Photos by Lauren Thomas
Thousands of food and wine enthusiasts flocked to the Shawangunk Wine Trail’s 18th annual Bounty of the Hudson this past weekend at the Whitecliff Winery in Gardiner. The annual gathering featured wine tastings from the wineries on the Shawangunk Wine Trail, epicurean delights, farm-fresh produce and music.
“It’s been very busy,” said Tristan Migliore, the son of Whitecliff owners Yancey and Michael Migliore. “We had over 1,000 tickets that were pre-sold and we’ve had half as many just walk in and purchase tickets and it’s only Saturday in the early afternoon!”
White tents were spread throughout the field that bordered the vineyards and there were dozens of Hudson Valley wineries offering tastes of their signature beverages, all poured into Shawangunk Wine Trail souvenir glasses.
Local farm vendors offered a plethora of fresh produce, eggs and poultry, grass-fed beef and a variety of handcrafted cheeses, olive oil, sauces and more.
Mary and Chris Merenda of East Fishkill were enjoying samples in the wine tent with friends. “We’ve attended the Bounty and other Shawangunk Wine Trail events in the past and we just love it,” said Mary. “We’re huge fans of the Whitecliff Awosting White wine,” she said. “What’s not to love about this? It’s beautiful, there’s great wine, great views and fantastic goat cheese [from Acorn Hill Farm].”
Chris said that he enjoyed sampling a Baco Noir, as well as a Raspberry Ruby dessert wine from the Hudson-Chatham Winery. “The Raspberry Ruby they make is delicious,” he said. “It’s like a port wine.”
Out in the field there were chairs, picnic blankets and tables set up for people to sit at and enjoy their food and wine and listen to a live jazz quartet. Childhood friends Sharon Lehr of Connecticut and Cherly Lovelace of Port Jervis teamed up with college friends Harriet Tolve and Wendy Crowell to relax, catch-up and enjoy the wine and bucolic scenery at the Bounty.
“We came to this last year when it was at the Applewood Winery and loved it,” said Lovelace.
“We all like wine and think it’s important to come out and support all of the amazing wines and wineries in the Hudson Valley,” said Tolve. “There are wonderful wines around the country, but people are starting to recognize how many phenomenal wines are being made right here in the State of New York!”
Lovelace said two of her favorite samples came from the Warwick Valley Winery. “Anywhere they go, I go!” she said. “I loved the Black Dirt Red and the Harvest Moon.”
“We love the Bounty,” said Christina Destefano, whose husband Fred Destefano makes Casa Del Caciocavallo cheese by hand. “The atmosphere is wonderful, the scenery stunning and everyone is here to have a good time. Sales are always great and the organizers do such a fantastic job. I love that it moves from winery to winery every year.”
As the jazz echoed through the fields and wine glasses were poised, people enjoyed each other’s company, the white-faced cliffs of the Shawangunk Mountains, and the delectable smorgasbord of delicacies that surrounded them.