While I agree that winery hopping in the Hudson Valley on a blistering cold day is an unlikely way to spend a Sunday in January, nonetheless, last weekend I woke up early, swaddled myself in layers, and ventured to darling little towns like Washingtonville and Clinton Corners to quaff local wines from one of the state’s most undiscovered grape-growing regions.
One of my favorite stops was in Marlboro, where I visited Stoutridge Vineyard (www.stoutridge.com), the brainchild of husband and wife team Stephen Osborn and Kim Wagner. Not only was I impressed by the natural wines made here—delightfully hazy because of unprocessed pectins and proteins—but the space, a nod to German-style wineries, was breathtaking.
The facility flaunts a gravity-flow design (there are no pumps or filters here), and is built into a hillside, directly on the site of what was another winery, pre-Prohibition. In keeping with Osborn and Wagner’s dedication to sustainability, electricity also comes courtesy of a solar cell system on the roof.
Inside, light American and dark Brazilian walnut woods, simply sanded and oiled, lead to the underground barrel room, which could easily be the setting for a sexy cocktail lounge. Here, a poured concrete floor and concrete slab ceiling add an industrial accent, but it is where the wines rest, in beautiful ovate barrels crafted from Hungarian oak, that are pure elegance.
Because Stoutridge’s wines are so temperature-delicate, they can’t be shipped, so you won’t be able to pick up their lovely, earthy Cabernet Franc in even the most esoteric of New York wine shops. However, the winery is only about ninety minutes from Midtown Manhattan, so I highly recommend that Tri-State dwellers pay a visit here the next time the agrotourism urge strikes – when the weather warms up of course, and you can sip Seyval Blanc on the tasting room patio, behind a circa early-1900s stone wall salvaged from the grounds of the original winery.