Black Dome Press

Grapes of the Hudson Valley



and Other Cool Climate Regions of the United States and Canada

by J. Stephen Casscles

published by Flint Mine Press

softcover: 8"x10"

272 pages with photographs and illustrations, color photo insert

ISBN: 9780982520833, $ 29.99

New York’s Hudson Valley has long been known as the birthplace of American viticulture, with roots dating to the 1600s. For centuries, the region’s terroir has tested both viticulturalist and wine maker alike, spawning advances in cold-weather breeding, grape growing, and winemaking techniques. GRAPES OF THE HUDSON VALLEY provides insight into cold-climate growing and winemaking with first-hand knowledge by the region’s top expert.

            This easy-to-use reference guide includes descriptions of more than 150 hybrid grapes and wines, uniquely presented by hybridizer, with bios and photos. Rather than presenting grapes in typical alphabetical order, the book offers relevant insight into the breeder’s methodology and purpose.

            Detailed grape descriptions cover the common labrusca and French- American hybrids popular in northern America, as well as some forgotten varieties and vinifera that can be successfully grown east of the Mississippi and north of the Mason-Dixon Line.

            With 30+ years of practical experience both in the vineyard and in the cellar, Casscles provides key information on winter hardiness, vigor, fruit productivity, and wine quality. This definitive guide includes recommendations on what grape varietals will thrive; the styles of wine the grapes will produce; and basic winemaking and vineyard management techniques for cold-climate growing.

            GRAPES OF THE HUDSON VALLEY is a valuable companion for budding vineyardists, seasoned growers and wine makers. It also appeals to wine drinkers everywhere who enjoy cold-weather grape varietals, properly fermented and in their glass.



   Symbols to rate the hardiness, disease resistance, productivity, vigor, and wine quality of each grape, for easy, at-a-glance reference

   Major and minor grape varieties presented by hybridizer, with full parentage of each grape

   A history of Hudson Valley viticulture, and biographies of hybridizers with photos

   Sections on the origins of hybrid viticulture, including French, Geneva, Minnesota, labrusca and vinifera hybrids

   Diagrams on pruning methods, map of hardiness zones and fruit-growing areas

   Color insert with photos of grape varietals

   High-quality, restored historic photos, maps, labels, and illustrations

   Index to grape varieties, bibliography

About the Author: J. STEPHEN CASSCLES comes from a fruit-growing family rooted in the Hudson Valley since the 1870s. Casscles’s 30+ years experience with grapes began in Middle Hope and Marlboro, New York, in the 1970s, when he planted his first vineyard and produced wines as a home winemaker. For more than a decade, he worked on and off at Benmarl Winery, which claims title to the country’s oldest professional vineyard. In 1990, Casscles established a four-acre vineyard called Cedar Cliff, in Athens, New York, where he has concentrated on identifying, growing, evaluating, and propagating heirloom grape varieties that were first developed in New York in the mid-nineteenth century.


“An excellent history of viticulture in the northeast United States, as well as an outstanding guide to most hybrid grape varieties that have succeeded in this sometimes inhospitable environment, Grapes of the Hudson Valley provides excellent reading not just for grape growers, but for eastern American wine lovers in general.” JOHN E. HUDELSON, associate professor, Global Wine Studies, Central Washington University

“A ‘must read’ for anyone interested in growing grapes in the Hudson Valley or just learning about planting grapes in a difficult environment. What Stephen Casscles puts forth here is a real hands-on manual with information well-researched and tested for aspiring viticulturists. CÉSAR BAEZA, consulting enologist, part-owner Brotherhood, America’s Oldest Winery, N.Y.

“It’s rare to see a book related to wine cover brand new territory, but this is exactly what Stephen Casscles does in Grapes of the Hudson Valley. Nowhere are these grapes more important to the local wine industry than in the Northeast, and Casscles gives them the respect and breadth of analysis that they deserve. A must-read for anyone looking to produce wine in a cool climate or just interested in what makes our region of the world so unique. Bravo!" RICHARD OLSEN-HARBICH, winemaker, Bedell Cellars, Long Island, N.Y.

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This product was added to our catalog on Wednesday 21 October, 2015.

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