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Whitecliff Vineyard
by
K.L. Sullivan

Whitecliff VineyardSummary: Whitecliff Vineyard focuses on dry European-style wines. For the owners, Yancey and Michael Migliore, producing wine that pairs well with food is important. Visitors to the region’s fine restaurants will often find Whitecliff’s wines on their wine list. The Migliores are involved in the local eat and drink movement. The winery has a lovely deck on which to enjoy a glass or bottle of wine and enjoy the vista of the Whitecliffs.

Arriving at Whitecliff Vineyard, we walked past a small pond and around the building to the front of the tasting room. A large deck is located here, where visitors can enjoy a glass of wine. The early April fog was just beginning to lift unvailing the white cliffs in the distance. Inside we were delighted to find large windows overlooking oak barrels and stainless steel tanks.

Whitecliff VineyardAn enjoyment of producing their own wine led the Migliores to producing wines commercially. Michael’s grandfather made wine. The winery opened in 1999. Today Whitecliff Vineyards has 26 acres of grapes with more than 20 varietals. Some of these include Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Noiret and Gamay Noir. While they know many of the grapes that grow well in the region, they continue to experiment to see what grows well. At the time of our early April visit, the pruned vines were awaiting warmer weather. Whitecliff Vineyard produces 3,000 cases of wine and sells from their tasting room and also distribute to local restaurants and liquor stores.

We enjoyed our visit with Charlotte Roncone, tasting room manager. While tasting wines be sure to enjoy the lovely deck that looks out to the Whitecliffs in the distance. At the tasting counter, we tasted several wines while enjoying watching the clouds lift from the Whitecliffs in the distance. The tasting began with the Chardonnay. The Reserve Chardonnay 2007 is an estate wine aged for seven months in American oak. The aroma offered nuances of vanilla and oak. The taste was of melon with slight apple nuances. The wine finished with oak tones.

Whitecliff VineyardWhitecliff VineyardPinot Noir 2007, estate bottled, offered an aroma and taste of light strawberries. The finish was lively with acid on the finish. The wine was crisp with a slight lingering on the aftertaste. Gamay Noir 2007 had an aroma of red fruit - strawberry and raspberry. The taste was light and fruity. The wine finished with fruit and a hint of earthiness. Merlot 2007 was a blend of 75 percent estate grapes and 25 percent grapes from Long Island. The color was a dark purple-red. The aroma had nuances of cherry and cocoa while the taste was of cherries. The wine finished with tannins and fruit. Sky Island Red 2007 was a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec. It was a translucent red-garnet color. The aroma and taste offered dark fruit and spices. The wine finished with layers of fruit and spices with mild tannins.

While visiting enjoy browsing gourmet foods that include Belgian Chocolate, American Vintage Wine Biscuits, jellies, sweet mustard and Bleu cheese straws. Several prints by Tom Ligamari decorate the walls and are available for sale.

Whitecliff VineyardWhitecliff Vineyard is located between Albany and New York City. A trip to the winery from either city is only one and a half hours away and easy to locate. Consider attending one of Whitecliff’s events. While in the area, be sure to enjoy the region’s local produce in season.

Whitecliff Vineyards
331 Mckinstry Rd.
Gardiner, NY 12525

GPS: N41º 41.201’ W74º 11.919’

 

 


 

 

 


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