Valley Vineyards Come Of Age

As the economy struggles and wacky weather compromises this year’s harvest, Valley vintners are doing surprisingly well thanks to a little local love and another killer vintage

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Other Wineries

Just shy of five years old, Sullivan County’s first commercial winery has specialized in organic Noiret and Cayuga White grape varietals, recently adding Marquette to its repertoire. The chemical-free vineyard welcomes visitors for tastings, and features live music every Saturday. Open Sat. year-round; Sat.-Sun., May-Sept.
Sip this: Their 2007 Bear Cabernet Franc took a gold medal at the ’09 HVWC.
Wurtsboro. 845-888-5858

This 30-year-old facility just rejoined the Shawangunk Wine Trail. Their eight wines include a sparkling wine made in méthode champenoise, and the award-winning Noiret and Cayuga White. Tours, year-round tasting room, shop. Open May-Oct., Fri.-Mon.
Sip this: Their 2007 Cab Franc won a Gold Medal at this year’s HVWC.
Pine Bush. 845-744-2231

Open since the late 1970s, Cascade produces eight wines, including a Rosé, Vintage Seyval Blanc, and special spice wine. The Wine and Tapas Bar restaurant pairs Cascade wines and local produce. Tours, tastings, shop, art gallery, weddings. Open Sat.-Sun.
Sip this: Vintage Couer De Lion, a smooth Cabernet Sauvignon blend made in the Beaujolais style.
Amenia. 845-373-9021

Wine-maker and owner Francesco Ciummo produces dozens of wines, spirits, and vinegars at his Orange County winery. Specialties include Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and fruit wines. Open daily.
Sip this: Warwick Black Pearl Local, “The Prize of [the] Vineyard.”
Warwick. 845-986-4723

Initially founded in 1977 by an old-world Spanish wine-maker, El Paso was reopened in 1998. Featuring 20 blends from Chardonnay and Seyval to Pinot Noir. Shop, free tastings. Open Wed.-Sun.
Sip this: Barn Red, a “true Italian country red.”
Ulster Park. 845-331-8642

Columbia County’s first winery — though still in its early years — has already wowed discerning palates, winning several awards at the HVWC. The boutique winery specializes in small-batch reds and whites made from Long Island, Finger Lakes, and Hudson Valley grapes. Tastings, weddings, local artisanal cheeses and desserts. Open Sat.-Sun.
Sip this: The 2007 Hudson River Red won not only a gold medal, but Best in Category (Red Hybrid) at the HVWC (having already sold out once this summer, a fresh batch should be available this month).
Ghent. 518-392-9463

Benmarl WineryPhotograph courtesy of Benmarl Winery

The seven wines bottled at this Ulster County winery are made exclusively from estate-grown grapes. Specializing in French-American blends like Seyval Blanc, Chancellor, and Dechaunac. Restaurant open weekends, serving prix-fixe Northern Italian dinner paired with wines. Weekend tastings, shop, live music, weddings. Open Apr.-Dec., Sat.-Sun.
Sip this: Mirtillo, an unusual blend of Seyval Blanc and cranberry juice.
Wallkill. 845-895-2767

This small Dutchess County vineyard produces only estate-grown, organic Pinot Noir. Premium Tour and Tasting by appointment.
Sip this: Their silver medal-winning 2007 Pinot Noir.
Millbrook. 845-677-9522

One of the largest kosher vineyards in the country; owned by Royal Wines, the largest producer, importer, and distributor of kosher wines in the U.S. Tours, tastings. Open Sun.-Thurs.
Sip this: Their custardy Castel White, which has been featured in Wine Spectator magazine.
Marlboro. 845-236-3651

This tiny Orange County operation grows five varietals — Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Traminette, and Gewurztraminer — and produces over 500 gallons from other New York varietals. Tastings, tours. Open Thurs.-Sun.
Sip this: Their 2007 Cabernet Franc won bronze medals at the 2008 New York State Fair and 2008 NY Wine and Food Classic.
Monroe. 845-783-8660

The Northeast’s highest elevation vineyard and winery specializes in white and dessert wines including Chardonnay, Frontenac Gris, and a coveted Ice Wine. Tastings, grape picking on weekends; wine getaway packages. Open year-round.
Sip this: New York does love a good Riesling — their 2008 took home a gold medal from the HVWC.
Windham. 518-734-5214

Next: Grab your best glass and fill ’er up at any of this year’s wine events


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