Alsace Wine Information

Millbrook Vineyards, New York

Dateline: 08/30/99

The Vineyards

As Millbrook is one of the more well known wineries in the Hudson Valley, we'd tried to stop by last year during one of our tours of the area. We ran out of time and only just made it in by their closing hour. This time we left ourselves more time, and pulled up to their vineyards around 2pm.

Pinot Noir Indeed, the first thing you notice about Millbrook is their vineyards. You drive past rows and rows of gorgeous vineyards on your way up to the main tasting building - Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, all pruned in various styles.

You then see the gorgeous window which faces from the tasting room over this expanse of vines. You get a "Californian" sense of place - well laid out vineyards, a well run operation.

Bar That feeling is reinforced when you enter the building. There are regularly scheduled tours which fill up quite quickly, and a long, very intriguing art gallery on the top floor. The gallery has windows so you can look down on the barrels. The two tasting bars can be quite full with people unless you time it properly. We attempted to do so, but were overrun by a tour group and tasted with them instead.

The Tasting

Millbrook has quite a few wines they produce. We started with the Tocai Friulano. This is aged in stainless steel, and has a light, brisk taste to it. It's very crisp, with gentle fruit flavor.

Next was a pair of Chardonnays. The first, the 1997 Chardonnay, is aged 40% in French oak and 60% American. The results are blended together into this wine - a bit buttery, with a light oak flavor and a long finish. The second Chardonnay was the Proprietor's Reserve Special 1997 Chardonnay, done in 80% French and 20% Americna oak. This one was buttery smooth, with a gentle, light finish, again of butter.

The guides, who were both new to the job but answered most questions with ease, pointed out here that Millbrook had pioneered the use of "goblet" trellising, where the vine comes up from a single point, the branches out to either side in a goblet shape. This allows air to get in and cool the vine system.

Pinot Noir Next we moved into the reds. The 1997 Pinot Noir came from a Central Coast, California vineyard - they ship the grapes here and do the rest on site. This had a sharp, fruity, tannic flavor to it, and a raspberry nose.

The 1997 Merlot was also from California, and was fresh and fruity. The Cabernet Franc was really a blend of 85% Cab Franc and 15% Merlot. This 1996 vintage was brisk, with a fresh, fruity flavor. The 1996 Cabernet Sauvignon had a delicious smell, with peper, again fresh fruit flavors.

The final wine we tried was the Hunt County Red, a typical Bordeaux blend. This was 55% Merlot, 25% Cab Sauvignon, and 20% Cab Franc. This did taste much like a Bordeaux, full, smoky, tobaccoey, and fruity all at once.

We went out back to wander in the vineyards, and got some good pictures of the grapes growing on the vines. They also have a small grill/restaurant under a tent to feed people, so this is a great picnic spot. It is much larger than the other nearby wineries - you're talking to recently hired tour guides instead of the actual winemaker, but the variety of wines produced is larger, and the place more elegant.

Be sure to check out the The Millbrook Winery Photo Album to see more photos and to learn more tidbits about this Californian-style winery.

All content on the WineIntro website is personally written by author and wine enthusiast Lisa Shea. WineIntro explores the delicious variety and beautiful history which makes up our world of wine! Lisa loves supporting local wineries and encouraging people to drink whatever they like. We all have different taste buds, and that makes our world wonderful. Always drink responsibly.