Hudson-Chatham in Tannersville Review
Address: 6063 Main Street Tannersville,New York 12485.
Phone Number: 518-589-4193
Tasting Hours: Sun-Thurs 12:00-5:00, Fri 12:00-7:00, Sat 12:00-8:00
Region: New York
Reviewer: Elizabeth Smith
Review Date: 12/27/2016
Reviewer: Elizabeth Smith
In August 2015, before I was an American Winery Guide correspondent, I spent a day visiting Hudson-Chatham Winery, Columbia County, New Yorks first winery. It was a fantastic experience, and I wrote about that day on my website. A month later, I began writing for AWG. It was only a matter of time before I revisited Hudson-Chatham.
This trip, I spent a couple of hours at Hudson-Chathams Tannersville location which opened recently to serve both residents and visitors of Greene County, New York. The town of Tannersville is a bit like stepping back into another time and place. The Tannersville tasting and retail space feels like an old-fashioned general store, which was beautifully decorated for the holidays at the time of my visit. Walking around inside, I was moved to take many photos. I discovered wines, ciders, coffee, food, books, and gifts. Chalkboard-style signs adorned the space, adding a sense of familiarity and humor. A separate room furnished with tables, called The Vintners Café, is available for seated tastings and small bites like local cheeses and charcuterie. Being in the wine business myself, I envisioned so many possibilities for this room. It is perfect for specialized and private tasting experiences, food and wine pairings, intimate winemaker dinners, and wine education classes.
My host, owner Carlo DeVito, led me through a personalized tasting of Hudson-Chatham wines. The standard tasting is usually five tastes for $5.00. I had the opportunity to taste both new vintages and new wines, including the 2014 Estate Seyval Blanc, Riesling NV, 2015 Heirloom White, Olde Orchard Sparkling Apple Wine, 2015 Estate Block 3 Baco Noir, 2014 Baco Noir Reserve Casscles Vineyard, 2015 Baco Noir Middlehope, 2015 Baco Noir Old Vines, 2016 NUVO (a first-press blend of Marquette, Chelois, and DeChaunac), 2015 Heirloom Red, 2013 Merlot, 2015 Pinot Noir, and 2015 Marquette, as well as the Paperbirch Toffee, Amber Cream, and Fino port-style dessert wines. For those unfamiliar with Hudson-Chatham, the wines are handmade and hand pressed with minimal intervention, unfiltered and unfined, to retain purity of fruit and terroir.
While the winery makes a few lovely wines from Vitis vinifera grapes, like the riesling, merlot and pinot noir I tasted, Hudson-Chatham flourishes as a producer of local, hybrid varietal wines. The Heirloom White and Red wines are intriguing, unique blends of mostly Hudson Valley hybrid grapes, many of which I had never tasted before this visit. The Estate Seyval Blanc, Hudson-Chathams rendition of a fumé blanc style white, is always beautiful, showcasing a balance of brilliant acidity and a textured mouthfeel.
I continue to be in love with the Hudson-Chatham Baco Noir. The four offerings tasted during this visit were off-the-charts delicious, each demonstrating a sense of place that is pervasive and persistent. It was my first time trying the 2015 Estate Block 3 Baco Noir, whose sour cherry flavor is lively and mouthwatering. The 2014 Reserve Casscles Vineyard, sourced from the winemakers vineyard and aged in neutral French oak, exhibits indisputable rusticity that compliments a darker fruit profile. I was especially enamored with the 2015 Baco Noir Middlehope, also sourced from Casscles Vineyard, which reveals a layered and complex interplay of plum, acid, minerality, and spice. The 2015 Baco Noir Old Vines, whose grapes come from 65-year-old vines, is intensely colored and flavored, with bright, tart cherry and cranberry fruit, spice, and super-duper acid (a quote from my handwritten notes).
I do not typically drink cider, but the Olde Orchard Sparkling Apple Wine, whose fruit is sourced from the organically farmed Little Apple Farm in Hillsdale, New York, won my heart with its fresh, crunchy apple flavors, dryness, and yeasty qualities resulting from bottle fermentation without disgorgement.
I concluded my visit with a tasting of the winerys seasonal red wine hot chocolate topped with whipped cream. As I sipped this delectable guilty pleasure, I made my way through the rooms again. Hudson-Chatham Tannersville is not a tasting room, but an extension of home, a collection of all things local filled with delights that appeal to all the senses.