Sunday, November 27, 2011


After many long months of getting approval from our local planning board, the Hudson-Chatham Winery has finally begun it's expansion!

Here are the first pictures of Farm Manager Ralph Cooley clearing ground and cutting into the hill near the barn to help expand the winery.

A new crush pad, an extension of our barn by about 25 feet, and a new building to house sherry and port will complete the project, hopefully bey the end of December.

Anyway, a nice beginning!

Friday, November 25, 2011

We are open this Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Nov 25, 26, & 27, Noon to 5pm!
Make gift baskets (we provide all the trimmings), try the Christmas Port, and try the Field Stone Baco Noir! The holidays are here!


Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Monday, November 21, 2011

A Winery, Brewery, and Distillery in Three Hours in Columbia County

It appears the farmland in Columbia County is very fertile, with pecks of apples, grapes, and other things to make alcohol. My boyfriend and I, after visiting the Hudson Chatham Winery, Chatham Brewery, and Harvest Distillery, are pretty sure the folks in the nearby county could make quality beverages even just from the grass.

Find out for yourself by visiting the Hudson-Berkshire Beverage Trail. It's possible to do about half the trail in three hours so this can work as a half-day trip or a full day trip.

I'd actually never heard of a "beverage" trail, only wine trails before this local one came up in a Google search. It was initially my intention to just do a wine tour but I'm glad it also included beer and harder liquor. Along with trying non-nationally distributed drinks, it was fun trying things that I knew I'd enjoy and that my boyfriend would enjoy (he's more of a beer person, I like wine, but then we both enjoy liquor).

We started the trail, which we reduced so we could make the Gazette Holiday Parade in Schenectady, at the Hudson-Chatham Winery where they were having a bread, cheese, and wine festival with several vendors in their site on Route 66 in Ghent.

It was a bit confusing when we walked in since I wasn't sure what to try first, the food or the drink. So, we made our way around the room and eventually did two $5 wine tastings. I was a big fan of their whites and dessert wines and Jon enjoyed their reds. We bought two to take home and enjoyed pairing the tastings with the food samples where the vendor reps were more than willing to talk about their products.

The next stop was the Chatham Brewery where we had been before. It's a small operation, literally down an alley off the main drag in Chatham. Since the bf and I first visited the business several months ago, they've now expanded their sales offerings to multiple merchandise items like glasses and clothes, along with the growlers of quality beer. But the hours are pretty restricted: just 11am-2pm on Saturdays.

The final stop was the Golden Harvest Farm with the Harvest Distillery in the back which is leased from the farm operation on Route 9 in Valatie. You walk in and there are large wooden barrels everywhere. Tastings are $1 or free if you buy something. We, like many others before us, fell in love with the Apple Jack whiskey which is based on a centuries old tradition of whiskey. I especially loved it with hot apple cider which ended up being our main beverage at the parade that night.

The entire trail also includes Brookview Station Winery in Castleton-on-Hudson, and Furnace Brook Winery in Richmond, Mass.

posted by Danielle Sanzone at 7:58 PM

Read more Troy Record at:

Monday, November 21, 2011

Featured Winery: Hudson-Chatham
November 15th, 2011

A few weeks ago, we finally paid a visit to Hudson-Chatham Winery, one of many that have opened in recent years in the Hudson Valley, and apparently the first to do so in Columbia County. The proliferation of new wineries in our region is, essentially, a good thing: what could be wrong with more people growing grapes and producing wine from them? Well, as those who know the area know all too well, the Hudson Valley, with its bitter winters, is not an easy area in which to grow vinifera grapes – i.e. the “noble” grapes that qualify as “wine” in Europe. Cabernet Franc and Chardonnay can just about cope, given the right wine-makers and some decent terroir, but almost anything else is an uphill struggle. This is why far too many of the wineries serve up either quaintly-named wines made from the hybrid grapes that do just fine in the region but are not, to put it mildly, the stuff of greatness, or offer more recognizable wines (typically, Riesling, Pinot Gris, Merlot) sourced from vineyards in the far-flung Finger Lakes or Long Island.

