America is producing wine in every state! The wine craze has hit the country with prestigious wine estates and high priced elegant offerings from California, Oregon and other regions gracing wine lists the world over. But I’d like to take you back to where it all began!
Can you name the oldest wine region in the US? No it’s not in California, not even close! It’s a little region just 1 hour or so from midtown Manhattan in the picturesque Hudson Valley of NY. Rolling hills, soils rich in slate and minerals, and proximity to the river make this region perfect for the cultivation of certain varietals that are finally getting some recognition.
Many vineyards are still continuing to produce wines made from hybrid grapes that have been shunned by the mainstream but that doesn’t mean they don’t produce incredible wines. Grapes with names like Traminette, Seyval Blanc and Baco Noir are showing great promise in the region. Also experimentation has shown that vinifera can survive the humid sticky summers. In particular Whitecliff Winery has a killer Gamay while Millbrook has had great success with Tocai Friuliano. Research is constantly being compiled to learn what others may flourish by studies of specific sites and micro climates.
Many of these wineries have incredible views, ancient cellars, and charm to rival any region. The Hudson Valley is also home to two note ables in American wine history! Brotherhood Winery is Americas oldest winery while Benmarl Winery is Americas oldest continuous vineyard. Both wineries are part of the Shawangunk Wine Trail who have a number of events each year.
Also fairly new to the Hudson Valley wine buzz it Stoutridge! This solar powered, gravity winery is a must visit. A distillery will be in operation soon as well at this facility producing many products from locally sources fruits and grains.
Check out the Hudson Valley and support your local farmers/winemakers. With so many great wines to discover your sure to find some treasures to add to your wine cellar.