Sunday, November 06, 2011


Includes Reporting by Debbie Gioquindo

There’s a wonderful scene in Annie Hall when Alvie (Woody Allen’s character) as a young boys is sitting with his mother in the doctor’s office. The Doctor is asking Alvie what’s bothering the young boy.

“The Universe is expanding…” says the perturbed young boy.

“What does that matter?!. We live in Brooklyn! Brooklyn is not expanding!” yells the vexed mother.

But indeed, the Hudson Valley is expanding. Five wineries in the last 9 mos have begun major expansions, to help handle the growing demand for Hudson Valley wine. And the biggest evidence of that is watching five quality fine wine producers begin major expansions.

Whitecliff Vineyards
The first and foremost (because it is nearly done) is that of Whitecliff. Whitecliff is owned by Michael and Yancey Migliore. The winery is nearing its tenth year of operation, and to celebrate, they built a new, state of the art winery, complete with geothermal heating, offices, and enough space to do custom crushing.

According to Debbie Gioquindo, Michael Migliore, owner/winemaker said they outgrew their original space and needed to build a new winemaking facility to handle the capacity to be able to grow. "Three years ago we were a 3000 case winery, now we are a 5500 case winery and growing. Not only do we do our own, this enables us to do custom crush and make wine for other facilities," Michael told Debbie, the Hudson Valley Wine Goddess.

“Geo-Thermal in layman terms - 8 feet below the surface is a constant 55 degrees. Long tubes are put 8 feet underground that go out into the field horizontally and back into the winery in a loop,” wrote Debbie. “ Glycol is pumped through the pipes to maintain a 50 degree temperature. Upon return the glycol is and put through the heat exchanger to heat or cool the water that is then pumped through the winery floor. This regulates the temperature in the winery. This was their first harvest in the new winery.”

"It was so nice to have the space and the room,” said Michael. “and to be able to increase capacity. We had tons of room to process grapes more than we had before. It was so nice to be able to process inside when weather was bad."

Brotherhood Winery

Brotherhood Winery is America’s oldest winery, located in Washingtonville, NY. Brotherhood is one of the largest wineries in the Hudson Valley, or the state in for that matter. Their new construction will almost double there already massive capacity. There are six 5,000 gallon tanks. Then there are two more that hold even more wine! This is additional capacity on the massive gallonage they already produce. Construction continued in mid-October with the pouring of the footings in the winemaking facilities.

This is major news in the valley. The event in and of itself was so large that Bortherhood and their construction company invited guests to the groundbreaking.

Tousey just recently unveiled their revised and expanded winemaking facilities the other evening. Tousey is new to the Hudson Valley winemaking scene, but the new facilities and equipment make them an immediate player in the Hudson Valley fine wine scene.

New shining stainless steel tanks, new machinery, and tons of new flex tanks show that the winemaker has more than tripled in size in the last year-and-a-half.

Bashakill Vineyards
Paul Denino of Bashakill Vineyards is now he in the midst of building his wine cave which will be 40 feet deep, 16 feet wine and 9 feet high when complete. “There will be room for 20 - 25 barrels and a tasting bar when complete,” wrot Debbie. “Paul is looking forward to bringing his red wines to a new level by aging them in the cave. Note: This year Paul's Cabernet Franc called Black Bear won a Double Gold and best red wine in the Hudson Valley Wine Competition.”

Hudson-Chatham Winery
Hudson-Chatham Winery, after a prolonged five month long delay with red tape and planning officials, is now about to double its capacity, adding 22 x 22 foot expansion, as well as adding another separate building (added barrel room capacity), to double is winemaking capacity, and allowing for extra retail space in its retail area as well. The new buildings will house several new tanks and new winemaking equipment.

All this activity augers well for the Hudson Valley and for the demand for the quality wines of the Hudson Valley.

For expanded coverage please see the following posts by Debbie Gioquindo:
His Building / Her Building - Whitecliff's New Winery
Bashakill Vineyards Building a Cave

Brotherhood Winery: Expansion of the winemaking facility