Overview: The Hudson Valley Wine Region
The Hudson Valley runs along the Hudson River from Yonkers in Westchester County, up to Albany and Troy, spanning approximately 7,000 square miles. It’s known for being beautiful and full of lovely foliage, especially in the fall, and for being a cool escape when New York City boils in the summer and was even named one of the “Top 20 Destinations in the World for 2013” by National Geographic.
But lately, it’s also becoming a staple in the winemaking scene of the Northeast. Some of the oldest wineries in all of America were planted in the Hudson Valley- New Paltz, to be exact. The first grapes were planted by the French Hugenots in 1677, and the first commercial winery was established in 1837 as the Jacques Brothers Winery, which was renamed as the Brotherhood Winery.
The water of the Hudson River provides a temperate climate and the valley allows for maritime breezes. Additionally, the rolling hills are perfect soil for planting vast vineyards, which is why the region is becoming so popular for wine.
To create a specific identity for the region, the Hudson Valley Wine & Grape Association established a benchmark of style and formation for a specific white wine that they call the Hudson Heritage White. It’s made of the Seyval Blanc, blended with Vignoles, Vidal, or Cayuga White, which are all well adapted to the area’s climate. Because of this identity, many of the wineries of the Hudson Valley produce more white wines than red, although Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc are still popular in the region.
There are over 20 wineries in the region now, and four unique wine trails that take you through the gorgeous scenery of the Hudson Valley. Almost all of the wineries in the area offer tours throughout the year, and many boast lovely tasting rooms so you can sample their fantastic wines.
The Hudson Valley is home to more than wine. You can visit amazing places like the world-renowned Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, the beautiful walkway over Hudson State Historic Park, and the United States Military Academy at West Point.