey Winery and Hudson-Chatham Winery Did you know there are now two wineries in Columbia County?! There's us - the Hudson-Chatham Winery - and there's our new neighbors in Germantown/Livingston, the Tousey Winery. What great news for wine lovers in the area! Our two wineries are only about 25 minutes - and a lovely, easy drive - apart. To get to know us better, we're having a two-for-one weekend. See details below, and see you at the wineries! Dominique & Carlo De Vito Hudson-Chatham Winery Two-for-One, Twice the Fun! On Saturday & Sunday, April 16 & 17, the Hudson-Chatham and Tousey Wineries present "Two-for-One, Twice the Fun!" Starting at either the Hudson-Chatham or Tousey Winery, you will receive a postcard when you pay for a full tasting. Take the postcard to the other winery, and your full tasting there is free! You will also get a stamp for your postcard, and the postcard is good for a free tasting at either winery for the person to whom you send the card. The event runs during the wineries' regular hours on Saturday and Sunday, which are 12 noon to 5:00 PM. For more information, visit either winery's website, or call either winery. The Hudson-Chatham Winery is located at 1900 State Route 66 in Ghent, NY, or call 518-392-WINE. The Tousey Winery is located at 1774 Route 9, Germantown, NY, online or 518-567-5462.

Monday, April 11, 2011

BACO NOIR OLD VINES 2009 It was recently made clear to us that the real story about the Baco Noir Old Vines was never clearly expressed. This has been a long term project, that began some time ago, and so I thought I would put pen to paper in an effort to explain more about the grapes, the wine, and the concept. To begin with, we are moving our wine program more and more toward a vineyard designate label direction. Each wine will tell you where the grapes came from – by vineyard and some instances by block. This is about the dreaded French word, terroir. It’s only now, as a grape grower and proprietor that I am truly starting to understand what terroir means. I can read about it all day long, but I guess I’m more of an experiencial learner. The same grapes in one vineyard, don’t always taste like one another, and the wines, absolutely taste different. That is what gives the wine its sense of “somewhereness” to use a phrase from wine writer Matt Kramer. I’m finally starting to really experience it and appreciate those variations. The more you grown your own foods (we grow rye, raspberries, blueberries, and grapes) the more you begin to taste your own dirt. Knowing the dirt where you plant things is so important. I taste our raspberries and I taste other people’s. Ours are much more tart and flavorful than many others. That’s not pride. That’s simple truth. I wish I could tell you why it I so, but it just is. Baco Noir Old Vine comes from the Masson Place Farm, the Pultney Vineyard. The Masson Place Farm is a huge property, and it is really an amalgamation of smaller farms. Pultney Vineyard is the spot where our block of Old Vine Baco is grown. The vines are beyond old. They are gnarly, twisted, and look like old witches hands. But they produce big, luscious bunches of dark, ripe grapes. We let the grapes hang as late as possible. Almost until they begin to burst. This worries the vineyard manager, whose job it is to deliver the grapes to the winemaking facility. He doesn’t want to deliver soup, he wants to deliver grapes. Each year it’s a lot of conversation. How much crop loss are we experiencing as we let the fruit hang? How much of the grapes are being eaten by birds, or deer? How much longer can we let them hang to see if we can get the brix up? (Brix are the units by which the sugar concentration in a grape is measured.) The winemaker, the vineyard manager, myself, and the local crush facility all talk every other day for a week or two while we discuss back and forth. Finally the picking day comes. We use a local crush facility. We’re waiting on these grapes so long, that they are fragile by the time we pick them. Transporting them all the way to our facility would be insane. It doesn’t make sense to truck it that far. So we crush very nearby to retain the freshness of the fruit. Our winemaker, Steve Casscles will talk with the local crush facility to make sure things go smoothly. He’s been in contact with them for a week or two ahead of time, so they’ve had a chance to discuss things, and decisions are made. Either he’ll go to the facility the day before, the day of, or the day after. He wants to see the fruit. He wants to taste it, and see where the grapes are. He’s been making Baco Noir his whole life. Steve is like a chef. Everything must be tasted and savored. The flavors tell him what’s going on with the grapes and with the wine. Chemistry is important, but the most important thing is the dialogue between Steve and the grapes. After this dialogue Steve will taste the wine, and determine how many days he wants the wine on the skins. The final juice will be pressed, and we will pick it up from the crush facility within 10 days of picking, or so. From there the wine is stored in French Oak barrels. The wine is racked in April or May, and then bottled in September or October, and released in November. We produce 150 cases of this small artisanal wine. The wine is never filtered, never fined, never manipulated beyond what you’ve already read. During the winter and spring we’ll do a series of trails, making sure the wines are progressing properly. Everything is done by hand, even the labeling. The result is Hudson-Chatham Baco Noir Old Vines Masson Place Farm, Pultney Vineyard 2009, an exceptional wine, a bold and big, flavorful Burgundy-styled wine, with lots of black sour cherry, dark raspberry, and hints of vanilla, saddle leather, and dusty earth. It is meant to be a food wine, and compliments our local Hudson Valley cheeses extremely well. It is tremendous with roasted chicken, grilled meats, game meats, grilled Portobello mushrooms, and spicy pasta dishes. Hudson-Chatham Baco Noir Old Vines Masson Place Farm, Pultney Vineyards 2009 has recently won bronze medals at the Dallas Morning News Wine Competition 2011 and the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition 2011. If you would like to read about the day we went to see the vineyard for the first time, please go to:

