Friday, June 13, 2014

Capoccia Vineyards - A Touch of Italy in the Upper Hudson Valley (NY)

So recently, I was at A Taste of Upstate Wine Festival 2014 in Saratoga. And one of the many producers from the Upper Hudson Valley region that I finally got to meet were the folks from Capoccia Vineyards and Winery.
Capoccia Vineyards & Winery is owned by Domenic Capoccia, a mason by trade and owner of Northeastern Contracting. He runs it with sons Nick, 21; Justin, 18; and Michael, 15. The tasting room and store, located on the family’s residential property in Niskayuna, sells seven varieties of wine, all made from New York grapes. Three grape varietals are grown on three acres on the property; the remainder the family picks themselves in the Finger Lakes and bring back home for processing. The Capoccia family has been making wine for generations. Their family's roots in Italy's Lazio region influence every bottle the Capoccias make. Wine has been a passion of theirs for centuries. 
Traminette is a relatively new hybrid grapes based on Guewztraminer. The two grapes share many, many characteristics. In less talented hands, Traminette can be a clunky, clumsy wine, thick and sweet....and awful. However, Capoccia's Traminette exhibits all the best characteristics of the varietal wine. It has all the floral nose of the Gewurtztraminr, and this one, had a nice bright acidity which made it lovely. Off-dry, it was light, bright and zesty, with a citrusy ending, which helped take some of the edge off the sweetness, which helps feature the fruit. A lovely wine.

The Capoccia Riesling 2012 was also a nice surprise. A lovely, light bright white with classic varietal lots of tropical fruit, green apple, and hints of citrus. A lovely, well balanced wine as well.
Noiret is a hybrid grape variety for use in red wine production. It was developed and named by Cornell University researchers working at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, and was officially released on July 7, 2006.
Noiret is the result of a cross between the earlier hybrids NY65.0467.08 and Steuben in 1973; the predominant ancestors for these hybrids are Vitis labrusca varieties native to the northeastern region of North America and Vitis vinifera varieties, which are the classic European wine grapes. Noiret ripens mid-season, and according to Professor Bruce Reisch of Cornell, its wines "are free of the hybrid aromas typical of many other red hybrid grapes. The distinctive red wine is richly colored and has notes of green and black pepper, with raspberry and mint aromas, and a fine tannin structure."
I must say of all the wines, I thought Domenic's Noiret was a genuine surprise.I have not had a great many good Noirets. The grape is still relatively new, and winemakers are still experimenting with different techniques to perfect a classic varietal wine. I strongly suggest they all call Domenic and he hold a clinic.
Domenic's Noiret was a red medium-bodied red wine with hints of purple. The wine had flavors of black cherry and raspberry, with low to moderate tannins. Highly drinkable, it was nicely balanced and well crafted.  Seemingly nuanced by its maker, there was something indescribably Italian about it. It reminded me of a good Sicilian red (I have no idea where Domenic comes from...just thinking of a wine that it might share characteristics with). A lovely wine to sip with cheese or have with dinner. One of the best Noirets I have had.
The wines at Cappocia are good! They are a winery looking to make quality wines in the Upper Hudson Valley. Go there and check them out!!! A great addition to the Hudson Valley!