As some may have guessed, I am spending a good part of this summer in the Hudson Valley. It is an interesting experience for me. I went to camp here when I was a teenager and haven’t really been back since. I have discovered a vibrant food and wine scene that many others know well.
New Paltz, the town where I rented a house, is home to three really good wine stores: In Good Taste, Fox and Hound, and New Paltz Wines & Spirits. The staff at all three are very knowledgeable and helpful as well. The selections are much vaster than those at my local wine store on broadway.
I’ve hit a few milestones this summer: I did my first handstand in Yoga today after 25 years, I overcame my fear of sleeping in a house in the woods and I tried acupuncture and actually enjoyed it. All that pales with my first pleasurable encounter with a French-American hybrid, Seyval Blanc. It happened this weekend, much to my surprise. Lenn Thompson’s Appellation America gives great information on this and other interesting grapes. I went to visit the Whitecliff Vineyards winery and found that I liked two wines, Awosting White made with Seyval Blanc and Vignoles and Traminette 2007, a cross between Joannes Seyve 23.416 and Gewurztraminer. Wonders never cease. Perhaps it is the magical nature of the New Paltz area. Who knows. My Italian friends will probably say I have been away from Italy for too long.
Yesterday I was melting in the heat with a friend on 10th avenue when lo and behold I saw an apparition in the distance- Appellation NYC. I had been hoping to visit this wine store for a bit but had never gotten around to it. I wasn’t disappointed. Scott Pactor has created a truly different wine store which sells only organic and bio-dynamic wines. Bio-dyamic wines are wines made according to a specific philosophy and generally follow the teachings of Rudolf Steiner. Appellation also has a category called sustainable for wineries that are working towards organic certification but haven’t gotten there yet. Each wine is duly labeled. I truly enjoyed browsing through his selections which include many French wines and a variety of wines from all over the planet. Appellation carries a ribolla gialla from Josko Gravner, the well known Italian winemaker from Friuli. I met Gravner two years ago at a tasting in Monza, Italy. Gravner is famous in the wine world because he uses Clay Amphorae and large oak barrels to mature his wines. He had some interesting things to say about his own wine making and Californian wines. Seeing his wine in the store brought back memories of that tasting and Gravner’s ideas about winemaking. I will write more at length about Gravner in another post because this is a post about Appellation. Suffice it to say, I will making many trips to visit Appellation in the future. There is a whole world of wine waiting to be tasted. I’m looking forward to it.
http://www.appellationnyc.com on 156 tenth avenue NY, NY 10011