Thursday, April 07, 2011

2011 SEASON!!


PASTA & SAUCE TRAIL EVENTTo kick off the 2011 season, the HBBT is sponsoring the Pasta & Sauce Event.

Passport holders can sample a complimentary pasta dish at each participating member establishment, when they purchase a tasting flight. Whether you want to try award-winning wines, hand-crafted, nano-ales, or small batch artisanal spirits, the Hudson Berkshire Beverage Trail has a winning combination that can’t be beat.

Guests may visit any trail member of their choice, and pay the normal tasting fees, or buy a Trail Passport, and receive a great discount, that gets them into all the participating trail locations FREE!

Passport Members get:

* complimentary free tasting flights of wine, beers, and spirits at all locations on the specified date

* free pasta

This is a great value!

Passports will be available for $15 on the day of the event at each participating venue!

Special Designated Driver Passport: $5 with complimentary pasta!





We have only a small amount of Chelois 2009 we're releasing this year. It will be available this weekend, beginning this Friday, April 8, 2011.

Chelois /shell-wah/ Albert Seibel was born in Aubenas, France, in the Ardeche in 1844.

In the 1860s the Phylloxera plague cut European wine production by more than two-thirds. As the pest originated in the New World, crossing American stock with European Vitis vinifera varieties was one of the promising attempts to contain the disaster. The vines produced by this hybridization did not necessarily produce better wines, but did produce vine stock that could better survive Phylloxera attacks.

In 1895, he founded a school to teach grafting methods. Seibel and his company produced over 16,000 new hybrids, with nearly 500 varieties that were then grown commercially. He often used as a female parent the hybrid Jaeger 70, a cross between Vitis lincecumii and Vitis rupestris produced by Hermann Jaeger. Some of the most famous Seibel grapes are Aurore (Seibel 5279), Chancellor (Seibel 7053), Chelois (Seibel 10878), De Chaunac (Seibel 9549) and Vidal Blanc (Vidal 256).

He died in 1936.

The heritage of Chelois includes such vinifera as Alicante Bouschet and Grenache among others, was ultimately a cross of Seibel 5163 and Seibel 5593. For many years it was grown in Burgundy. Chelois wine has soft mature fruit, a medium bodied tannin structure, and an approachable acid profile that ages nicely for twenty years. Cherries, soft spice, and black pepper often come across. The final product produces a Burgundian-style red wine that ages extremely well, according to world renowned wine expert Hugh Johnson.

Hudson-Chatham Chelois Casscles Vineyard 2008 is a single vineyard block of 15-year old vines. Grown on the rocky hills just off the Hudson River. Hand grown. Hand picked. Manually pressed. Unfined. Unfiltered. Aged in French oak 9 months. Bottle aged six months.

This soft, dry red wine is a bright ruby wine, with lots of bright cherry, dried cherry, a touch of black pepper, and a hint of vanilla. Perfect with cheese, this wine is wonderful for roast chicken, roast pork, and pasta dishes.

It's only available in short supply!