As the promotion promises, the Hudson Valley Wine & Food Festival is always “the Saturday after Labor Day!” It’s a huge event held at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds in Rhinebeck, and it draws wineries from all over New York State, not just the Hudson Valley. However, it’s the Hudson Valley that’s showcased at the festival. Every year an esteemed panel of wine writers and professionals is invited to judge wines made exclusively in the Hudson Valley by the wineries here (and their numbers are growing). Medals are awarded, and, based on the number of medals earned, a Hudson Valley Winery of the Year is named. This year it was a tie, with top awards going to Fjord Vineyards in Milton, NY, and Hudson-Chatham Winery in Ghent, NY. Fjord won a Double Gold and Best Hudson Valley Wine for their 2018 Dry Rose, an elegant and luscious wine made with their estate Cabernet Franc and a hint of Merlot. If you’re lucky, you can score a glass of it at Hudson Valley Brewery or Quinn’s in Beacon. It’s sold out at the vineyard. But you can score their Silver Medal-winning Albarino at their winery, and taste their other great wines, too. As for Hudson-Chatham, one of their Gold Medal winners was their Estate Chelois, and the limited-production wine is already sold out, too. Good thing they have the Block Two in stock, as it was another Gold Medal winner (it’s a dry red blend of grapes from the middle part of their vineyard). Find both wineries on Facebook. And enjoy a multitude of delicious wines at all the Hudson Valley wineries – or the local wineries near you. Cheers!