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Hudson Valley Food & Wine Festival?

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Hi All, has anyone been to the Hudson Valley Food & Wine Festival? My Mum and I are vivisting New York in September and are thinking about going along with a tour company called Grape Getaways. Is it a good day out? Or would be happy for other suggestions for wine day trip from NYC? Thx in advance, Jen

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  1. it's been posted about in the archives, but..

    if you're a big wine fan, ny state is NOT known for its reds. the grapes which work best are niagara, and other sweeter ones.

    here's the basic setup: there are several tents full of wine people. you pay $35, 40, not sure what the price is - unlimited samples. more than you can deal with, but because ny's wines are limited (ie. no real good reds) you'll find yourself having the same wines. if you're there @ 11 am when it opens, it's easy to get around. 2-3 hours later, it's packed.

    there is usually some kind of bands for entertainment, several vendors selling food (which is appetizer size, but higher end - and usually very good), non-wine vendors inside, and a couple ppl selling beer, candy, etc. also there are usually cooking demos as well.

    a friend of mine comes up from nyc for the festival, and only tries a few wines, but uses it as an escape from nyc weekend.

    6 Replies
    1. re: bob gaj

      To say that New York's wines are limited is a shortsighted view that leads me to believe that it's been a while since you've sampled many of New York's best wines.

      New York's strength is Riesling, to be sure, and these wines are among the best in the U.S. for that varietal and span a very wide palate range from semi-dry to dry as well as dessert ice wines. One can literally taste through at least five different flavor profiles in Rieslings alone. Other strong white varietals are Seyval Blanc and Vidal (also one of the primary ice wine grapes). But on the red side there have also been significant successes with Cabernet Franc in both the Finger Lakes and in the Hudson Valley (check out Millbrook's Cab Francs, grown right here in the HV), as well as with hybrid varietals (native vitus labrusca vines crossed with European vitus vinifera vines) such as Frontenac and De Chaunac.

      1. re: ecustard

        sorry, i'm not a fan of millbrook's winery...been there a couple times, it's a gorgeous place to have a picnic, but i don't care for the wines.

        i personally prefer sweeter ones, but can understand what others like in the red wines. i don't 'get' any of that from the ones i've had.

        (as a side note, baldwin vineyards and clinton, both of whom will probably be at the festival, are personal favorites of mine. and i have a couple wagner ice wines sitting inthe other room - although they don't bring that variety to the festival unless requested in advance)

        1. re: bob gaj

          Thanks Bob Gaj & Ecustard, that gives me food for thought. I love a Riesling; probably my favourite varietal at the moment.
          I might reconsider the tour and look at maybe catching a train up; doesn't sound like we'd need the whole day at the festival - could end up very messy! Thanks again and I look forward to tasting some NY wines; hopefully maybe an ice wine!

          1. re: ausjen

            ausjen - if you take a train, you'd have to take amtrak to rhinebeck, and then a taxi. do NOT take metro north to poughkeepsie unless there's a bus from the station to the festival and it's free/cheap (under $10). taxis that far will be SLOW on the weekend (lots o' traffic lights) and cost lots of money. amtrak will be a bit more expensive than metro north and have lots of less departure/arrivals.

            if you decide to go, the bus would be the best option.

            1. re: bob gaj

              Bobgaj, looking at train fares - I'm thinking that $85 for bus trip and festival entry is rather good. Many thanks for your help.

        2. re: ecustard

          Hear hear, ecustard! Finger Lakes Rieslings have become competitive with Rieslings from other parts of the world. Aside from Cabernet Franc, Baco Noir is another red that I really enjoy that NY has had success with. I'm just speaking for the Finger Lakes region though, I've never been to any of the Long Island wineries, and even though I live in the Hudson Valley, I'm not really familiar with which varietals they grow here.