Fortunately, few people in New York State know more about the region’s wineries that Hudson-Chatham’s own Carlo DeVito. The author of Wineries of the East Coast, DeVito has a background in wine publishing, and maintains the Hudson River Wine blog in his spare time – of which there can’t be much, given the number of different bottlings emerging from his five-year old winery. Hudson-Chatham serves up the typical Hudson Valley fare I reference up above: local Cayuga in sparkling form, DeChaunac and Baco Noir as a Dessert red, Riesling and Gewurztraminer from the Finger Lakes, and Merlot from Long Island, none of which, in theory, sets it apart from the rest of the tourist trail. However, DeVito has announced his arrival on the wine scene with a couple of distinctive contributions to the area’s fare. His Empire Reserve label, in both white and red form, combines three grapes in equal quantities from the Finger Lakes, Hudson Valley and Long Island regions, hoping to showcase a uniquely New York wine as a result. But perhaps more profoundly, DeVito is staking his claim on “quality hybrid” wines; specifically, he is treating both the white grape Seyval Blanc and the red Baco Noir as if he were in Burgundy and raising Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. At Hudson Chatham, both grapes are Estate Bottled, aged in oak, and labeled according to their individual vineyards. This is a ballsy move, and one that demands attention. Or at least a visit to the winery.

Like many wineries on the east coast, Hudson-Chatham makes more wine than it’s good for. This is not even the full range.
DeVito was at a local industry event for most of the time we visited; I’m pleased to report that his two young female servers were eminently pleasant and more so, pretty well educated on what they were pouring. We started with the 2010 Seyval Blanc, a grape that grows especially well in the Hudson Valley. This emitted some quite serious grapefruit/lemon/crème fraiche flavors with some additional Granny Smith apple. While bright and friendly, it was also a little light in texture and overly acidic, but still good value as a picnic style wine for $11. The Riesling (from the Finger Lakes) was bone dry with lots of green apples. A lovely little wine at $15 a bottle. I was excited and surprised to hear that the Gewurztraminer 2009 had some Hudson Valley grapes in there; I got all the necessary orange and lychee and passion fruit that you might hope for from this very particular grape. Promising for sure.
The entry-level red is the Hudson River Valley Red, a blend of 75% DeChaunac and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, not an unusual blend for regions where a hybrid needs some weight and depth, added in the form of a noble grape that doesn’t grow well enough to be bottled on its own either. They call it “a light, fruit yet dry red” and that would be a fair description for a non-descript and inoffensive picnic red. By comparison, I was somewhat disappointed with the 2010 Cabernet Franc, grapes from Upstate, which was much lighter in body and color than it need be, considering how well it can be made in New York. We fared better with the Merlot from Long Island. The 2008 Merlot, aged for 18 months in French oak, had plenty of strong fruit, particularly plum, and was well-rounded and a solid food wine for $20; the 2008 Merlot Reserve, aged in French oak for an additional year, had too much wood for my particular palate and was too pricy at $24.

The friendly vibe at the tasting room.
We were very pleasantly surprised by the Blanc de Blanc, considering that it’s made from the typically unworthy Cayuga grape. This was very bready, and ever so lightly sweet. Really quite delightful, especially for $18. We also took a taste of the hard cider made from local, Germantown Northern Spy apples. It’s sold by the large bottle for $10 and while I don’t drink much cider, it seems to me that this is precisely what Hudson Valley wineries should be doing with the local fruit. To that note, while I sampled the fortified Dessert Wines, I wasn’t taken by them; I could taste the added Brandy in the Paperbirch Highlands Fine Ruby and Paperbirch Palladian White more than I could the various, predominantly hybrid grapes. And I’m not a fruit wine fan, so I let those two dessert wine offerings alone.
But now we get to the interesting stuff. I’ve written before at iJamming! about the Empire Reserve White Table Wine, a blend of equal parts Sauvignon Blanc, Seyval Blanc and Riesling, from Long Island, the Hudson Valley and Finger Lakes respectively. Now it was the opportunity to try the Empire Reserve Table Red, this one a blend of Merlot, Baco Noir and Cabernet Franc from the same three regions. Because I love the idea of this wine, I really wanted to love the taste of it (and I bought a bottle to taste properly at home), but I ended up having the same reservation about it as I did the white: that the two grapes from the lower New York regions (Baco Noir and Merlot) ended up overpowering the subtleties of the grape from the Finger Lakes (Cabernet Franc), producing a wine with notable heft and body but not enough delicacy or individuality. I hope DeVito persists with the idea of this blend, as it is, truly, a unique representation of New York State grapes; however, he might want to experiment more with the individual components, sacrificing the idea of equality for… true quality.

