Hudson Valley Wineries, an Upstate New York Treasure
by Dylan Taft
on Wednesday, July 21st, 2010 at 7:49am.
The French Huguenots planted the first grape vines on the hillsides of the Hudson Highlands in 1677, and started the tradition of growing grapes and winemaking that continues today. Over 330 years later, the vintners and wineries of the Hudson Valley have taken measures to present this historic wine regions historic contributions to the growing and cultivating of fine grapes and the ancient art of winemaking, and to introduce the natural beauty, the outdoor recreation opportunities, historic sites, and all of the culinary treasures that goes along with everything that makes Hudson Valley real estate great. Its communities, farms, lodging, restaurants and other contributions it makes to our lifestyle. The Hudson Valley Wine region, and the hudson valley wineries, are the oldest in America.
To bring recognition to the region by combining the collaborative efforts of ‘The Shawangunk Wine Trail’ (Ulster and Orange Counties) and ‘The Dutchess Wine Trail’ (Dutchess County), and with the help of a grant from ‘The New York Wine and Grape Foundation’, they have recently launched the ‘hudsonvalleywinecountry.org’ website to introduce and promote a new type of ‘branding’ to the to the wines of Hudson Valley, by using the tag line "The Roots of American Wine." For years, people have known about the Long Island and the Finger Lakes wine regions in New York, but the wonderful wines and history of the Hudson Valley Wine Region have gone mostly un-noticed. By launching the website, most agree that this should bring attention to the great vineyards and wineries of the Hudson Valley, by featuring and sponsoring tours, tasting, etc. Visitors are able to explore the many hudson valley wineries through their online listings, that even have driving instructions and maps, and by taking a virtual tour of the region's agricultural bounty. By utilizing the ‘Trip Planner’ feature of the site, one can then plan a visit to any or all of the wineries, and gives plain and simple driving directions. The ‘Trip Planner’ feature will include other interesting places on the trip, including Bed and Breakfast locations, restaurants, hotels, historic sites, ranches and farms, and any other popular attractions. An accurate history of grape and wine growing in the Hudson Valley area will also be available. The website administrators eventually hope to have many important links to other travel needs; ‘Travel and Tourism’, ‘Local Attractions’, ‘Restaurants’ and ‘Fine Dining’, and ‘Lodging’, and eventually even a ‘chat room’ will be set up for the discussion of Hudson Valley Wines, hudson valley wineries and other related subjects. With the new website it is anticipated that people will gain a better understanding of the history and uniqueness of our wine region and its products. Many people don't realize the award-winning quality and diversity of wine that is produced in the Hudson Valley. As agricultural-tourism is growing in popularity in New York and throughout the U.S., and the fact that winery visitation tops the agricultural-tourism industry in New York State, people need a full featured, easy access resource to plan their trips and hopes are that this will be the resource that will be used.
The Hudson Valley Wine Country starts at about 45 miles north of New York City and extends as far north as Saratoga, New York. This is the closest wine region to New York City, New Jersey, Vermont, Connecticut and Massachusetts, and now boasts of over 32 wineries, and is the home to ‘Brotherhood’ which is America’s oldest winery in Washingtonville, and home to ‘Benmarl Winery’, at Slate Hill Vineyard, which is America’s oldest vineyard. The Hudson Valley is America’s oldest Wine Making and Grape Growing region and is less than one and a half hours from New York City making a day or even an extended trip very easy for almost anyone interested in visiting the region where you can come into the winery tasting rooms, often meet the owners and taste the award winning wines made from classic European varieties, the regional hybrids, and the delicious fruit wines. Beyond the Hudson Valley wineries and vineyards, there is a wealth of natural beauty to see, hiking and biking trails, beautiful and lush woods and forests, ranches and farms and great foods at many fine restaurants and cafes, along with cozy comforts at local Bed and Breakfasts establishments. Come, See, Taste, and ENJOY !!