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Distributor planning statewide shochu sales

Attention, sake fans.

Joto Sake has announced a program to begin wholesaling spirits in the New York market in October, starting with its portfolio of shochus, which includes the Asahi, Seiko Udoko and Shima Senryo brands.

Joto has been distributing its artisanal sake line through its wine license in New York State since 2005.

The company will be adding American craft spirits as well, according to founder Henry Sidel. While distributing its own brands in New York, Joto’s portfolio is handled by Southern Wine & Spirits, Republic National Distributing Co., Young’s Market, Wirtz Beverage and others across the country.


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Posted by on August 28, 2012 in Sake

 

New Columbia County distillery to open Sept. 1

(L-R) Baker, Pickerell, Welly

ANCRAM — Last November, I posted a story and photos of a distillery being created near this Columbia County community. Now, owner Jeffrey Baker and master distiller Dave Pickerell have announced a September 1 opening.

On that day, Hillrock Estate Distillery will be open to the public as well as introducing the launch of Hillrock Solera Aged Bourbon.

While there are other distilleries in the Hudson Valley, Hillrock is different in that it is a “field-to-glass” facility. In fact, it is believed to be the first post-Prohibition U.S. distillery to floor malt and hand craft whiskey onsite from its own estate-grown grain.

“I approached the craft spirits movement from a farming perspective, looking to create premier whiskies that reflect the local terroir, in the tradition of great estate vineyards,” Baker said.

“After research, I found that there were no truly field-to-glass distillery operations in the United States hand crafting spirits with grain grown and floor malted on the estate. That’s when I reached out to Dave Pickerell to realize our vision.”

Pickerell, former master distiller for Maker’s Mark and now a consulting master distiller for numerous craft distilleries, has been working with Timothy Welly, distiller and operations manager.

“By controlling every aspect of production from planting and harvesting heirloom grains, to traditionally floor malting our grain, to crafting whiskies in our 250-gallon copper pot still, to aging in small oak barrels and hand bottling, we are able to create premium whiskies reflecting the unique terroir of the Hillrock Estate,” Pickerell said.

Hillrock Estate Distillery will open for reserved weekend tours and tastings beginning September 15. Reservations can be made via e-mail or via the website.


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Posted by on August 23, 2012 in Distillers, Hudson Valley

 

Vino Volo owners expanding airport bars

Q: Who is happy with flight delays?

A: Airport bar and restaurant owners.

NEW YORK — Mistral Equity Partners of New York is investing more than $10 million in Taste Inc., a chain of airport wine bars which operates at Vino Volo, according to the Dow Jones news service. The company runs 18 locations in airports nationally, and plans to open an additional several more, outside of airport security which means a broader potential clientele.

The chain now specializes in wine flights. It also plans to expand beyond airport dining and venture into the cities, to see if its wine sampling model works beyond airport terminals.

The company’s current locations include John F. Kennedy International in New York and Newark International in New Jersey.


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Posted by on August 16, 2012 in Bar/Tavern/Lounge

 

CIA offering special anniversary ale

Photo: CIA/Phil Mansfield

HYDE PARK — You’ll have to drive to this Ulster County community to try it, but true craft beer lovers might be interested in the limited edition American Bounty Anniversary Ale made to mark the 30th anniversary of The Culinary Institute of America’s American Bounty Restaurant.

The beer was locally brewed and bottled by Tommy Keegan at Keegan Ales in Kingston, using a formula created by CIA chefs that combines two of Keegan’s award-winning brews. It is available only at the restaurant, located on the CIA campus.

“This blend of Keegan’s Old Capital and their dark and creamy Mother’s Milk is aged in American whiskey barrels,” Noelle Guagliardo, CIA beverage manager, said in a written statement. “The result is a delicious medium-bodied ale with hints of oatmeal, chocolate, caramel and smoke.”

The CIA is located at 1946 Campus Drive. The restaurant is open Tuesday through Saturday for lunch and dinner. Reservations and other information: (845) 471-6608.


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Posted by on August 16, 2012 in Beer, Hudson Valley

 

Dr. Konstantin Frank biggest winner in NY Classic

WATKINS GLEN — Dr. Konstantin Frank Vinifera Wine Cellars finished atop the heap in the 27th annual New York Wine & Food Classic held here Monday and Tuesday.

The Finger Lakes winery’s 2011 Semi Dry Riesling won the Governor’s Cup trophy, the event’s top honor, and the winery itself was named winery of the year.

The Governor’s Cup recognizes the best of show, top prize of all 773 entries. The “winery of the year” goes to the enterprise with the best overall showing based on the level and number of awards in relation to entries.

This year’s competition included 752 New York wines, nine hard ciders and 12 spirits from the Long Island, Hudson Valley, Finger Lakes, Niagara Escarpment, Lake Erie, and other regions of New York State.

En route to the top award, the Frank entry also was named best white wine, best overall Riesling and best medium dry Riesling, and its overall portfolio of entries earned one double gold, two gold and four silver medals, which contributed to its winery of the year designation.

