The relaxed attitude isn't the only thing out of the ordinary here. Show some interest and appreciation, get Stephen talking, and you'll discover that not only does Stoutridge not process or "fine" their wine with additions, but they sell all of it right here, right out of the winery. It's sustainably grown and processed, uber-organic and then sold hyperlocallycan you get more "locavore" than that? The details:
[Stoutridge] is built into a hillside and our wine cellars are underground to take advantage of the passive geothermal energy, we use entirely solar generated electricity and utilize waste heat off our stills to heat the building in the winter through a radiant heating system built into the floor.
We are a gravity winery, meaning we never use pumps or filters in our winemaking. In addition we do minimal chemical processing to our wines. We do not "fine" our wines with gelatins, tannins or clays. We do not add water or sugar nor do we chemically adjust the acidity of our wines. We use minimal sulfites in our wines and we do not add sulfites or sorbates to wine after they are made. The wines are very nearly unprocessed and in a very natural state.
Stephen's a bit of the mad scientist when it comes to wine; he designed the wine works here, he holds patents and he goes about everything in the most eco-friendly, sustainable and Hudson Valley-centered way possible. Wine geeks, serious chefs and those interested in homebrewing here find their golden
chalice bottle. Be sure to ask him how bats enter into the equation!
A standard tasting of two whites, two reds and a rose (or a specialty wine) costs $5 and you get to keep the souvenir glass, making it the best value of all three vineyards we visited.
Coming soon to Stoutridge: a distillery! That's right; eventually you'll able to come here to buy spirits also made from NY state-sourced grains, just as the wines come from NY state fruits.
Best time of the year to visit: We'd say anytime, but the area has a distinct appeal that we think would be best in early summer or late summer/early fall. You want to come to sit outside and smell the change of seasons over your glass of "Ann's Cask" red.
All year: Friday thru Sunday, 11am-6pm
The author in the barrel room