The Seyval Blanc vineyard at Hudson-Chatham (absent the grapes, which had already been picked…)
But fear not, because Hudson-Chatham’s boldest claim – to the quality of its hybdrids – turns out to hold true. The 2010 Seyval Blanc Block 1 North Creek Vineyard rewards its single vineyard bottling and (short) oak ageing quite magnificently. Rather than adding that familiar taste of vanilla, either the oak – or perhaps it’s the “Ghent terroir” – delivers some custard qualities that fill out the grape’s typically bright acidity and green citrus notes which, along with a floral texture that I hadn’t registered with the everyday Seyval Blanc at the bottom of the winery’s price chain, creates what is, without doubt, the best Seyval Blanc I have tasted. It’s to the wine’s additional credit that I don’t feel tempted to just compare it to a Sauvignon Blanc or some other cool climate white grape; this felt very much like its own creation. Truly delicious, with a refreshingly long finish, I suspect it might be too subtle for some tastes, but I will definitely be back for more.
To my great disappointment, the winery was entirely out of its various Baco Noir bottlings; once I got talking to DeVito, he explained that they typically sell out within 2-3 months of bottling. He also told me that shortly after opening the winery, he had been offered the opportunity to take over the 60-year old Baco Noir vines at Mason Place Vineyard and signed a lease that very same day. His enthusiasm appears to have been rewarded: I picked up a bottle of the 2009 Baco Noir Old Vines Mason Place Vineyards Pultney Farms at the ever-wonderful Partition Street Wine Shop in Saugerties the night of the Zombie Crawl, for $20, and was (highly) positively overwhelmed. Though on initial opening I got a big fat whiff of the French oak, that quickly wafted away; soon I was getting some cherry coming off the nose, the acidity of a cool climate grape mixed in with earth and spices. It opened up remarkably well to exhibit not just the forward fruit and the mid-palate body, but the kind of well-rounded finish one would expect of a true noble vinifera wine.

Two of the finer hybrid wines I’ve tasted.
My complaint about hybrids is often that they’re one-dimensional; at best, two; but that they never have that ethereal quality that makes great wine such a truly intangible experience. I hesitate to over-praise this Baco Noir, but it shared sufficient qualities to a good earthy Pinot Noir (most notably that dark cherry) that I can understand DeVito placing it in a Burgundian bottle – as he does with two other Single Vineyard reds, the Baco Noir Reserve Casscels Vineyards and, from the same vineyard, a Chelois grape that he considers the crown jewel of his line – and most redolent of a red Burgundy. I guess I will need to get to Hudson-Chatham again this winter to pick up the top-of-the-line 2010s as they come into bottle, but based on our tastings so far, it would appear that the winery is doing as much to showcase the quality possibilities of Hudson Valley hybrids as anyone else in the region. I look forward to tasting more.

Apologies to Tony because we could not make the tags work to connect the article directly...message kept failing. We are not in the habit of reprinting full articles.

Here is a link to

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Friday, November 18, 4-7
New Paltz, NY

Tom Edwards in cooperation with the Hudson Valley WIne Country, is sponsoring a Hudson Valley wine tasting at their store, Fox and Hound, in New Paltz, NY this Friday! Nine wineries will be pouring at least three wines each. An exciting event!!!!

20 New Paltz Plaza, New Paltz, NY 12561
1 845.255.7475
Mon - Sat:10:00 am-9:30 pm
Sun:12:00 pm-7:00 pm
Hudson-Chatham's 4th Annual
Bread, Wine & Cheese!
Saturday, November 19, 2011
12-5 pm

Cafe Le Perche headlines event, along with Old Chatham Sheepherding, Twin Maple Farm, and R&G Cheese.

This Saturday, the winery will be hosting its annual Bread, Wine & Cheese event. The bread - and other baked goods - will be from Hudson's own Cafe Le Perch! The Cafe was recently written up in the New York Times and The Valley Table, and it is definitely as good as all that!

We will have cheeses from the following area creameries: Twin Maple Farm (with their incredible Hudson Red), R&G (with mouth-watering mozzarellas and goat cheeses), and the Old Chatham Sheepherding Company (if you have yet to try their multiple award-winning Camembert, see what you've been missing!). The cheeses will be sampled and sold by the creameries, and we'll also have a selection of Hudson-Chatham horseradish cheese spreads on hand.

Spend an afternoon tasting Hudson-Chatham wines, the freshest local cheeses, most fabulous baked goods, and discovering how to put together perfect bread, wine, and cheese pairings - for the holidays and every day!

Read the NY Times about Cafe Le Perche:


Join us this Friday night, November 19, at Local 111 in Philmont, where Chef Josephine has put together an amazing seven-course meal that will feature five exceptional Hudson-Chatham wines. It's an all-local culinary extravaganza that's not to be missed!

Go to Local 111:

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Katherine Rasmussen recently wrote an article entitled "A Wine Tastign Trip to Columbia County" for All Over Here are her notes on Hudson-Chatham wines:

White: The sweet wine, Lindenwald - $12.50/bottle. All I can say is WOW! This wine has a distinctly New York Concord aroma and taste and a clean finish.

Red: Baco Noir Reserve - $18.95/bottle. An award winning wine, taking bronze at the 2011Grand Harvest Awards in California and gold at the 2010 New York Food and Wine Classic. This wine is not too heavy and not too light, making it a perfect match for an autumn supper.

