Tag Archives: millbrook winery
How big a portfolio do you think this Hudson Valley winery has? What many people don’t know is that Millbrook Vineyard and Winery was John Dyson’s first winery and then his portfolio grew. Villa Pillo in Tuscany was their next addition and then in 1998 he purchased Williams Selyem.
On Saturday, November 16th you can taste the portfolio of wines all at Millbrook Vineyards & Winery. Yes, you will be able to taste some of the fantastic Pinot Noirs that come from Williams Selyem and a bit of Tuscany as well.
It’s a great event and you won’t want to miss it. The event runs from 12pm -5pm. It’s both informative and educational. For more information you can visit their website at http://www.millbrookwine.com/events-a-news
Here’s a slide show from a few years back when I attended the event. Enjoy!
Another year, another competition but this one was different.
Every year I contact the same judges. It’s kind of like a cult when you begin to judge a competition. So many of my judges came back this year. However, I was faced with a cancellation 4 days from the competition. So I sent a note out to my judges and Nicholas came through with a judge who is my equivalent in Connecticut. Renee Allan from the Wine Institute of New England. I can’t thank her enough for volunteering her time with all of us Saturday morning.
What was different this year? Let’s just say cucumbers. Remember back in June when I judged the Ultimate Wine Challenge? We were served cucumbers as palate cleansers. I thought this was amazing as it really worked for me and guess what I have in my garden….so I sliced a few cukes for the competition and I had some amazing results!
This 2013 Hudson Valley Wine & Spirits Competition had more Double Gold and Gold Medals than I have ever seen on the 5 years that I have been organizing it. I attribute it to the palate cleansing cucumbers! But really, I believe the quality of the wine & spirits produced in the Hudson Valley have increased tremendously and this proves it!
Another element to the competition was the Governor of New York. He was expected to attended the Hudson Valley Wine Festival and was slated to give out the award for the Best Hudson Valley Wine made with Hudson Valley fruit. This was all a part of his Taste NY Program. Well the Governor didn’t show up and the award was given out by Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy to Millbrook Vineyards & Winery for their Tocai Friulano Proprietor’s Special Reserve. So exciting for Hudson Valley!
It was a little stress full for me. I was given a table at the Governor’s reception to display the winning wines. So as we went along a bottle of the Double Gold and Gold Medal wines were being pulled. I was on the final rounds (best of) where the winning wines are decided by a vote of all 15 judges. During this time I had the festival coordinator calling me to see if the wines are ready, the Governor’s office texting me to find out the winning Hudson Valley wine and I was trying to get through the last most important rounds of the competition. Yes a little stressful but we got through it with great success.
Congratulations to all the wineries.
Now that Spring has finally arrived we are itching to hop in the car and go wine tasting. Travel with me as I travel through Hudson Valley Wine Country.
I’ll take you to Millbrook Vineyards and Winery, Whitecliff Vineyard and Winery and Benmarl Winery.
Enjoy the wine!
I can say I am a “Harvest 2012″ graduate of Millbrook Winery’s Winegrowing Boot Camp and if you want to learn about the entire process of growing grapes and making wine, this is the adult camp for you. I participated last season, learned lots and made new friends.
Winegrowing Boot Camp is a six part series that will give you a hands experience in the viticulture and winemaking aspects of taking the grape from birth to bottle. You will be assigned your own row of Tocai Friulano vines to take care of, talk to, prune, position, leaf pull, harvest and last but not least, bottling the finished product.
The first session begins Saturday, April 13 from 10am to 1pm. At this session you will learn about pruning the vines.
The next time you meet will be Saturday May 18 from 11am – 3pm and there is some partying at this session. Now you will inspect your vines and look for bud break. Then get ready to party with your classmates at the Tocai Release Party. This is Millbrook’s spring event and celebrates the release of the 2012 Tocai. You’ll get to taste the vintage the class before you worked on.
The next two sessions happen in June and July as they are critical step in grape growing. Saturday June 11th you will learn about vertical shoot positioning and Saturday July 13 you will learn about leaf pulling and canopy management. Yes you have to manage those leaves. Very crucial in the growing season to make sure the grapes get enough direct and indirect sunlight.
