As a Hudson newbie, I've been quite curious about the wines produced between Long Island and the Finger Lakes.. Over the past year, I've tasted through about 20 different producers' wines, which was actually more than I assumed were even here. In a nutshell, while there are way too many sweet wines for my taste, (and blueberry wine, and apple wine -no, I'm not talking about cider), I have come across a few little gems. Two producers (both of whom I've visited) made an appearance at the Rip Van Winkle Wine, Brew and Beverage Festival last weekend and clearly stood out among the others.
Check out their Seyval Blanc, which is light and kind of like Muscadet to me, as well as their Baco Noir, which tastes something like a blend of Gamay and Grenache. These two grapes are planted and produced throughout the valley, and I do think (when made properly), they have a chance to really shine. The winemaker is extremely experimental, playing with blends and planting new varietals regularly. They even have an Orange Wine (pictured below), called "Heirloom White" which is a lightly skin-contacted blend of their heirloom grapes. The "Hudson Valley Red" (also pictured below) is a blend of local grapes DeChaunac, Leon Millot, Baco Noir, and Chambourcin. This one tastes a bit like a Beaujolais to me: fruit-forward and perfect for the summer with a slight chill.
Unlike Hudson-Chatham, this winery is focusing on Frenchies like Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc. The acidity on the whites is in line with an Alsacian Riesling or Burgundian Chardonnay, and the "Rebellion Rosé" (pictured below) has Provence written all over it. This easy drinking Rosé tastes like ripe strawberries, wild basil, with a touch of green apple. Their Cab Franc (also pictured), is not shy on the earthiness, with a round body and a hint of dried meat and bell pepper on the nose. Both are perfect BBQ pair-ers and I'm very excited to see where this winery goes. They're doing Pinot Noir for gosh sakes, not an easy task in general, much less Catskill, NY.