Vineyard Press

Upper Hudson Wine Trail Bill Creates Official Wine Trail for Capital Region

Upper Hudson Wine Trail Grapes

Northern climate Frontenac grapes on the Upper Hudson Wine Trail East


ALBANY, NY, August 21 –  Governor Andrew Cuomo signed The Upper Hudson Wine Trail Bill (Senate Bill S213A, Assembly Bill A8345) into law to create the first wine trail in New York’s Capital Region. The wine trail consists of an Upper Hudson East Trail and an Upper Hudson West Trail that extend for nearly 120 miles. The Trail winds through east-central New York in the counties of Albany, Schenectady. Rensselaer, Saratoga, Washington and Montgomery. The trail serves six vineyards with tasting rooms with another fourteen planted vineyards expected to open tasting rooms by 2020.

In the fall of 2014, area vineyards with tasting rooms struggled to get customers through the door. “Looking at our empty parking lots, we knew that if our fledgling wine region were to succeed, we needed to fill them.” said Trail President Andrew Weber.  In an effort to drive traffic to the tasting rooms, members of the Upper Hudson Wine Trail Association began parallel efforts to develop wine trail legislation and a federally designated American Viticultural Area. In keeping with the tradition and standards set by established New York wine trails, this legislation was designed to support local vineyards and estate wineries.  The pending perfected Upper Hudson AVA petition is on track for completion in 2017.  These two important assets will lay the foundation for a successful wine region.

The Upper Hudson Wine Trail bill is sponsored by Assembly Member Carrie Woerner (D) and Senator Kathy Marchione (R), and co-sponsored by Assembly Members Dan Stec, Angelo Santabarbara, Patricia Fahy and Senators George Amedore and Patty Ritchie. Trail legislation received additional support from the Capital Region Chamber of Commerce, New York State Farm Bureau and New York State Department of Agriculture.

The Upper Hudson Wine Trail legislation is supported by area craft beverage producers of mead, hard cider and spirits. Vineyards and craft beverage producers in support of the legislation include Altamont Vineyard and Winery, Ballston Lake Apiary, Creek Haven Vineyard, Engle’s Vineyard, Helderberg 1839 Vineyards, Helderberg Mead works, Hummingbird Hills Winery, Johnston’s Winery, Ledge Rock Hill Winery, Luckey Spirits, Macauley Creek Vineyard, Mountain View Distillery, Natural Selection Vineyard, Northern Cross Vineyard, Pelligrino Vineyard, Redstone Ridge Vineyard, Saratoga Apple, Schernau Estates and South Dominion Vineyards.

The new trail has great aspirations to impact New York’s wine culture.  “Our goal for the Upper Hudson Wine Region and our members is to produce world class wines from northern hardy grapes” said Weber. For more information about the Upper Hudson Wine Trail, go to




Harvest 2016 Featured in Saratoga Living Magazine


Friends Gather for the Harvest

The 2016 harvest is our best year yet for producing abundant high quality grapes from our vineyard. We just could not pick all of the grapes in one harvest so we had two!  Fortunately, our vineyard is blessed with many family and friends to help us pick our grapes. This year author Mary Cirincione from Saratoga Living joined us for our second friends harvest to document what a harvest looks like at Northern Cross Vineyard.

So what’s a harvest like at Northern Cross Vineyard? Our harvest days begin with friends gathering for a light breakfast of local baked goods and coffee. The mornings can be a bit wet and chilly in the fall, so everyone dresses in farm boots and bundles up with jackets. With clippers in hand, our friends spread themselves among the vines to begin the picking. Picking continues until the afternoon when it’s time for the harvest meal served inside an 19th century barn. A long table is set up with all of our wines to drink and noshes, (appetizers) to eat. Our harvest menu always includes a bounty of locally grown foods from Washington County. Finally, it’s time to eat and drink!

Mary Cirincione jumped right into the harvest and joined our friends in the vineyard.  While we picked grapes,  Mary took notes and shot some of the most beautiful photos ever taken of Northern Cross. The article is a perfect reflection of our harvest days: lots of  work, food and friends. Many thanks to Mary and Saratoga Living for giving us the opportunity to share our vineyard with your readers. Read the complete article here




Harvest Featured in Wine & Craft Beverage News


News Spreads About Harvest at Northern Cross Vineyard

Our 2016 harvest proved to be an embarrassment of riches.  First off, the vineyard produced a record setting, high quality grape yield that required two harvest parties.Secondly, we can now claim a new friend to the vineyard, Katie Navarra.

