Vineyard Grapes
Vineyard Photo

GREENDALE FARM


Brotherhood Winery’s Greendale Farm is located in the town of Hudson, in the heart of the Hudson Valley Region. The area is famed for its sweeping views of the Catskill Mountains and the Rip Van Winkle Bridge. It is also home to Olana, a Persian-style dream castle belonging to Hudson River School painter, Frederic Church.


The farm is on a one hundred acre plot of land that gradually slopes down towards the Hudson River, which allows for ideal drainage and wind flow for grape production. The nearby river also creates a microclimate on the farm that tempers the harsh and varied climactic conditions in New York.


Soil also plays a decisive role in the quality of our wines, giving them their basic characteristics. The soil in the Hudson River region is largely formed from glacial deposits of shale, slate, schist and limestone. The quality of the fruit is better, although yields are usually lower, on soils like this, limited in depth by hardpan, rocks or clay substrata. Less fertile soil such as this is especially good for growing premium quality Varietal grapes whereas American grapes such as Concord and Niagara cannot tolerate the limestone.


Growing grapes in New York is a challenge for any viticulturist. Proper choice of grape variety matched to the right rootstock, planting, pruning, training, protecting the vines from animals (ex. deer), birds, insects (ex. Japanese Beetles), disease (ex. mildew), is just the beginning.


To produce our Chardonnay varietal wine, a portion of the grapes in the vineyard are left on the vine to ripen further, causing the sugar content to increase while the acidity decreases, hence resulting in a wine with higher alcohol and lower acidity to give the balance required to be a dry, table wine. In this same manner, the Riesling grapes are picked mature to produce our award-winning Dry and Semi-Dry Rieslings. The difference takes place at the winery where we let the grapes ferment to dryness (all the sugar is converted into alcohol) where for the Semi-Dry Riesling we arrest the fermentation to produce a wine with a lower alcohol content with some residual sugar.


The Winemaster, in deciding when to harvest the Riesling, can make a late-harvest wine – that is, if the weather cooperates and allow the grapes to stay on the vine until late into the growing season, late November or December. And once in a while, as happened in 2009, the Riesling grapes are able to stay on the vine late into the season, concentrating their flavors and sugar content until their water content freezes with the first frost and then the inner concentration is squeezed out to make a coveted “Eiswein”, rich in sugar and aromas: the nectar of the Gods.


From our Pinot Noir grapes we can also make a champagne by picking the grapes early, the same as with the Chardonnay, but pressing off the red skins to produce a white sparkling wine out of red grapes. This is what we do for our Grand Monarque Champagne, which is composed of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes. For our red Pinot Noir varietal wine, we pick the grapes fully ripened and ferment the juice in contact with the skins. Pinot Noir, being one of our “star” products, is recognized as a difficult wine to make and is where our Winemaster has to use all his skills, beginning in the vineyard where the Pinot Noir is famous for being difficult to grow. This is one of our most awarded wines.


Just as Frederic Church was inspired by his surroundings to paint landscapes and build his dream home here, we are inspired to create wines that express these beautiful surroundings or as the French call it, this “terroir“. Brotherhood’s highly regarded wines such as our Rieslings (Dry, Semi-Dry and Eiswein), our Chardonnay (Blanc de Blancs Champagne & Chardonnay varietal wine) and our Pinot Noir (Grand Monarque Champagne and Pinot Noir varietal wine) are all the Winemaster‘s “masterpieces” from this vineyard overlooking the Hudson River.

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