Fall has us at harvest. Harvest dates can’t be fully determined as it depends on the weather and sugar levels of the grapes. At harvest you will be picking your grapes and bringing them to the crush pad. This is where the art of winemaking comes in.
However, harvest time is also a time of celebration and camp includes a ticket to the Harvest Party.
As winter draws upon us, the wine is settling into their new home and begin fermentation and aging. John will call you all together around mid March to bottle your wine. Yes, you get to bottle and take home a case of the Tocai.
The price of camp is $795 plus tax. It’s really a great time and learning experience. There is even shuttle service available from the Poughkeepsie Train Station for an additional $100. (train ticket not included)
Millbrook Winery is offering my blog readers 10% off. Just call Stacy at 845-677-8383 ext 17 and mention Hudson Valley Wine Goddess.
Just look how much fun we all had in the 2012 Winegrowing Boot Camp class.
Saturday was the last class of Millbrook Vineyard & Winery’s Winegrowing Boot Camp. We took the vines from the cradle to the bottle and Saturday we proudly bottled our season’s hard work.
After the grapes were pressed the wine went into neutral oak pungents about 270 gallons and is fermented in those barrels. The wine went into the barrels after the grapes were pressed until 2 weeks ago. At that time the barrels were moved outside to cold stabilize the wine.
The pungents came back inside and the wine was racked into a tank. Then put into a portable plastic tank they use for small bottling. They bottled the first 84 cases that morning before the class came. Now it’s the time to bottle and label the classes wine.
The wine gets pumped out of the tank, goes through two cartridge filters to fine the wine. Then into the bottle, it gets corked and put into the boxes for sale.
We were all responsible for catching our bottles as they came down the line and packing them in the cases.
As the first graduating class of Millbrook’s Winegrowing Boot Camp I can say I learned lots, had a great time participating and made new friends. I am very thankful it was a great growing season!
Every year Millbrook Vineyards & Winery has a Grand Portfolio Tasting where they pull out all the stops and you get to taste wines from all their holdings throughout the world. Yes, I said world! Not only do they own Millbrook Vineyards & Winery in the Hudson Valley, but they own Williams Selyem Winery, Pebble Ridge & Vista Verde Vineyards all in California and Villa Pillo in Italy.
The wines with the Pebble Ridge label are all made by John. They bring the grapes across country in refrigerated trucks to the Millbrook site where the winemaking begins.
This fall there was the option at Grand Portfolio Tasting to attended the “Passion for Pinot” which I jumped on. What was really nice for me was to be able to taste the clones straight, without being blended to see what their true characters are.
Millbrook’s winemaker John Graziano led the seminar where he spoke about all the different clones, what is grown at Millbrook, the California Heritage clones and what climate change means for the region. Millbrook grows all Dijon Clones – 115, 667 & 777.
A little info on the clones grown at Millbrook and what they bring to the wine:
Clone 115 is a tight cluster grapes with a strong purplish color. It has notable tannins and a consistent aromatic profile of black cherries, lether and roses, some anise, boysenberries and blueberries. It is valued for its balance and aromatic profile.
Clone 667 is a big tight compact cluster with strong color, hi-tone and quality aromas. You’ll find dark cherry, raspberry, strawberry, and spice with thick but soft tannins. In cooler climates or sites you will find hints of allspice, nutmeg and clove.
Clone 777 yields small compact clusters with small berries and intense color. Very aromatic with complex black fruit flavors with hints of leather, tobacco and earthy notes. It has the tannin structure to age.
We tasted 5 clones – Canada, Swan, Clone A, 667 and a mix of clones. Below are my short observations of the tasting.
Canada (A French clone” imported via Canada and Millbrook Winery. Planted at John Dyson’s vineyards in the Russian River Valley and Vista Verde in the Central Coast)- Aromas of sour cherry and was tart
Swan (propagated by Joseph Swan in the Russian River Valley) – nose of chocolate, cocoa. Tasted like unsweetened chocolate
Clone A – a little pine on the nose with raspberry and red berry. Tasted like tart raspberry juice
Clone 667 – aromas of chocolate covered cherries and raspberry. Palate was soft and full of raspberry with a chocolate finish.