Katie is an agricultural news writer for Wine & Craft Beverage News. Wanting to know how we work, Katie came to our first of two 2016 grape harvests. As our friends and neighbors hand-picked our grapes, Katie took photos and spoke to participants.  This article captures the essence of what makes our process of making wines from vineyard to table. There is also a brief mention about the upcoming Upper Hudson American Viticultural Area and what that means for local wine makers.  Many thanks to Katie Navarra  for featuring Northern Cross Vineyard in your November issue and stay tuned for the 2016 releases.

You can read Katie’s article here.  is sure to make fabulous 2016 wine.

Tour DeVine

TourdeVine-Easton, NY

Tour DeVine, Easton, NY October 15, 2016


A cycling tour of the wineries and vineyards of the Upper Hudson

When: October 15, 2016

Time: 10:30 AM

Starting Vineyard: Amorici Vineyard

Enjoy a cycling tour of the Upper Hudson vineyards in Easton, NY at the Tour DeVine.  A casual, 20 mile, fully-supported ride that features wine tastings at four of the Upper Hudson vineyards and a catered, gourmet post-tour lunch at scenic Amorici Vineyards.  Post-ride lunch, ride leaders, course markings, mechanical & sag support, and scenic views are all included in your registration.  Vegetarian lunches are available!

Vineyards included in the Tour DeVine:

Amorici Vineyard

Victory View Vineyards

Northern Cross Vineyard

The Tour DeVine is limited to fifty registrants so, sign up today at BikeReg for cycling’s most beautiful autumn tour! 

Going to the Washington County Fair?

Washington County Fair to Host Wine Tastings August 23, 2016

Northern Cross Vineyard to Sample Wine at the Washington County Fair

For the first time ever, the Washington County Fair will host Washington County Craft Beverage Corral and Tasting Event set to take place on Tuesday, August 23, 2016, 4-8:00 pm beside the County Bounty building. County craft beverage producers will offer samples of their products for you to try and bottles for you to purchase. Beverage producers included in the sampling include Argyle Brewing Company, RS Taylor Brewing, Battle Hill Brewing, Slyboro, Lake George Distilling, Victory View Vineyard, Amorici Vineyard and of course, Northern Cross Vineyard.

While you are at the Washington County Fair,  check out all of the great exhibits by FFA and the local 4H Clubs. The Fair has a ton of farm animals to see such as cashmere goats, chickens of all sorts, pigs of all sizes and more cows that you can imagine! And don’t miss out on exciting carnival rides and lots of food on sticks.  For more information about the Washington County Fair, go to their site.

All tasters must be 21 years or older.  Purchases will be escorted to the gate for pick up.





What’s in a Name? The Founding of the Upper Hudson AVA



Upper Hudson Vineyard

What’s an AVA?

Probably your first question is ‘what the heck is the Upper Hudson AVA?’  An AVA or American Viticultural Area is ‘a designated wine grape-growing region in the United States distinguishable by geographic features, with boundaries defined by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) of the United States Department of the Treasury. An AVA outlines a region that is distinct from the surrounding areas for growing grapes.’ (see more) The distinction could be temperature, soil type, rain fall, sunshine or a combination of factors.

When we submitted our first petition to the TTB for an AVA, I have to confess that we were a bit intimidated.  The process of getting an AVA in place requires submitting a written petition to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) that the Bureau deems fit for review. We were fortunate to work with some wonderful people at the TTB who helped guide us through the process.

The great news is that as of July 30, 2015 the TTB, and I love the way they word this,  has “Accepted as Perfected” our petition for the Upper Hudson AVA. (see list of current perfected petitions here). It is now a pending petition and it will still take several months for the rule-making process. In the end, the petition will be published in the Code of Federal regulations and create the internationally recognized grape-growing region of the Upper Hudson AVA.

Offering a Sense of Place for Upper Hudson Wine

Having a vineyard in Upstate NY is hard work. We get one shot per year at making a product that people can enjoy. We must contend with frosts, disease, insects, and whatever the weather throws as us to consistently produce a good wine.

