Whitecliff Vineyard, in Gardiner, broke new ground for the region’s wine industry last week when co-owner Michael Migliore was singled out to receive the New York State Wine and Grape Foundation’s 2015 Grower of the Year award. This is particularly significant because the bulk of the state’s acreage of wine grapes is in the Finger Lakes and Long Island.
Migliore’s award recognizes his work on Whitecliff’s 26-acre home vineyard, but also more widely in the Hudson Valley. At Whitecliff he has worked over more than three decades to establish a vineyard on former dairy land. Through tireless experimentation he has found grape varieties that survive the cold and also produce high quality wine. Noteworthy successes are Traminette, a cold-hardy hybrid developed at Cornell for which Whitecliff has received multiple gold medals at the prestigious San Francisco International Wine Competition. Also Gamay Noir, a grape commonly associated with the Beaujolais region of France, has been a success at the Gardiner Vineyard: Whitecliff just received a coveted 90 point rating for its Gamay in the December issue of Wine Enthusiast magazine.
Whitecliff is a 15-year-old 7,000 case family-owned winery that has been increasingly recognized for producing fine wine. In 2010 its Riesling was awarded a Double Gold and Best White in Show over 1,300 entries from all over the world at the San Francisco International Wine Competition, and in 2011 its Reserve Chardonnay and Awosting White each won Best in Category at the Atlantic Seaboard Competition.
Whitecliff is located at 331 McKinstry Road in Gardiner. Further information is available online at www.whitecliffwine.com.