Finding ways to combine form and function is happening at wineries all over the Hudson Valley. Here are a few other places to see how the Hudson River region provides not only the terroir but the inspiration for every bottle of wine in the region.
Robibero Family Vineyards: French Chalet Meets Wood Cabin
One of the new kids on the block, Robibero was established in 2010 on the family’s recently purchased property, which housed a former winery. When the old winery had closed its doors, the Robiberos seized the opportunity to re-launch it with a complete redesign, tweaking every detail from the vineyard to the tasting room, allowing visitors to picnic just steps from the working vineyard, or sip wine in the sun-filled tasting room, while kicking back and watching a game or just soaking in a French Chalet meets cabin in the woods–type decor and style. Immediately, the 42-acre winery became known as a place to find stylized design high in the Shawangunk Mountains – not to mention great wines, garnering medals from the New York Food & Wine Classic and the Hudson Valley Wine competition.
Robibero Winery, 714 Albany Post Road, New Paltz, NY 12561 (845) 255-9463
Cereghino Smith: Little Big Winery
Embracing the small, the energy-efficient and the DIY artisanal, Paula Cereghino and Fred Smith shed their corporate sales and punk rock pasts (respectively) and left the Lower East Side of NYC to make wine in a compact 18th century Huguenot-style home in the Hudson Valley. Unlike most other wineries in the Hudson Valley, Cereghino Smith lacks a vineyard, sprawling production facility or sun-dappled tasting room featuring sweeping vistas of cliffs, valleys or rivers. But what Cereghino Smith lacks in space, grapes and picture windows, it more than makes up for moxie and talent. “We all start with the grape, no matter where it’s from,” said Paula Cereghino. “We try to source our grapes from small growers using sustainable methods,” explaining that New York State, California and Washington all end up in their handcrafted bicoastal blends. Cereghino Smith attributes the success of their natural wine-making approach to the symbiosis that naturally exists between the natural acidity of New York grapes and the lushness of West Coast grapes.
Cereghino and Smith know good design when they see it: their creative, graphic, saturated wine labels on their delicious blends like Little House White 2009 (84% Sauvignon Blanc and 16% Voignier) and Eaten by Bears 2010 (Mourvèdre, Petit Verdot, Petite Sirah, Cabernet Franc, Sangiovese) are a testament to that, and may be collector’s items on their own merits alone one day.
Cereghino Smith Winery, 2583 Route 32, Bloomington, NY 12411 (845) 334-8282
Hudson-Chatham Winery: Retro-Chic
The four-acre Hudson-Chatham Winery is the first winery in Columbia County, housed in a circa 1780 farm house. While Hudson-Chatham focuses on small, handmade batches of artisanal wine, the winery’s owners, Carlo and Dominique DeVito, also prioritize refurbishing and capitalizing on the building’s structure and the winery’s grounds. Garnering local and national awards, Hudson-Chatham is probably best known for their semi-dry Blanc de Blanc sparkling wine and their 2010 Baco Noir Reserve.
Hudson-Chatham Winery, 1900 Route 66, Ghent, NY 12075 (518) 392-WINE
Tousey Winery: Post-Mod
The Tousey farm has been around for generations; as an apple farm, an apiary, and most recently – a winery. In 2010, the 15-acre Tousey opened its tasting room and unveiled a new tank and barrel room. Originally created by owner Ray Tousey’s passion for Cassis, the winery has blossomed in unexpected spurts that reflect the family’s eclectic interests and passions; a contemporary worldliness shines through not only in the wine (the oak barrel-aged Cabernet Franc is especially touted by critics), but also in the spartan, minimalist buildings, sun-splashed intimate tasting room and carefully curated, progressive collection of art. The tasting room is open all day on Friday and from 12 pm to 5 pm Saturday and Sunday.
Tousey Winery, 1774 Route 9, Germantown, NY 12526 (518) 567-5462
The 37-acre Benmarl is the oldest vineyard in America; both the product and the grounds on which it’s created reflect the history and experience inherent in such a claim. The current owners – the Spaccarellis – have made it their mission to build on the quality and consistency for which Benmarl became renowned, and renovate and restore its old winery buildings. The efforts have yielded many accolades from critics, not to mention gasps of delight and wonder from visitors who feel like they stumbled into a stylish old winery in the south of France, with a cavernous wine cellar to boot. Open daily from 12 pm to 6 pm.
Benmarl Winery, 156 Highland Avenue, Marlboro, NY 12542 (845) 236-4265
Millbrook Vineyards & Winery: 25 Years and Still Going Strong
One of the most critically acclaimed wineries in the region, the 130-acre (grapes are cultivated on 30 of those acres) Millbrook recently celebrated their 25th anniversary. Just as fascinating, dashing and beloved as ever, the modern winery is a gleaming and refurbished large Dutch-style dairy barn circa 1940, with views of the meticulously cultivated vineyards, the Catskills and the rolling countryside. But come for their world-class wines and a newly renovated tasting room.
Millbrook Vineyards & Winery, 26 Wing Road, Millbrook, NY 12545 (845) 677-8383