Forget about Napa Valley in California; this weekend, the Hudson Valley becomes the hub of all things vino related at the Hudson Valley Wine & Food Festival; a premier wine event for the whole northeastern seaboard. This annual event, that started back in 2001, comes to the Rhinebeck Fairgrounds every September, the weekend after Labor Day, and is set to return again this weekend on Saturday, September 10th and Sunday, September 11th! We’ve been looking forward to this festival since we first mentioned it on our Summer Festivals blog earlier this year, and we’re definitely excited that it’s almost here!
First and foremost, the Hudson Valley Wine & Food Festival is a celebration of all things wine and features the offerings of vineyards and wineries from here in the Hudson Valley and throughout the rest of New York State. At the festival, which is noted as being one of the largest wine markets in New York, participating wineries will be selling their wine by the bottle, so if you enjoy the tastings provided, you can stock up and take home bottles by the case-full. Not only will the wines be for sale, but the grape growers and winemakers will also be in attendance to answer any questions about production and to talk shop with real wine aficionados. Nearly 50 wineries will be represented, including Ulster County’s own Benmarl Winery (Marlboro), Ceregino Smith Winery (Bloomington), Nostrano Vineyards (Milton), Robibero Winery (New Paltz) and Whitecliff Vineyard and Winery (Gardiner).
While wine is the main attraction, as the second half of the festival’s name implies, the food is a major player in this game as well! Their will be dozens of vendors bringing their specialty food products to the market, with products ranging from alcohol infused cupcakes, wine slushies, cheeses, jellies, maple syrups, sauces, spices and lots, lots more. In addition to all the specialty foods that are available for purchase in the marketplace, there will also be a Food Truck rally to satisfy any craving you have while walking around the festival- from Southern Seafood to Mexican or from Jamaican to BBQ, you may not know where to start your snacking first.
So we’ve covered the wine, and covered the food, but that isn’t all that will be at this festival. Over the past few years, and due to the increasing popularity of locally crafted beverages, the Wine & Food Fest has had to add a few new categories of booths to the fair, including Craft Beers, Hard Ciders and Distilled Spirits. If you’re the type of person who’d rather grab a cold brew instead of a glass of wine, you’ll be happy to hear that the Wine & Food Festival now features a designated Beer Pavilion where you can enjoy samples of your drink of choice as well. Dozens of other craft and merchandise vendors will be on site, so designated drivers can shop the afternoon away for cooking tools, accessories, home items and jewelry, without feeling like they’ve missed out on any of the fun.
While you may be headed to the Wine & Food Festival to eat, drink and be merry, it’s also a great opportunity to get educated by the local craftsmen and some industry professionals to boot. In addition to all the expertise of the winemakers in attendance, free wine education seminars, run by Debbie Gioquindo, “The Hudson Valley Wine Goddess” will take place throughout the weekend, and include topics such as Cake Ball & Wine Pairing and Wine & Cheese Pairings. There will also be cooking demonstrations throughout the weekend, which are included in the price of admission and will provide a great opportunity for more novice cooks to learn how to prepare delicious meals using some of the best produce that the Hudson Valley has to offer. The guest chefs that are heading these demonstrations own Hudson Valley restaurants and have cooking shows that air on the Cooking Channel and PBS, and have had their own cookbooks published.
Tickets can be purchased at the gate the day of the festival, or advanced tickets can be purchased at a discounted rate on the Wine & Food Festival’s website. Two types of tickets are available, a Tasting ticket (which includes a tasting glass for all wine, beer and cider sampling and the 1-2oz samples provided inside) or a Regular Admission ticket (which includes free water and soda inside the event and also a souvenir tasting glass that you can pick up upon exit, but with this type of ticket you CANNOT consume alcohol once inside the event). Children under 12 are free.
September 10th & 11th, 2016
Dutchess County Fairgrounds, Rhinebeck NY
Saturday the 10th: 11am-6pm
Sunday the 11th: 11am-5pm
While children are completely welcome at the Hudson Valley Wine & Food Fest, if you're looking for something to do that is more up your child's alley, The New Paltz Regional Chamber of Commerce is holding a Family Fun Day at Hurds Farm in Modena, NY on Saturday, September 10th from 10:00am-5:00pm. They have a full day of activities in store, including a corn maze, hay rides and even rides on a cow train for the kids. For more information on the Fun Day at Hurds Family Farm, check out the event page and get your tickets!
Are you planning on heading to the Hudson Valley Wine & Food Festival this weekend? Do you have a favorite Hudson Valley festival that you attend annually? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below! If you want to stay in the know on upcoming Hudson Valley events and news, make sure to follow Taft Street Realty on Facebook for the latest updates!