Clone Mix I thought was tasteless.
Now it was time to taste the finish products.
2011 Millbrook NYS Pinot Noir- Made with Pommard, 115,667,777. I found an earthy nose, with bright raspberry and some tea. The palate was a bit acidic with raspberry and red fruit flavors and a hint of coffee on the finish.
2010 Millbrook Proprietor’s Special Reserve NYS Pinot Noir – Blend of Pommard, 1l5, 667,777.Aromas of mushroom and cran-raspberry leads to a palate of cranberry and a hint of mushroom.
2010 Millbrook Block Five East, Hudson River Region Pinot Noir -Blend of 1l15, 667,777 all from the Millbrook Vineyards. A bit of mushroom and earth on the nose with a silky, sexy palate showing flavors of cran-raspberry and red fruits.
2010 Pebble Ridge Central Coast, CA Pinot Noir - Blended with clones Bruce, Pommard, Calera, 115, 667. I found this wine woody with red fruit. Very fruit driven.
2010 Millbrook Grand Reserve Pinot Noir, Central Coast, CA- Blended with Bruce, Pommard, Calera, 1l5 & 667 clones – Aromas of earth, raspberry and blackberry filled the glass. The palate was filled with blackberry and black raspberry and a tart raspberry finish
2009 Williams Selyem Central Coast Pinot Noir – A blend of Pommard, Calera, Canada, 115, 777,828,943 clones. Aromas of toasty oak, soft delicate red fruit, blackberry and some spice filled the glass. The palate is intense with blackberry, cranberry and cherry with some wet tobacco notes on the finish.
When the class was over it was time to enter the Grand Portfolio Tasting where of course I got to taste a selection of Williams Selyem wines. I met some really nice people hanging at this table and was there for quite a while savoring the wine and chatting.
As most things are at Millbrook, it was a very well done event on a beautiful fall day. Below you will find video from the Pinot Seminar. Enjoy.
Passion for Pinotl – Part 1″The Clones”
After being gone for nearly two weeks my Tocai grapes are getting pretty sweet! I went to visit them on Wednesday having just been back from the Wine Bloggers Conference and found fencing around them. You what that means…? It means they are beginning to ripen to where the birds, deer and turkeys think you grew them for their consumption. NOT! Vineyards begin to protect their grapes by fencing and netting until it’s time to harvest.
Being that I was actually at Millbrook Vineyards for a Dutchess County Chamber of Commerce “After Hours” event, I was in a dress and heels but my commitment to follow my vines got the better of me. I changed into a pair of sneakers (yes I was very fashionable with a nice black dress on and running sneakers) and asked Chrystal (aka Babysitter) to hike up the hill with me. (10 points for Chrystal who had on high heels) We picked the perfect time because everyone was under the tent to listen to Charlie the head of the Chamber speak and nobody could watch me up on the hill. Charlie had their undivided attention.
Once up the hill I had to figure out how I was going to get under the fencing and in a dress. Chrystal pulled up a part of the fence and I crawled under (real lady like) so I can snap pictures of my grapes and crawled out. They are looking pretty good. Just a matter of time and the cooperation of the weather before they are harvested.
We got back down the hill just as the talks were ending. Sat at one of the picnic tables as if we were there the entire time. Only Ken from Freedom Financial caught onto where I had gone…I guess it was the sneakers.
I am taking part in Winegrowing BootCamp at Millbrook Vineyards & Winery. As you see I have my own row of Tocai to take care of. Actually I share the row with two other people. In any event, these are my babies for the 2012 growing season.
Since I don’t live to far from the vineyard, I am going to try and stop by once a week so we can see how the vines are doing and the grapes are growing. I will be talking to my grapes, don’t think I’ll be singing, I don’t want to scare them into a dormant state.
Follow me on this journey, me and the Tocai.