What the Upper Hudson AVA means locally is that all of the vineyards within the geographical boundaries of the AVA will be able to put distinct terms, such as Estate Bottled or the name of the viticultural area “Upper Hudson” on the label. Estate Bottled means that 100% of the wine came from grapes grown on land owned or controlled by the winery within the AVA. Viticultural Area “Upper Hudson” on the bottle label means that 85% of the wine was produced from grapes grown in the named area. In both cases the winery must crush and ferment the grapes and finish, age and bottle the wine in a continuous process on their premise and the winery and vineyards must be in the same viticultural area.

Every wine maker craves recognition for their hard work and an AVA is one of the primary routes to distinction from other brands.  The name distinction of ‘Upper Hudson’ on our labels is a huge benefit to those vineyards that are producing some really great wines in Upstate New York. Wine enthusiasts who want a truly local product can be assured that they are drinking local wine when they start to see Upper Hudson on the label. Our hard earned grapes will now have a ‘sense of place’ with the Upper Hudson distinction.

First Step in the Creation of an Upper Hudson Wine Region

Getting an AVA in place is the single most important step taken for the development of vineyards and wine making in our region. Consumers want the authenticity that only an American Viticultural Area can provide. A wine with ‘Upper Hudson’ on the label is proof of wine made from local grapes, not from the Finger Lakes, not Long Island. just genuine local wine.  We will finally be on the map – literally.

Northern Cross Making News



Thank you News 10 for visiting Northern Cross Vineyard and getting the word out! The New York is going to have another American Viticultural Area! It was delightful to meet Mary Wilson and to let the Capital District know that our area has a lot of vineyards and authentic local wineries! You can see the video here.

Tour DeVine, Wine, Cycling and Scenery at Northern Cross

Tour deVine Northern Cross Vineyard
Tour DeVine….A cycling tour of the wineries and vineyards of the Upper Hudson Wine Region

When: October 17, 2015

Time: 10:30 AM

Starting Vineyard: Amorici Vineyard

Enjoy a cycling tour of the Upper Hudson vineyards in Easton and Cambridge, NY.  A casual, 20 mile, fully-supported ride features wine tastings at four of the Upper Hudson vineyards and a catered, gourmet post-tour lunch at scenic Amorici Vineyards.  Post-ride lunch, ride leaders, course markings, mechanical & sag support, and scenic views are all included in your registration.  Vegetarian lunches are available!

Vineyards included in the Tour DeVine:

Amorici Vineyard

Victory View Vineyards

Natural Selection Farm Winery

Northern Cross Vineyard

Be there on October 17th for the Tour DeVine!

The Tour DeVine is limited to fifty registrants so, sign up today at BikeReg for cycling’s most beautiful autumn tour! 

Tour Devine Northern Cross Vineyard

BOGO Upper Hudson Valley Wine Trail Passport On Sale at Northern Cross

BOGO Upper Hudson Valley Wine Trail Passport are on sale now at Northern Cross Vineyard

Priced at $15, the BOGO Upper Hudson Valley Wine Trail Passport offers free tastings and 10% off of wine purchases at 14 member wineries. Here’s how it works: Present your passport at a member winery,  buy one wine tasting session at the regular price,* and get a second wine tasting for your companion for free. Passport holders also enjoy 10% discounts on wine purchases**

Supplies of the BOGO Upper Hudson Valley Wine Trail Passport are limited, so buy yours today!

For more information about the BOGO Upper Hudson Valley Trail Passport, go here

* Wine tastings at Northern Cross are $6.00 when combined with other offers such as the BOGO Passport

**10% discount only applied to regularly priced wine.

Paint and Partake – Northern Cross Vineyard Wine Tasting at the Greenwich Free Library


Paint and Partake – Greenwich Free Library Hosts  a Wine Tasting and Art Class on March 20, 7:00-9:00

Done with winter? Celebrate the first day of spring with a wine tasting at the Greenwich Library and Northern Star Vineyard!
On Friday, March 20th at 7pm the Greenwich Free Library will be hosting a “Paint and Partake” fundraiser. Vintner Kathleen Reilly Weber of Northern Star Vineyard in Easton will provide the wine. The Greenwich Free Library will provide the materials and instruction. You will provide the talent and enthusiasm.

Enjoy a glass of local wine while you create your own painted masterpiece to take home with you at the end of the evening!
Cost is $35 for materials, instruction and snacks. Cash bar. All participants must be 21 or older.

Reservations are required, and spaces are limited. Please call the library at 692-7157 to reserve your spot, or for more information.

Learn more about the Greenwich Free Library and its programs by visiting the Library’s website at