Wine has been made from the grapes of the Hudson Valley since the 17th century when the French Huguenots grew vines and made wine in New Paltz. Among the young farmers attracted to this burgeoning industry in the early 1800s was Andrew Jackson Caywood who bought and planted a handsome piece of land high above the river in a grape growing community that had begun in 1772. When the community incorporated as the Village of Marlborough, in 1788, a cluster of grapes carved in its seal commemorated its major crop. Caywood became an outstanding viticulturist and leading authority in the development of new grape varieties.
When the Miller family bought the Caywood property in 1957 and renamed it Benmarl, it had outlived all of its early contemporaries to become America’s oldest professional vineyard. The Millers rebuilt its steep terraces, replanting them with European wine grapes, both hybrid and vinifera, carrying on Caywood’s private experimentation at a time when New York’s wine industry was at a low ebb.
Benmarl Winery was recently awarded “Hudson Valley Winery of the Year” at the Hudson Valley Wine & Spirits Competition. Each year a distinguished judging panel awards this honor to the winery whose wines received the highest average score.
In 2006, the Spaccarelli family purchased Benmarl Winery from the Miller family, with the intention of reviving the spirit of Hudson Valley viticulture and the process of wine making. By replanting many of the abandoned vineyards and refurbishing the estate, they have managed to bring a new light to Benmarl, without sacrificing the tradition and history that makes it so special. Along with new plantings of Cabernet Franc, they are pushing the envelope with plantings of Blaufrankish, Saperavi, and Muscat Ottonel.
Benmarl and the Spaccarelli family are dedicated to the renaissance of New York’s first vineyard region. They strive to produce high-quality wines that are enhanced by the regional character which sets them apart from any others in the world.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Estate Baco Noir
Bottled every year in May, everyone impatiently awaits the award-winning Baco Noir. A light to medium-bodied wine with the classic peppery, red cherry fruit that only Baco can offer. Benmarl has been producing Baco Noir for fifty years.
Light to medium-bodied with notes of chamomile, green apple, and lemon blossom. Enjoy with sharp cheeses, grilled chicken, or oysters.
Earthy with notes of raspberry and cherry. Lightly oaked with a spicy finish of black pepper and vanilla.
Fri- Sun 12-5
New Year’s Day, Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas Day