Sunday, November 10, 2013


So this is what life is like in the harvest/fall of winery life. This weekend we racked a portion of our wine - that which needs to go into oak for a long time. We moved more than 30 barrels worth of wine using three pumps. We had at one point 9 guys moving and washing barrels, etc.

On the other hand, our staff was swamped. It was the Shop, Sip & Savor Hudson Berkshire Beverage Trail event. We had a tour bus of folks from New York City (including Brooklyn) to kick off the event, but the trail was busy all day!!! 

Sandwiches made at a local deli for the staff. Everyone worked up an appetite!

We finally all went home at 9pm! A big day from our friends!!!! Thanks so much for all your hard work! And thanks to all those who stopped by today!!!

Friday, November 08, 2013


The idea of Fieldstone Baco Noir was to make a wine that reflected the dirt directly. I had read an article Anne Zimmerman had written in San Francisco of a “Dirt Tasting” and simultaneously I had heard about this idea that Randall Grahm of Bonny Doon had attempted to dump crushed rock into his wine to give his wines more of a mineral driven finish.

The idea of the Dirt Tasting to me was one of the coolest things I had ever heard of. They had a giant Riedel wine glass of dirt from a particular farm. Then they had vegetables to taste from that dirt. And they also had wines and the dirt those grapes were grown in. Was an idea! What a direct correlation between product and environment!!!
In the “tasting” they let you smell the dirt, then mixed it water, smelled it again, and then tasted it!!!

“I was stunned,” wrote Zimmerman. “I’ve had some miraculous food experiences, but nothing that illustrated so convincingly the connection between the health of the land and the food that I put in my mouth.”
I let my passions and my inquisitiveness get the better of me. I tried it for the first time last year or so with the 2010 Baco Noir Old Vines. As I told Debbie Gioguindo, the Hudson Valley Wine Goddess, “I sent my sons to ride around the farm and let them drive the farm truck. We got river stones from around the farm, scrubbed them with brand new scrub brushes and fresh water. We put those in the tank. Then I had some limbs from a local oak tree that had fallen years ago milled at a local wood mill, and then kiln dried. And we put some of that in. And we let it sit for four months and change.

The first time I tried it, in the first week, it tasted like mud with moss. It was awful. The second day it tasted worse! I thought to myself, I better not tell my wife I just ruined $7000 worth of wine! But four months later, and a lot of anxiety in between, it all worked out.”
The reviews were unanimous. It was a hit. The limited edition wine sold out in about eight weeks.

“Concentrated black fruit flavors are pleasant but obscured by generous oak treatment and slightly confectionery flavors of cherry vanilla and mocha chocolate. Hints of tree bark and green, vinous flavors peep through cream and vanilla notes on the midpalate,” wrote Anna Lee Iijima lat year in Wine Enthusiast.
Debbie Gioquindo wrote in March of 2012, “I found aromas of earth, mint and black cherry filled the glass with light hints of minerality and oak.  I would think that would come from the field stones and the tree. To bad he didn’t name the tree. (something like Fred). The palate was filled with plum, black fruit, mid palate of cherry vanilla with a black peppercorn on the finish. Kudos to Carlo, you didn’t ruin $7000 worth of wine.  It’s quite tasty and I enjoyed it!” Thanks, Debbie!

And finally, New York Cork Report Editor-in-Chief Lenn Thompson wrote, “Dark fruit -- black cherry and plum -- with mustard seed, violets and curry spice. Soft and lush with forward fruit, low tannins and just enough acidity. Plum, juicy and fruity. Long finish with subtle vanilla character.”

To read about the dirt tasting go here: