Monday, November 13, 2006

What's an AVA

An AVA is an American viticultural area. That means it has been recognized and defined by Federal regulators to include a specific geographical area as a wine-growing region.AVA’s were first established by law in 1973, the regulations governing them were finalized in 1978 by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and the regulations became mandatory in 1983.

What does all that mean to wineries and wine-drinkers?

The idea of the AVA was to establish standards to protect consumers and producers alike. The regulations control what a winery needs to do if it wants to label wine as being from an AVA.

To label a wine as “Estate Bottled”, the winery must own or control vineyards in a common AVA from which the grapes come, and must handle the entire process of making and bottling the wine on their own premises.

The AVA is not necessarily an indication of quality. The regulations do not allow for the government to test and grade the quality of wine the way they do eggs or meat. It is an indication of where the grapes came from, and generally indicates areas that have historically grown grapes for wine and have a particular defining characteristic. As long as the interested parties in an area can provide the data to persuade the regulators to approve their petition, almost anything can be a designated. The process is long and expensive – you need work from historians, soil experts, meteorologists, lawyers and others to detail the AVA and shepherd your petition through the system. The costs of that add up quickly, but well over 100 AVAs have been designated since the regulations went into effect.

Wine-drinkers benefit by that protection as well. The AVA regulations allow the consumer to buy with confidence, knowing that wine that says Hudson River Valley, actually came from the Hudson River Valley AVA. No need to wonder where the grapes were actually grown.

The AVA will also allow you to make certain broad characterizations. If you like a particular wine from an AVA and know of several similar ones you have tasted, you might place more confidence in purchasing a similar but unknown wine from that same AVA. Nothing can guarantee satisfaction here, but you may be able to form some general rules for what you find appealing.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Stoutridge Vineyard

WOW! is what I have to say about Stoutridge. Steve and Kim have done an incredible job on designing this winery. A lot of thought, love and attention to detail have gone into this state of the art winery.

This winery sits on the site of the "1902" Marono Winery. Stoutridge will feature a "gravity flow" style production.

They have an indoor event room that can accommodate 125 persons with spacious rooftop patios adjoining. Beginning the summer of 2007, they will have an underground barrel room available for dinner events up to 30 people.

Not only will Steve and Kim be producing wonderful wine, but they will also be producing Whisky and flavored Vodka. The flavored Vodka will be flavored from fruits from surrounding farms.

A tour of this winery is a must! Congratulation to Steve and Kim!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Whitecliff Harvest

I just got back from visiting two vineyard / wineries...Whitecliff & Stoutridge.

At Whitecliff, as I stood in the tasting room, I could look into the winery and see the tanks filled with juice and crushed grapes. You can see the Merlot grapes crushed fermenting with their skins on. The entire winery smells of crushed grapes... It's a nice sweet smell.

Fermenting in other tanks are Seyval, Vignoles, and Riesling. If you have the time to visit on Sunday, you will get the opportunity to see Michael and his staff at work crushing Malbec and Merlot.

The next stop was Stoutridge...Stay tuned and I'll write more later on that beautiful state of the art winery!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


It's harvest time in the area. Many of the wineries are in the midst of processing the next few years vintages. If you have time to visit, you will learn lots about the wine making process.


Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Baldwin Wins Double Gold

Baldwin Vineyards won a double Gold Medal for their Strawberry Wine. This made their Strawberry Wine the Best Fruit Wine in New York State for the third year in a row.

Congratulations Pat and Jack!!!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Benmarl's Winemakers Workshop #4

Sunday October 22 from 11:00AM to 3:00PM join Benmarl's winemaker Kristop Brown in the cellar.

The grapes have been harvested and are in the cellar. Find out what happens next in the winery!

Celebrate the harvest with Winemaker Kristop Brown. Coffee, donuts, lunch & wine tasting all for $25.00.

Reservations are a must ... Call 845-236-4265 ext. 102.

Benmarl Winery

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Annual Benmarl Harvest Grap Stomping Festival

Saturday & Sunday, October 7-8
From 12 Noon to 6 PM

Stomp grapes (be just like Lucy)
take a hayride
learn about winemaking
and much much more.

Crafts for the kids ... Vendors for the grownups

This is your chance to be voted by your friends as
the 2006 "King & Queen of the Harvest Festival".

Adults, with wine tasting ... $15.00
Designated drivers, non-drinkers ... $10.00
Minors, non-drinkers ... $5.oo
Buy your tickets at the gate.

Benmarl Winery is Open Daily from 12 Noon to 6 PM

Located at 156 Highland Avenue, Marlboro, N.Y

Monday, August 21, 2006

Pictures from the Bounty

I have posted pictures from the Bounty on the website. Click here to view them.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Glorie Farm Winery "Jumpin Jazz" Wine Label Contest

Glorie Farm Winery announces a "Jumpin Jazz Wine Label Conterst.

Artists from the Hudson Valley Region, loosely defined as counties that border the Hudson River from Albany to New York City, plus Bergen County, New Jersey, are invited to submit their artwork for consideration to be used on the Glorie Jumpin Jazz bottle. Entry fee is $10 and one submission per artist is allowed. The winning work will be printed on 4” x 4” labels, and artists are encouraged to be creative.

In addition to being featured on the Glorie Farm Winery website as well as promotional materials related to the contest, the winning artist will receive half the entry fees, a case of the labeled wine, plus two free tickets to Bounty of the Hudson 2007, an annual event sponsored by the Shawangunk Wine Trail. The artist’s name will also appear on the label.

For more information and details go the Glorie Farm Winerey Website

Friday, August 11, 2006

winemakers workshop @ Benmarl

-Saturday, August 19th from 11AM to 3PM
Winemaker's Workshop #3
Benmarl Winemaker Kristop Brown takes a day out of his
busy pre-harvest schedule to lead attendees on a romp
through the vineyard. Want the answers to questions
like "What is Veraison"? Bring your own questions to
stump the pro. We will provide lunch, a winetasting
and complimentary gift to each attendee.
Yes, you should attend even if it is your first
workshop ... each is a unique and fun experience.
Fee and reservation required by Thursday August 17th.
845-236-4265 ext. 102

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Congratulations Baldwin Vineyards

Congratulations goes out to Baldwin Vineyards who recently won Two Gold Medals at the Connecticut wine competition - Armiento del Vino - Double Gold for the Black Raspberry Wine and Gold Medal for their Trilogy (their red raspberry wine which was bottled to celebrate the birth of their Triplet Grandchildren (Ben, Emily & Matt, born Sept 23, 2005)


Monday, August 07, 2006

Adair Vineyards 3rd Annual Cajun Jamboree

If you attended the Bounty of the Hudson at Adair Vineyards, you will want to go back on August 19th for their Cajun Jamboree. Tickets are $35 (plus tax) in advance and $40 at the door...rain or shine. It is going to be a wonderful day with live music throughout the day featuring Cleoma's Ghost with Jesse Lege and Friends. Lots of fantastic cajun food like; Chicken and Vegetarian Jambalaya, Blackened Catfish, Alligator Gumbo, Crawfish Boil, Banana's Foster and more.

To get your tickets call Adair Vineyards at 845-255-1377

Friday, July 28, 2006

Wines to taste at the Bounty

I have the list of wine that everyone will be able to taste at the Bounty. Here is a sample

Adair Vineyards: Solitary Oak and Baco Noir
Applewood: Wawayanda White
Baldwin: Strawberry, Blueberry & Raspberry Wine
Benmarl: Slate Hill White, Hudson Rive Rouge
Brimston: Vin Rouge, Vidal Blanc
Glorie: Pear White, Red Monkey
Rivendell: Merlot, Sangria
Stoutridge: Glen Vidal
Warwick Valley: Docs Hard Cider, Black Dirt Red
Whitecliff: Awosting White, Vidal Blanc

And this is just a sample from the 11 Shawangunk Wineries, there are 18 wineries attending. The others are from the Hudson Valley Region.

See you this weekend.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Bounty Line Up

I hope everyone is ready for the weekend. There are 18 wineries and may other vendors.

Here is the lineup from the WDST Stage

12p Vicky Russell
1p Todd Giudice
2p Valen
3p The Trapps

12p Martine
1p Bibi Farber
2p Kurt Henry Band
3p The Trapps

I hope to see everyone there.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Bounty of the Hudson

Don't forget next weekend is the Bounty. July 29 & 30th. Go to and order your tickets in advance. Tickets are $20 (plus tax) in advance $25 at the door

Admission includes: 3 tastes of wine from each winery, souvenir wine glass, an opportunity to sample and purchase edibles from select Hudson Valley restaurants and farms. live musical entertainment.

Participating Wineries:: Adair Vineyards, Alison Wines, Applewood Winery, Baldwin Vineyards, Benmarl Winery, Brimstone Hill Vineyards, Brotherhood Winery, Cascade Mountain Winery, Clinton Vineyards, Glorie Farm Winery, Millbrook Winery, North Salem Winery, Pazdar Wines, Rivendell Winery, Stoutridge Winery, Warwick Valley Winery,
Whitecliff Winery, Windham Vineyards

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Bounty of the Hudson

The Bounty of the Hudson will be here before you know it. Besides all 11 wine trail members, you will be able to taste wine from Millbrook Winery, Alison Winery, Clinton Vineyards, North Salem Vineyards, Cascade Mountain Winery & Restaurant, Pazdar Winery, Windham Vineyards.