Dessert: Paperbirch Raspberry Fine Ruby - $14.95/bottle. Made from raspberries grown on the property, this dessert wine took the gold medal at the 2011 Hudson Valley Wine Competition and is great served over ice cream.

Read the whole story at:

New York Times wine columnist Howard G. Goldberg recently posted a whole series of tasting notes about Hudson Valley wines. Here's some of the abbrivieted notes on Hudson-Chatham wines.

A Sampler of Hudson Valley Pleasures
by Howard G. Goldberg on Friday, November 11, 2011 at 1:25pm

As the beautiful Hudson Valley's remaining leaves turn further red, ocher, yellow and rusty, and crunchy underfoot, I recall and envy landscape painters of the 19th-century Hudson River School -- (its founder) Thomas Cole, Frederic Edwin Church, Albert Bierstadt -- who recorded the unspoiled region's majesty.

Not having visited the area for some years I miss annual excursions to Millbrook, my friend John Dyson'simpressive, sprawling wine estate, and occasional trips to Clinton Vineyard, in Clinton Corners, another Jewel, established by my friend Ben Feder (now gone) and nurtured by Ben and Phyllis, his remarkable wife.

Another friend (and also my book publisher), the congenial Carlo DeVito, the padrone of Hudson-Chatham Winery, in Ghent, not long ago assembled a batch of wines that illustrate developments in the region, and a small group tasted them high above Columbus Circle, in Manhattan. He brought many of his own wines -- some I had tasted before -- and they made a strongly favorable impression pretty much across the board. The portfolio has deservedly gotten good ink lately. (Yes, I say all that objectively; no buttering-up goes on here.)

By now some of Carlo's and others' wines I tasted have yielded to later vintages, which, on the basis of my tasting, I'd be pleased to explore too.

Hudson-Chatham's 2008 Empire Reserve Red -- a clever, grapey, nuanced blend of Hudson Valley baco noir, Finger Lakes cabernet franc and Long Island merlot.

Hudson-Chatham's 2009 Masson Place Vineyard, Pulteney Farm, Old Vines baco noir, which was succulent and juicy.

Hudson-Chatham's 2009 seyval blanc -- I have loved the grape and wine, from various producers, for years -- had a firm acid grip, perfumed nose and a tangy citric bite.

Hudson-Chatham's rustic 2009 Casscels Vineyards chelois was pretty,opulent, a little cherry-like and seemed dotted with herbs. It was inward, and I had to aerate it a lot on my palate to get, rewardingly, at its character.

Hudson-Chatham’s 2009 Casscels Vineyards baco noir reserve was a juicy, gutsy knock-back carafe wine.

Read the entire artivcle at:!/notes/howard-g-goldberg/a-sampler-of-hudson-valley-pleasures/225231230877637

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Hudson Berkshire Beverage Trail Ramble
November 11, 12, 13, 2011

Hudson-Chatham Winery is very proud to participate in the Hudson Berkshire Beverage Trail Ramble, this Veteran's Day weekend. You can do special tastings of the wonderful hand-crafted wines, beers, and spirits made by the venues on the Hudson Berkshire Beverage Trail for the special price of $15 ($5 for designated drivers). Purchase a Trail passport at the first location you visit, and bring it along as you "ramble" the Trail. Each venue will conduct a special tasting for passport carriers, and will feature a special food item to go with it. Trail members are: Hudson-Chatham Winery, Chatham Brewing, Harvest Spirits Distillery, and Brookview Station Winery in New York, and Furnace Brook Winery in Massachusetts.
Hudson-Chatham Winery at
Harvest Fest in Saratoga Springs

16 Years of New York's Freshest, Finest, Tastiest, Heartiest & All-Around Best
November 12-13, 2011

Saturday, November 12
10:00am - 5:00pm

Sunday, November 13
12 noon - 5:00pm

The Pride of New York Harvest Fest has been a popular destination for thousands of consumers in the Capital District for 15 years. This year, the event will debut in beautiful and historic downtown Saratoga Springs. Located just north of Albany and just south of the Adirondacks, Saratoga Springs attracts visitors near and far, all with a thirst for New York products.

Famous for its thoroughbred race track, but also its mineral springs, this November, Saratoga Springs will be known as the place to be for New York food and wine. Attendees will find this new venue appealing and convenient, and exhibitors will find it easily accessible.

Once again, the Harvest Fest will benefit the Classroom Enrichment Fund at the Community Foundation of the Capital Region, to help teachers purchase curriculum and classroom.

The Pride of New York Harvest Fest in Saratoga Springs is a must-do event for anyone interested in New York wine and food. Don't miss out!