Thursday, March 6, 2008

Wine Country in your backyard

So often we don't realize what the Hudson Valley has to offer right in our backyard. As the weather becomes warmer, we are going to want to turn off the TV, and get out of the house. Why don't you spend the day in Hudson River Valley Wine Country. Yes..wine country in our own backyards. Honestly, you don't have to wait until the weather is nice to do this.

The Hudson Valley has more than 17 wineries with tasting rooms…all throughout Dutchess, Orange and Ulster counties. Did you know that the Hudson Valley is also home to the "Oldest" winery in America and the "Oldest" continuous operated vineyard in America? They are Brotherhood "America's Oldest" Winery and Benmarl Winery at Slate Hill Vineyards. Yes..more history in our own backyards.

What's really nice about spring is when you visit the vineyards you get to see what's called "bud break." This is the term used when the vines begin to wake from their winter sleep. The first indication is bleeding–when water begins to appear at the cuts from pruning. Soon after, the buds will start to make their appearance, with new leaves unfolding more and more. It's a lovely way to mark the coming of spring.

With 2007's harvest being spectacular…the best ever, I have great expectations on what will be available for tasting this year in the tasting rooms. When you have nothing to do on a weekend and want to get out of the house, take a ride to the nearest winery for a tasting. You will be pleasantly surprised at what you will find.

To find the nearest winery and tasting room hours visit Dutchess Wine Trail or Shawangunk Wine Trail. There are also wineries in the area that aren't members of any trails. Don't hesitate to stop in their tasting rooms too.

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