It's being held at Adair Vineyards 52 Allhusen Road, New Paltz, NY

It's going to be a great event. There will be givaways from WDST's Greg Gattine on Saturday. We have a great two day band line up as well. To order you tickets click here

Friday, July 07, 2006

Personal Invite to the Bounty

Just want to give you all a personal invite to the Bounty of the Hudson July 29 & 30.

Click here for the Audio

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

History Lesson 1

From time to time I am going to throw in a Hudson Valley Wine History as it relates to the members of the Shawangunk Wine Trail.

Did you know that Brotherhood Winery is the oldest winery in America and Benmarl is home to the oldest Vineyards in America.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Safe 4th

Happy 4th of July. We hope everyone has a safe holiday.

Friday, June 30, 2006

4th of July Weekend

Don't forget there is lots to do this weekend on the Shawangunk Wine Trail. Concert on the 4th at Rivendell Winery, Baldwin Vineyards has a Chocolate Strawberry & Wine Festival and there is more.

Come visit.

It's not to early to puchase tickets to the Bounty of the Hudson on July 29 & 30th.

Click here to order tickets

Friday, June 23, 2006

Pictures from Around the World

I just posted the pictures from the Around the World Event. To view them click here.


Monday, June 19, 2006

Around the World

I hope everyone had a good time at the event this weekend. Wasn't the food fantastic. I liked the Vegetarian Curry @ Whitecliff Vineyards the best. Those chocolate balls at Rivendell were to die for.

My hats go off to all the chefs this weekend.

The next event is the 11th Annual Bounty of the Hudson. It's not to early to purchase tickets. click here to order your tickets.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Spain and Italy Check In

The dishes for Spain and Italy are revealed.

Baldwin Vineyards (Spain) - Shrimp Salad with Rice & Lemon Vinaignette

Applewood Winery (Italy) - Bocconcini Di Pollo Con Patate E Salsicce (Chicken Bites with Potato, Sausages & Vinegar) and Blueberry Riccota Squares.

Remember, Applewood can't accommodate buses.


Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Wine Tasting Tips

Wine Tasting Tips

  • Eat before you come to the tasting. There are many wines to try...the munchies provided are intended to help you try the wines with food and clear your palate.

  • Drink water or eat bread to clear your palate.

  • Be safe. Limit the amount you drink if you are driving.

  • Be courteous to others who wish to taste. After receiving your pour, please step back from the tasting table to do your personal evaluation. Others can then step forward to receive a sample of wine. Step to the side to talk with the winery representative.

  • Designate a driver or use public transportation.

Dishes from India and Georgia

I just heard from Rivendell and Whitecliff on the dishes they will be serving.

Rivendell Winery - Mugeugi (a traditional cold dense soup made from pork) along with Minions (an infinite pleasure for those with a sweet tooth)

Whitecliff Vineyards - South Indian Vegetable Curry ( a spicy chickpea curry with onions, coconut milk and peas) along with Strawberries in their Cabernet Franc.

See you over the weekend with your appetite...

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

More dishes for the Around the World Event

Just heard from a couple other wineries on what they will be serving. All these dishes sound delicious! I can not wait to try them.

Benmarl - Shepards Pie

Glorie Farm Winery - Bulgogi, Mandu and Kimchi (noodle salad)

I will have to do double time at the gym after this event:)

Monday, June 12, 2006

Around the World in 60 Miles

This weekend is the Shawangunk Wine Trail's Around the World in 60 Miles event. As you travel to the different wineries, they will have taken on the personality of another Country. Countries like Italy, Ireland, Chile, Mexico, Georgia,Spain, Sweden, Korea, India and Germany. They will be serving food from those regions paired with their wine.

I just heard from some of the wineries on what they will be serving. Sounds great!

Brimstone Hill - Knackebrod with cheese, Swedish meatboalls with lingonberry sauce, strawberries and pepparkakor
Adair Vineyards -Pollo con Mole (Chicken with Mole)
Arroz Rojo ( Red Chile Rice) Frijoles de la Olla ( Classic Mexican "Pot" Beans)
Brotherhood Winery - Meat Empanadas, Ensalada Chilenas & Alfajores
Stoutridge Winery - German Cookie and Onion Tart

I will post more mouthwatering dishes as I get them.


Saturday, June 10, 2006

Welcome to the Shawangunk Wine Trail

Welcome to the Shawangunk Wine Trail Blog. I'm Debbie and I am the Marketing Director for the trail. I am going to keep you up to date with trail happenings and events. I will share pictures of trail events so you can see how much fun we all are having tasting wine and pairing it with food.

I will also keep you informed of the what's going on with our 11 winery trail members. Whether it be new releases, events, or what's taking place in the wine processing at a given time.

I welcome all comments and suggestions.

I hope to see everyone during our Around the World in 60 Miles event on June 17 & 18. I'll be the one with the camera.