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All podcast music: “Café connection” by morgantj / CC BY 3.0, ©2009 – Licensed under Creative Commons 
Attribution (3.0) 

Apr 21, 2020

Spanning a large portion of New York, just about an hour north of Manhattan, lies one of the oldest winemaking regions in the US: The Hudson River Region AVA.

This week Casey Erdmann and Matt Spacarelli of Fjord Vineyards join to talk about the Hudson River Region and the innovative things they are doing there. 

To start the show, MC Ice and I give a quick overview of the area:

  • We go WAY back to the glaciers and talk about how this area came to have so many different soil types, a varied terrain, and the mighty Hudson River.
  • We discuss the continental climate, and the challenges that come with heat and humidity (hint: grape vine diseases) 
  • We talk about how large the region is. It encompasses all or part of big counties:  Columbia, Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster, and Westchester.
    • It is 224,000 acres, but just 450 acres are planted to wine grapes
  • We discuss common grapes here:
    • Vitis labrusca (native): Concord, Delaware, Niagara
    • French-American Hybrids: Seyval Blanc, Vidal Blanc,  Baco Noir (among others)
    • Vitis vinifera that is cold tolerant: Riesling, Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc 

Then I discuss the region with Casey and Matt. Matt grew up in the region and his family owns the historic Benmarl Winery where he is the head winemaker and GM. He gives us great insight and detail around the region -- its history, its challenges, and its opportunities. 

File:Hudson River Valley.jpg

We have a lively discussion around French-American hybrids (we may or may not discuss how they taste like burnt hair), and what their role is for wine regions.

Finally we discuss Fjord Vineyards which was founded in 2013 so the couple to make wines of Vitis vinifera from local parcels that express the terroir of the region. They make balanced, sustainable wines of Riesling, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Albariño, and Cabernet Franc that reflect where they are grown and are delicious! 


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