Around the World in 14 Wineries

Around the World in 14 Wineries
By Jordan Wilkinson

Armed with a passport and wineglasses, Hudson Valley residents were able to experience tastings at countries of their choosing during the Shawangunk Wine Trail’s annual “Around the World in 14 Wineries” event. Participants were each given a passport to be stamped by each winery and a tasting glass. Countries along the trail ranged from European staples like France and Italy and then to more exotic options like the Dominican Republic and India. We sampled pairings in Jamaica, Columbia, India, France and Mexico themed wineries.

Adair Vineyards – Jamaica

Adair Vineyards, a classic-style red barn on Alhusen Road in New Paltz is slightly off the beaten path but signs are provided to lead visitors to the winery. Owners Marc and Lori Stopkie oversee the 11 acres of property where they and their staff grow many of their own grapes but also buy from other farms in the Hudson Valley area. Not ones to skimp on presentation, the Stopkies wore Bob Marley T-shirts and Marc even donned a set of dread locks as he served wines. They offered four options for tasting that were paired with jerk chicken wings and a Jamaican pastry. On the menu was their 2011 Landmark White, the 2012 Kir Peche, 2011 Landmark Red and a 2012 Black Currant Kir Rouge and each bottle had a watercolor label that was designed by the original owner of the vineyard, Jim Adair.

Robibero Family Vineyards – Columbia

 Robibero boasted the flavors of Columbia, serving guests a blend of rice, beans and shredded chicken with their wine pairings. From Route 299, guests need only follow the plenty of signs to reach the property which is filled with their home-grown grapes.

 

According to Ryan Selby, taste room manager, the winery opened in 2010 and since grapes take 4 to 5 years to become useful, this upcoming year will be the first that they will be able to begin implementing it into their product. In the meantime, they served a white blend called 87 North before patrons could pick from a separate taste menu at their bar. Robibero also holds a series of events including regular live music, a pig roast and laua and a grape stomping festival.

 

Whitecliff Vineyard - India

Whitecliff takes a more focused approach on their wine making. According to co-owner Yancey Migliore, the vineyard rarely holds events because they’re “only interested in making lovely wines.” With their veggie samosas and rice (bought in Little India in New York City) they paired a Rose (dry and fruity), Awosting White (peach and citrus), Traminette (spicy and floral) and Red Trail (raspberry and spice and their best seller).

Off Albany Post Road, the property offers a stunning view of the Shawangunk Mountain range and also boasts one of the first geothermal wineries in the state.

Baldwin Vineyards - Mexico

Baldwin vineyards opened their doors in 1982 and have been perfecting sweet dessert wines ever since. Though they no longer have the facilities to grow their own fruit and grapes, all of their purchases are done within the state, mostly in the Hudson Valley, but also up through Rochester. With a Mexican-style plate of rice and beans, the first two tastings were “Embers” and “Joseph’s Vintage,” a white and red, both very sweet. The third was an apple wine, described as “an apple juice with a kick,” followed by one of their strawberry wines that serves the dual purpose of cooking. Baldwin offers chocolate strawberry and wine festivals on select weekends to highlight their signature strawberry wines.

Brimstone Hill Vineyard and Winery - France

Since 1879, owner Richard Eldridge and his staff have been growing and experimenting with their grapes and fruits on the 11 acres of land that make up Brimstone Hill Winery. Since then, they have come to master 20 different varieties that eventually get created into wine. Along with crafting their wines, they created the perfect tasting with meticulous pairings. The first wine, a Vin Rouge, was served with a baguette and cheese, Cabernet franc with quiche, a single strawberry followed Vidal blanc and dessert (a cube of cheesecake) was served with Cayuga White. The winery also dabbles in champagne making, uncorking it at their annual Valentine’s Day event.