Hudson Valley Wineries Look to Make Their Mark with Cabernet Franc
June 5, 2018, NYup.com
By Don Cazentre
When you think of California wine, you might think of Cab — Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s a red that helped put the Golden State on the world wine map in the 20th century.
A group of Upstate New York wineries wants you to think of “Cab” when you think of wines from the Hudson Valley.
In this case, the wine, and the grape, is Cabernet Franc.
Like Cabernet Sauvignon, Cab Franc has its origins in France. The two Cabs, plus Merlot, are the primary grapes used in the famous blended red wines made in the Bordeaux region of France.
The Hudson Valley Cabernet Franc Coalition began promoting Cabernet Franc as the region’s signature wine in 2016. The idea was to make it as identifiable with the Hudson Valley as, say, Riesling, a white, is identifiable with the Finger Lakes.
Now, the coalition’s member wineries are hoping to expand their marketing with a new distinctive seal on the bottle.
The seal, which features the image of a soaring hawk, “guarantees” that 85 percent of the grapes used in the wine are grown in the Hudson Valley and that the wine has been aged for at least 12 months.
“The hawk icon symbolizes the unified commitment of Coalition members to grow and produce Cabernet Franc wines that capture the region’s terroir in every sip,” the group said in a news release.
“We hope that when wine lovers see this new sticker on a bottle, they will recognize that it represents the best that the Hudson Valley has to offer,” said Doug Glorie, president of the coalition and co-owner at Glorie Farm Winery in Marlboro, Ulster County.
The Cabernet Franc grape is considered one of the most winter-hardy of the red vinifera grapes that produce the fine wines of Europe. It’s also grown throughout the Finger Lakes, used on its own and in blends.
The climate and soils of the Hudson Valley are suited to producing both “big and complex” Cab Franc wines and lighter bodied versions like those in France’s Loire Valley, the coalition’s web site says.
The site also describes Cab Franc as having the “welcoming presence of soft earth, cigar box, and light chocolate.”
“Wines produced from Cabernet Franc tend to be more herbaceous, lower in tannin, and lighter in color than Cabernet Sauvignon,” the site continues, “and have colors of purple and light ruby, as opposed to Cabernet Sauvignon’s darker hues.”
In addition to appearing on bottles of Cab Franc wine produced in the Hudson Valley, the new seal will be used for a larger marketing campaign that includes vineyard signs, window decals, event signs and promotional postcards.
The seal — and the wines — will be featured during the coalition’s second annual Hudson Valley Cabernet Franc Week (November 27 to December 4, 2018). It will include tasting events across the region.
The coalition’s member wineries include: Fjord Vineyards near Marlboro, Glorie Farm Winery in Marlboro, Milea Estate Vineyard in Staatsburg, Millbrook Vineyards & Winery in Millbrook, Nostrano Vineyards in Milton, Robibero Winery in New Paltz, Tousey Winery in Germantown, and Whitecliff Vineyard in Gardiner.
Don Cazentre writes about craft beer, wine, spirits and beverages for NYup.com, syracuse.com and The Post-Standard. Reach him at email@example.com, or follow him at NYup.com, on Twitter or Facebook.