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
COUNTY WINERIES COME TOGETHER FOR PACKAGE DEAL
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.