This weekend is the Hudson Valley Wine Festival.  I’ve been part of this festival for quite a long time.  It began for me about 9 years ago (festival is 11 yrs old.) when I had a booth at the festival promoting my travel business. Boy have I morphed and grown since then.  It was at that festival 9 years ago that I got introduced to Hudson Valley Wines and began my journey. (That’s pretty sad considering I live and grew up in this area and that was my first experience with the regions wine.)

The festival has grown too.  They moved from Greig Farm to the Dutchess County Fairgrounds.  Wise choice!  Didn’t know how many more thunder storms in a tent I could handle, not to mention the mud. If you haven’t attended the festival, it usually will rain on Saturday at 3pm.

The festival has become a family affair for us.  My daughter Melanie has been the cashier for Whitecliff Vineyards at the festival.  All to often that means she is spending her birthday behind a cash register of wine. Not really what a teenager wants to do.  This year I am proud to say she will not be there as she is embarking on a new chapter of her life at Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island majoring in Hospitality and Event Planning. (The nut doesn’t fall far from the tree, does it.Or I should say grape from the vine)  My husband is often seen pouring for Whiteciff as he is the Assistant Winemaker.

I’ve worked for some of the local wineries at the festival and last year launched my wine brand Happy Bitch Wines along with Keryl Pesce at the festival. We had festival attendees vote on which varietal of Happy Bitch Rose we should produce.  Number 2 won!  This year you can come buy, taste and purchase Happy Bitch Rose (#2) along with Happy Bitch glasses and shirts. After all you chose the wine!

Last year the responsibility of the Hudson Valley Wine Competition fell in my hands. I approached the festival about holding the competition there.  What a perfect match!  It went so well, that it is now the new home of the Hudson Valley Wine Competition.  We have 15 judges that judge approximately 90 varietals of local wine and spirits in a blind tasting. This takes place from 9 – noon.  If you get to the festival early, you can peek in the building to watch.

Once the competition wraps up you can find me pouring Happy Bitch Wines!  If you don’t have your tickets, no worries, you can get tickets at the door.  See you this weekend at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds for the Hudson Valley Wine Fest!