Tuesday, December 15, 2009

ALTAMONT VINEYARD IN ALTAMONT, NY


At the Harvest Festival 2009 in Albany, NY. I met Mike DiCrecenzo of Altamont Vienyard.


I tried their Leon Millot. It was a very nice, medium bodied red. A very nice red table wine and a new winery in the Northern Hudson Valley. A nice new find! 12 miles east of Albany!


Here's an interview they did which I've reprinted here. They also make jams from the fruits they grow on the farm.


Altamont Vineyard & Winery
Q&A with Deborah Larned, Louis DiCrescenzo, and Mike DiCrescenzo

Where are you located?
We are located at 3001 Furbeck Road, Altamont, NY 12009. Take Settles Hill Road to Furbeck Road. Approximately 12 miles west from the end of I-87 on route 20, We are very close to Altamont Orchards.

What year did your business start?
We started reestablishing the vineyard and remodeling the winery in December of 2006. The vineyard had seen better days but we had faith that the vines were still fruitful and the location was one of a kind. In 2008, we formed Altamont Vineyard and Winery, focusing on the local supply of grapes and wines. Since that time, we have produced approximately 30 tons of grapes and roughly 1200 cases of wine to be sold. We are very lucky to be able to represent the local community and Albany County as it’s first and only vineyard and winery. We have found our neighbors appreciate seeing the vineyard being managed after many years sitting unattended.

What kind of wines do you sell?
We produce and bottle wines made from hybrid grapes grown on the premises. The grapes planted have been developed to sustain the cold-harsh winters and wet-humid summers. Vines were planted starting in 1981 to 1996 as experiments by Larry Grossi, who opened Larry’s Vineyard and Farm Winery in 1988. We have a white wine resembling a Riesling called Edelweiss, which Larry also made and is still very popular, and St. Pepin, a cold-hearty grape variety developed at the University of Minnesota by Elmer Swenson. We also have a Cabernet-style red called Passione, a blend of DeChaunac and St. Croix; a Burgundy-style red called Leon Millot; two sweet wines, Elefante and Spider’s Rose; two types of Cayuga White one of which is oak aged and Patience, a blend of white wine grapes featuring citrus and herbaceous tones.

Are all the wines made from grapes grown at your vineyard?
This year all our wines are made from grapes grown in our vineyard. We are currently working with Wagner Farms, a vineyard in Seneca Lake, to create more varieties for next year. We are in the process of making Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, Gewurztraminer, Chardonnay and Riesling. We have the red grapes hand-picked and white grapes mechanically picked, crushed and pressed for the highest quality.

Do you offer tastings and tours?
We offer free tastings Friday, Saturday, and Sunday noon to 5 pm or by appointment. Vineyard tours will start in May and winery tours are available by appointment.

When are you open?
The store is open Friday through Sunday noon to 5 p.m.

What are some of your biggest challenges?
We are at the mercy of Mother Nature, which is a huge challenge, especially as we try to reestablish a decades old vineyard to the health it should be. There are 23 different grape varieties in our vineyard, which all require a different kind of care. We’re a small operation with a limited budget. There are only three of us, so we all work long hours and depend on our friends and family, especially during harvest season.

What makes you keep at it?
Love of the land and it’s challenges. Living so close to nature and watching the vines grow each year makes it very rewarding. And to taste the wines evolve over the winter is quite fulfilling. Looking forward to see the reaction when patrons taste wines grown, produced, and bottled in their hometown. We invite you to taste our passion and visit before the holidays. Wine makes a great gift and being locally produced adds to the flavor.

Altamont Vineyard & Winery, LLC
Deborah Crawford
3001 Furbeck Road
Altamont, NY 12009355-8100