The Hudson River Valley is one of the New York's four main wine making
appellations (AVA). It is the closest to New York City and runs from about an hour drive north of town to the northern border of Columbia County 130 miles away and then off to the west and through the Catskills to end south in Orange County. The region has a long history of winemaking and lays claim to the country's oldest commercial vineyards as well as the oldest winery in continuous operation. Despite its long and great pedigree, the Hudson Valley is very much a newbie as a modern wine appellation. It lags behind the Finger Lakes and Long Island in development of broad production of high quality European style wines based on vinifera grapes. The Hudson is largely in the beginning of the conversion process from the old model of wines from native and hybrid varietals which were the backbone of the region's wine industry through the 19th and 20th centuries. This is changing and shows every reason for encouragement and optimism in the future of the region.