wine trail passportLooking for a unique gift? Why not surprise your adventuresome friends and relatives with a reason to explore the Upper Hudson Valley region in every season. The Upper Hudson Valley Wine Trail Passport provides free wine tastings at 12 diverse wineries along the Upper Hudson Valley Wine Trail and entitles the holder to various discounts and exclusive offers from area wineries, restaurants, specialty shops, and more.

The passport is good for one year from the date of purchase. Recipients have the option to enjoy your gift throughout the year, or make an event of it and spend a day, a weekend, or many weekends exploring Upstate New York’s wineries, shops and local attractions.

The Upper Hudson Valley Wine Trail Passport is incredibly affordable at just $30, but includes more than $400 in exclusive deals and offers.  It’s the perfect autumn gift for the back-road traveler, the adventurer, the wine lover on your shopping list!

The Upper Hudson Valley Wine and Grape Association welcomes new members, Galway Rock Wines and Halfmoon Cellars, to the Upper Hudson Valley Wine Trail!

galway rockGalway Rock Wines is a family-owned farm winery nestled in the foothills of the Adirondacks near Saratoga Springs. The inspiration for Galway Rock came from the French Garagiste movement, in which a group of small-scale winemakers began handcrafting unique styles of wine they called garage wines. In this spirit, Kate and Ryan Taylor have built a small winery out of their garage. It is here that they unleash their collective passion and talents to create truly handcrafted wines.

Kate and Ryan’s attention to detail, coupled with a renegade attitude, translates to the vineyard, as well. As a small farm winery, Galway Rock takes pride in their estate grown grapes and supports other growers located in the Finger Lakes, Hudson Valley, and Long Island wine regions. In addition to relying on old world viticultural techniques to grow fruit worthy of fine wine, Galway Rock is also revolutionizing viticulture by employing innovative hydroponic technology in its vineyards. These advances will serve to both increase vineyard holdings as well as open up the North County to grape varietals not yet suited to our climate.

Galway Rock wines can be swirled at the Ballston Spa Farmer’s Market, the Spa City Farmer’s Market, and area retail outlets and restaurants. Galway Rock serves up four wines for its initial vintage – Chardonnay-Reisling, Rock Slide, Merlot, and Falling Rock.

halfmoon bottles_02Halfmoon Cellars vintners, Alison Bauder and John Reyes, take great pride in the wines they produce and are excited to present their wines to the area. They wanted to bring the very best fruit they could find to New York’s Capital Region and create great wines that would stand out. In order to ensure the quality of fruit that goes into their wines they recently traveled to California, the source of their grapes, to test them themselves. They met with the vineyard owner and his family to see how the grapes were grown.

The opening of Halfmoon Cellars is the culmination of many years of wine-making. In July, Alison and John opened their first tasting room in Saratoga Springs so they could introduce their wines to the area. Halfmoon’s wines include a full bodied Cabernet Sauvignon, a velvety Merlot, a buttery chardonnay and a refreshing Riesling that pairs well with a slice of good cheese and many other foods. They offer wine tasting as well as cheese and chocolate pairings. The cheeses and chocolate were chosen to complement the unique flavors of each wine. Stop by their tasting room at 24 Caroline Street to sample, and pick up a bottle of their wine.

Check out these new wines when you travel the Upper Hudson Valley Wine Trail!