The “Best of Category” awards, all eligible for the Governor’s Cup, went to:

• Best Sparkling Wine: Atwater Estate Vineyards 2008 Cuvee Brut
• Best Blush Wine: Miles Wine Cellars Wisteria
• Best Red Wine: Miles Wine Cellars 2009 Lemberger
• Best Dessert Wine: Sheldrake Point Winery 2010 Riesling Ice Wine
• Best Specialty Wine: Baldwin Vineyards Trilogy
• Best Hard Cider: McKenzie’s Hard Cider Black Cherry
• Best Spirit: Finger Lakes Distilling Seneca Drums Gin
• Best Limited Production Wine: Anthony Road Wine Company 2009 Riesling, Martini-Reinhardt Selection Series, Martini Vineyards

The “Best of Class” awards go to Double Gold (unanimous agreement of the judges) or Gold medal wines in classes of at least seven wines. Those awards:

• Best Oaked Chardonnay: Martha Clara Vineyards 2010 Chardonnay, Estate Reserve
• Best Unoaked Chardonnay: Paumanok Vineyards 2011 Festival Chardonnay
• Best Overall Chardonnay: Paumanok Vineyards 2011 Festival Chardonnay
• Best Gewürztraminer: Sheldrake Point Winery 2011 Gewürztraminer
• Best Dry Riesling: Lucas Vineyards 2010 Dry Riesling
• Best Medium Dry Riesling: Dr. Konstantin Frank Vinifera Wine Cellars 2011 Riesling, Semi-Dry
• Best Medium Sweet Riesling: Belhurst Estate Winery 2011 Riesling, Semi-Dry
• Best Sweet Riesling: Wagner Vineyards 2011 Riesling Select, Estate Bottled & Grown
• Best Overall Riesling: Dr. Konstantin Frank Vinifera Wine Cellars 2011 Riesling, Semi-Dry
• Best Sauvignon Blanc: Billsboro Winery 2011 Sauvignon Blanc
• Best Pinot Gris: Thirsty Owl Wine Company 2011 Pinot Gris
• Best Vinifera White Blend: Atwater Estate Vineyards 2011 Riewurz
• Best Vinifera/Hybrid White Blend: Silver Thread Vineyard 2011 Good Earth White
• Best Traminette: Goose Watch Winery 2010 Traminette
• Best Vidal: Long Point Winery 2011 Vidal Blanc
• Best Hybrid White Blend Tug Hill Vineyards Lake Effect
• Best Cayuga: Lucas Vineyards 2011 Cayuga White
• Best Diamond: Goose Watch Winery 2011 Diamond
• Best Catawba: Miles Wine Cellars Wisteria
• Best Cabernet Sauvignon: Kings Garden Vineyards King’s Cab, Estate Grown, Produced & Bottled
• Best Merlot: Bedell Cellars 2008 Merlot
• Best Cabernet Franc: Ventosa Vineyards 2009 Cabernet Franc, Old Vineyard
• Best Pinot Noir: Osprey’s Dominion Vineyards 2009 Pinot Noir, Estate Bottled
• Best Lemberger: Miles Wine Cellars 2009 Lemberger
• Best Vinifera Red Blend: Atwater Estate Vineyards 2010 Big Blend
• Best Other Red Vinifera Varietal: Bedell Cellars 2010 Malbec
• Best Concord: Coyote Moon Vineyards Fire Boat Red
• Best Mead: Earle Estates Meadery Cherry Charisma
• Best Fruit: Baldwin Vineyards Trilogy
• Best Spirit: Finger Lakes Distilling Seneca Drums Gin
• Best Late Harvest Wine: Anthony Road Wine Company 2011 Sweet Dream
• Best Ice Wine: Sheldrake Point Winery 2010 Riesling Ice Wine
• Best Vinifera Sparkling White: Atwater Estate Vineyards 2008 Cuvee Brut

The awards were based on blind tastings by 23 judges — four from California, 10 from New York, six from other states, one from France and two from the United Kingdom.

The Classic is organized by Teresa Knapp of the New York Wine & Grape Foundation, and is open to all 321 New York wineries from all regions.


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Posted by on August 15, 2012 in Competition, Wine

 

Martha Clara going German for a weekend

RIVERHEAD, Long Island — Martha Clara Vineyards, never a snob about beverages, will host its 11th annual Oktoberfest the weekend of September 8-9.

German beers, food music — and wine, of course — will be available at the North Fork facility from 1 to 5 p.m. each day.

This is a rain-or-shine event. Admission is $10 for each day. Click here for Saturday tickets, or here for Sunday tickets.

Martha Clara is located at 6025 Sound Avenue. However, the Herricks Lane entrance will be used for Oktoberfest visitors. Phone: (631) 298-0075.


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Posted by on August 10, 2012 in Beer Event, Wineries

 

Lenz lining up samples for its Merlot World Classic

PECONIC, Long Island — If Merlots are your thing, circle Saturday, September 15, on your social calendar. That’s the date for the 23rd annual Merlot World Classic.

The event is run by the folks at the Lenz Winery, who have collected more than 60 different merlots from around the world for sampling.

Admission is $50 per person, or $25 for Lenz subscribers. In either case, a 10% discount is being offered on all tickets purchased by September 1. Tickets are available by calling the Lenz tasting room at (631) 734-6010. The winery is located at on Main Road (Route 25) in this Suffolk County community.


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Posted by on August 4, 2012 in Tasting Event, Wine

 
 
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