Sample fine local wines at Bounty of the Hudson

Sisters Cindy Spies and Sheri London with Tom Spies and Mark Lawson at a previous Bounty of the Hudson at Whitecliff Vineyards. (Photo by Lauren Thomas)

The 80-mile-long Shawangunk Wine Trail that runs from New Paltz at its northernmost point down to Warwick in Orange County encompasses 13 Hudson Valley wineries. Every year they get together in one place to put on the Bounty of the Hudson Wine & Food Festival, a wine-tasting event that allows side-by-side samplings of the region’s best. The 23rd annual event will be held on Saturday, June 16 from noon to 5 p.m. at the Ulster County Fairgrounds. 

Those who have enjoyed Bounty of the Hudson over a weekend in years past will want to note that the event takes place on one day only this year. 

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The festival showcases the wines produced by the 13 wineries of the Shawangunk Wine Trail along with vintages from several other select regional wineries. Also in the mix – for the first time – will be spirits and hard cider from local distilleries and cider producers.

According to Jude DeFalco, operations manager of the Shawangunk Wine Trail, many of the festival attendees are repeat visitors who come back year after year. “And if you’re just discovering the Wine Trail,” he says, “it’s the best time to come out and try all the great wines that are produced right here in the Hudson Valley.”

Prior to last year, the annual event was hosted by one of the member wineries in rotation. But the logistics of moving the festival to a different vineyard each time and the need for sufficient space to hold the event – not to mention restrooms and adequate parking – inspired the move to the spacious fairgrounds on Libertyville Road in New Paltz, against the scenic backdrop of the Gunks with plenty of free parking available.

Last year’s inaugural “Bounty” at the fairgrounds was a big success, DeFalco says, comfortable for both visitors and vendors used to the site. “In moving the festival, it was the obvious choice, really.”

Live music will add ambience to the day, performed throughout the festival by Payne’s Grey Sky, a traditional American roots rock band. Attendees can try their hand at a game of Giant Jenga or a Corn Hole bean bag toss, and artisanal handcrafts and fine prepared foods will be available in the Bounty Marketplace.

The members of the Shawangunk Wine Trail are Applewood Winery, Baldwin Vineyards, Benmarl Winery, Brimstone Hill Vineyard, Brotherhood Winery, Clearview Vineyard, Demarest Hill Winery & Distillery, Glorie Farm Winery, Palaia Winery, Robibero Winery, Stoutridge Vineyard, Warwick Winery & Distillery and Whitecliff Vineyard & Winery.

Additional regional wineries offering tastings will be Freefall Sangria / Liquid Altitude, Hudson-Chatham Winery, Milea Estate Vineyard and Pazdar Winery. Distilleries and hard cider producers on hand include 1857 Spirits Barber’s Farm Distillery, Hillrock Estate Distillery, KAS Spirits LLC, Olde York Farm Distiller, Angry Orchard, Doc’s Hard Apple Cider and Naked Flock Hard Cider. 

Everything sampled will be available for purchase by the bottle.

The food trucks and vendors at the event will be Allan’s Falafel Café, Grand Mango Caribbean Catering, Martinelli’s Wood-Fired Pizza, Noshi’s Coney Island and Smokin’ Grate BBQ.

Advance tickets (purchased before midnight on Friday, June 15) cost $35 ($40.33 per person adding in the sales tax and ticket broker fees). Admission includes a Shawangunk Wine Trail souvenir wineglass and a sampling at each of the attending wineries, distilleries and cider producers. Designated driver/non-drinking tickets are also available in advance online for $15 ($18.19 with sales tax and fees included). Ticket prices at the gate on the day of the event will be $40, or $25 for veterans, active duty service members and emergency rescue personnel (with ID). 

New this year is a VIP option for $100 (plus $4.49 ticket broker fee), which provides early admission at 11 a.m., the tasting glass and a lanyard wine glass holder, exclusive tastings only offered to VIPs, free bottled water throughout the day, a 2019 Hudson Valley Wine Tasting Passport and a chance to win admission to one of several other events sponsored by the member wineries. 

The event will go on rain or shine, and the fairgrounds are a no-smoking, no-pet venue. And keep in mind, those looking for a family activity will not find a bouncy castle in sight: this event is for adults age 21 or older only. Those under age 21 will not be admitted. 

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit https://www.bountyofthehudson.com/.

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