One of the most enduring aspects of exploring the Hudson Valley is finding those spots that offer the world class views we have come to expect, the lushness of upstate New York’s natural world, and a little something for our own spirits to enjoy. As you saunter through this historic region during these dog days of summer, allow yourself a bit of respite, and perhaps imbibe at one of the area’s many idyllic vineyards. Here are five of our favorites from the folks at the Hudson Chatham Winery in Ghent NY. courtesy of owner Dominique DeVito;
5. Bannerman’s Castle Amber Cream – A designated “solera” for making sherry-style wines, where the wine is aged very slowly and by moving small amounts from barrel to barrel as it ages. When it finally gets into the bottle, this cream sherry-style wine is rich with notes of hazelnut and caramel. A very popular dessert wine.
4. Estate Chelois – Another Pinot Noir-esque French-American hybrid grape, Estate Chelois is made from fruit grown at the vineyard and aged 9 months in French Oak. The wine has a lovely purple color and a unique flavor that combines notes of blackberry, strawberry, and cherry, yet is dry and super-smooth.
3. Lindenwald White – This sweet wine is made from a blend of Niagara and Diamond grapes. It tastes like fresh-picked wild grapes. It’s so easy-drinking that the folks at Hudson Chatham Winery call it a “party in a bottle.” A wonderful summertime or any time fruity and delicious wine.
2. Baco Noir Old Vines – Baco Noir is a cold-climate Pinot Noir-type grape. HCW has been making this wine for a decade with fruit from a vineyard they lease in the Finger Lakes where the vines are now 68 years old. Aged 9 months in French Oak, its flavor profile is notes of cranberry and dark chocolate. It’s been reviewed in many publications, including the Wall Street Journal, Wine Enthusiast, and Wine Spectator. It’s been on the wine list at the Culinary Institute of America for several years. It’s drinkable now but can be aged for 10-20 years.
1. Empire Reserve – Co-owner Carlo DeVito wanted to craft a wine that represented the major growing and production regions of New York State. The Empire Reserve is a blend made with equal parts from from the Hudson Valley (using their Baco Noir), the Finger Lakes (using Marechal Foch recently), and Long Island (using a Merlot/Cab blend recently). The blended wine is aged 2 years in French Oak. The Empire is described as their “biggest,” driest red wine, with the characteristic deep cherry notes of a Cab, and everyone can’t help but love it.