March 28, 2012 0 comments Articles & Reviews, By Jonathan Cristaldi

City friends: It’s time to play winemaker.

Millbrook Vineyards & Winery - Hudson Valley, New York State

Millbrook Vineyards & Winery is a mere stone’s throw from the former farm-land of good old New York City. They are the pioneer grape grower of the Hudson Valley, begat by John S. Dyson in 1985, who also happened to coin the I “Heart” New York campaign we see so commonly attached to car bumpers. At Millbrook it is attached to wine glasses:

Tasting glasses at Millbrook

John was an agricultural genius, and as dairy farms were suffering in the 80’s, John saw the potential to turn the Hudson Valley into a premier farm region known for much more than its dairy farming. Enter: Millbrook Winery.

I recently had the opportunity to visit and taste through Millbrook’s entire portfolio. I was absolutely thrilled by their Chardonnays – which are vibrant, crisp and have a classic cool-climate Chardonnay nose. And their New York State Pinot Noir is alone worth a trip. Speaking of…

We all know just how lovely New York City is during the hot summer months. And if trips to Coney Island and Jones Beach are getting old, how about hop on the Metro North to Poughkeepsie (for those of us without cars) and let a shuttle bus drive you through green mountains toward a winery where you could taste wine, have lunch at the vineyard grill or better yet – cultivate your own vines from bud-break to harvest and take home a case of wine while you’re at it.

Inside Hook has the scoop on a Wine Growing Boot Camp Millbrook is offering — periodic Saturdays from April to July, harvest in October and a final trip in 2013 to bottle.

Winemaker is John Graziano who’ll take you under his wing – and with 25 years of winemaking and growing experience at Millbrook, you could say he is pretty much one with the vines up there. Tell em, “Jonny sent me,” and they’ll put you to work.

Love to see these kinds of displays in the winery.

View of the tasting room.

By the way: Millbrook is part the estate properties also in possession of Williams-Selyem and hence, a good deal of it is available at Millbrook, which is really kind of amazing.

My visit was during one of the only snowy weekends. Was exciting to be amidst vines even though I could see my breath.


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