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You can’t talk about wine in the Hudson Valley without mentioning Millbrook Winery. Established in 1985 by John Dyson (of I Love NY fame), they are the crown jewel of wine making in the Hudson Valley, with their large offering of local NY wine, including their estate wines of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc and Tocai Friulano. Millbrook is the New York piece to a whole that is the Pebble Ridge Vineyards and Wine Estates; a group of vineyards owned by John and Kathe Dyson with the devotion of producing the finest wines of each of the vineyards growing regions. The four vineyards include Williams Selyem producing Pinot Noir in the Russian River Valley of California, Villa Pillo with Sangiovese, Merlot and Syrah in Tuscany Italy (with a 30 acre olive grove to boot) and Pebble Ridge Vineyard also in California.
With a list of property like that, Millbrook might start to seem like the less glamorous of the litter, until you visit. Millbrook sits atop a beautiful hill with a long view of Dutchess county. It is gorgeous and the wines are amazing. The care and attention that goes into each step of the process is impressive. They are working with the best of modern equipment to crush, ferment and age their wines for the best quality and taste.
I enjoyed a tasting which included their Tocai Fiulano Reserve with rich, tart fruit and a smooth finish. The Chardonay Reserve had a great full mouth feel and held the oak on the nose. Finally we finished with the Cabernet Franc which stood in stark contrast with its deep tannins, rich plum sweetness and lingering taste.
Of course all the wines taste even better when you’re standing in their loft gazing out their iconic window overlooking the vineyard and miles of trees and rolling hills.
All of Millbrooks portfolio is very strong, extremely drinkable and easy to fit onto a lunch or dinner menu. These are wines that would be obvious on menus with a local focus but are a great fit for Italian, seafood, new American or farm to table.