Category Archives: Hudson Valley

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


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


Bounty of the Hudson set this weekend

WARWICK — Bounty of the Hudson, a food and drink event that moves to a different winery venue each year, will be hosted by the Applewood Winery this Saturday and Sunday.

The event will feature wine sampling from 16 Hudson Valley wineries, as well as food and live music.

Advance tickets are $18, and are available online through Thursday.

Participating wineries:

  • Adair Vineyards
  • Applewood Winery
  • Baldwin Vineyards
  • Benmarl Vineyards
  • Brimstone Hill Vineyards
  • Brotherhood
  • Hudson Chatham Winery
  • Glorie Farm Winery
  • Millbrook Vineyards
  • Palaia Vineyards
  • Pazdar Winery
  • Robibero Family Vineyards
  • Stoutridge Vineyards
  • Tousey Winery
  • Warwick Valley Winery & Distillery
  • Whitecliff Vineyards

Participating restaurants:

  • Chumleys BBQ
  • Jamaican Choice Caribbean Cuisine
  • Raggae Boy & Girl Restaurant
  • Cider House Cafe

Other participants offering samples and items to purchase:

  • Rogowski Farm
  • Zora Dora’s
  • Nobel Pies
  • Bread Alone
  • Acorn Hill Farm
  • Grandpa Pete
  • Mr. Cannoli
  • Black Lab Naturals
  • Luna Grown
  • Bixby Chocolates
  • Casa Del Caviocavallo
  • T.C. Sauces
  • Honey Brook Farms
  • Big Guys Hot Sauces
  • The Gourmet Exchange

Music by Jeremy Langdale on Saturday and Groovy Tuesday on Sunday.

The event is sponsored by Hudson Valley Wine Magazine, Edible Hudson Valley, New York Life and Green Mountain Energy Company.  It will run from noon to 5 p.m. each day.

Host venue Applewood Winery is located  at 82 Four Corners in this Orange County community.

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Posted by on July 25, 2012 in Festival, Hudson Valley


Call for entries in HV Wine & Spirits test

The Hudson Valley Wine & Grape Association is accepting entries for its Hudson Valley Wine & Spirits Competition, to be judged on September 8.

“The competition is part of the Hudson Valley Wine Festival, who will be hosting the judging for the second year. The top categories of the competition will be announced during the festival, which gives the winners the opportunity to turn awards into immediate sales,” said Michael Migliore, president of the association.

The entry deadline is August 22. Links to use in registering for the event, to be held at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds in Rhinebeck:

HV Wine & Spirits Competition

Call for entries and instructions

Entry cover sheet

Spirit entry form

Wine categories

Spirit categories

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Posted by on June 11, 2012 in Competition, Hudson Valley


‘berries, chocolates and wine at Baldwin

PINE BUSH — If you’re a fan of strawberries, chocolate and wine, you’re going to be ecstatic about Baldwin Vineyards‘ 2012 schedule.

The Orange County facility will be holding a “Strawberry, Chocolate & Wine Festival” every weekend beginning in April when it reopens for the season.

Wines that will be offered include Baldwin’s merlot, cherry, brut champagne style, late harvest riesling, blush and apple. And, every weekend Baldwin will be offering barrel samples of new wines that have not yet been bottled.

Proprietors Patricia and Jack Baldwin planted their first vineyard here in 1982, and their second a year later. Today, they produce a portfolio of 15 different wines made from grapes and other fruits.

The winery is located at 176 Hardenburgh Road. Phone: (845) 744-2226.

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Posted by on March 7, 2012 in Hudson Valley, Wineries


‘Spring Fling’ fundraiser at Brotherhood

WASHINGTONVILLE — Brotherhood Winery is planning a “Spring Fling” to usher in the new season.

The event, a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, is set for 7 to 11 p.m. Saturday, March 24.

Included in the festivities will be open wine tasting bars, dinner, raffles and drawings, a live DJ and dancing. Tickets are $45 per person, inclusive.

All Tickets will be held at the winery and available upon check in with valid I.D. You can purchase them online by clicking here.

Brotherhood, America’s oldest licensed winery, is located at 100 Brotherhood Plaza Drive in this Orange County community.

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Posted by on March 7, 2012 in Fundraiser, Hudson Valley, Wineries


Robibero joins Shawangunk Wine Trail

Inside the Robibero tasting room.

NEW PALTZ — The revitalization of the onetime Rivendell Winery has taken another step forward.

The facility, now called the Robibero Family Vineyard, has become the 12th member of the Shawangunk Wine Trail, a network of wineries located throughout the Hudson Valley.

Harry and Carole Robibero purchased the 42-acre site in 2003. The Rivendell Winery already was in operation on the premises, but in 2007 it moved elsewhere, giving the Robiberos the opportunity to begin business on their own.

Robibeo has scheduled a February 11-12 tasting event called “Sweet & Sinful Revenge” to mark Valentine’s Day. I’m not sure where the “revenge” part comes in, unless it is taken from the saying “Living well is the best revenge.”

In any event, the program includes tasting chocolates, cupcakes and wines in various combinations, while presenters will discuss trhe history of the grapes used in those wines, as well as the art of pairing foods and wines.

Tickets are $15 each, payable the day of the event although the reservation deadline is February 9. Seatings are scheduled for 1, 2:30 and 4 p.m. each day. Reservations may be made by e-mail, at Robibero, 714 Albany Post Road near this Ulster County community, or by phone: (845) 255-9463.

Other member of the Shawangunk Wine Trail:

Adair, Applewood, Baldwin, Benmarl, Brimstone Hill, Brotherhood, Glorie Farm, Palaia, Stoutridge, Warwick Valley and Whitecliff.

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Posted by on January 2, 2012 in Hudson Valley, Upstate, Wine Trails, Wineries