The new flavor of the month in the green-world seems to be “sustainability.” And so, on a rainy Sunday in October, almost 50 members of Temple Emanuel headed down 9W to Marlborough, NY, for a taste of the vino from NY’s first and only sustainable winery and (soon to be) distillery and to participate in the first of a series fundraising events.
Charming Stoutridge Vineyard sits on a hillside reputed to be the colonies’ oldest winery. What is certain is that the last alcoholic venture there, prior to chemist/winemakers Stephen Osborn and Kimberly Wagner take-over, ended with federal agents in tow.
Not to be out-gunned, Osborn and Wagner have plotted an ambitious future for their new property, already producing three whites and four reds with an additional foray into distilling, set for later this year.
It’s a future Osborn is happy to share with his listeners and visitors. He held forth for nearly an hour on the intricacies of building a sustainable wine-making business, with no pumps or filters (gravity instead), few sulfites and no chemicals or preservatives, while supporting the local growers and creating a product that actually has the flavor of the region. “I want the wine to taste like Quimby’s farm,” was the way he put it.
And when you consider that wine is often more about the story woven around a bottle than the bottle itself, Stoutridge has a promising future.
But what was most revealing and touching was Osborn’s admission that the vineyard can’t—in reality—be completely sustainable this year or next (read profitable) or even with his lifetime. But it will be.
Is it worth the effort?
Judging by the guests react to the three white and two reds he poured, most certainly.
Each of the delightful whites came with its own distinct flavor—of the vineyard of its origin according to Osborn. The reds were more complex and more difficult to characterize. They may be a work in progress.
The afternoon was topped off by an impromptu feast in the Stoutridge main hall, with the food catered by Bistro To Go and accompanied by more wine, needless to add.
What made this a successful event; the intimacy and interaction of a smaller crowd, relevant and interesting shared information, a two hour event (maybe a little more) and a chorus of folks asking, before they left, when’s the next visit to Stoutridge Vineyard.