Author: by J. Stephen Casscles
Foreword: By Kevin Zraly
Preface: By Eric Miller and Carlo DeVito
First Edition Release Date: June 2015
Second Edition Release Date: April 2023
Softcover: 344 pages + color insert
Size: 8” x 10”
Published By: Flint Mine Press
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. The updated Second Edition expands the region to include nineteenth century New England grape breeders and heritage varietals.
J. Stephen Casscles enthusiastically shares his first-hand knowledge both in the vineyard and in the cellar to appeal to vineyardists and wine drinkers everywhere who enjoy the cold-weather grape varietals that are gaining popularity today.
GRAPES OF THE HUDSON VALLEY is a practical guide for those who have an affinity for hybrid grapes and wines. Casscles enthusiastically shares his first-hand knowledge both in the vineyard and in the cellar to provide insight into the age-old vinifera vs. hybrid debate. His grape descriptions cover the common labrusca and French-American hybrids popular in northern America, as well as some forgotten varieties, and even vinifera, that can be successfully grown east of the Mississippi and north of the Mason-Dixon Line.
The new, updated Second Edition features nineteenth century New England grape breeders and varietals, and presents key information on winter hardiness, vigor, fruit productivity, and wine quality. It features little-known grapes which continue to be used to develop new grape hybrids today, such as the E. S. Rogers hybrids – Agawam, Salem, Massasoit, Lindley, and Wilder – and grapes bred by other lesser-known New England breeders, such as Ephraim Bull, Captain Moore, Diana Crehore (one of the few women grape breeders in the U.S.). The author cultivates these and over 110 rare heritage French-American hybrids and 19th-century heritage grape varieties from the Hudson Valley on his farm in Athens, NY.
The Second Edition also includes include new research about the genetic ancestry of several grape varieties. The book is richly illustrated with historical images, maps, charts, and photographs with foreword by Kevin Zraly, and prefaces by Eric Miller and Carlo DeVito.
Grapes of the Hudson Valley is a valuable companion for budding vineyardists, seasoned growers, and wine makers who share cool climates and short growing seasons. It will also appeal to wine drinkers everywhere who enjoy cold-weather grape varietals, properly fermented and in their glass.
Steve Casscles comes from a fruit-growing family rooted in the Hudson Valley since the 1870s. Casscles’s own fruit-growing experience began in the 1970s, when he also produced his first wines. In 1990, he established a four-acre vineyard, Cedar Cliff, in Athens, NY, where he concentrates on growing, evaluating, and propagating heritage grape varieties that were first developed in New York and New England in the mid-nineteenth century. In the New York State Senate, Casscles authored more than twenty-five laws to promote the production, distribution, and sale of wine, spirits, beer, and cider. He was the winemaker at Hudson-Chatham Winery from 2008 to 2020. Currently, he lectures on horticulture and history throughout the Northeast.
A MUST HAVE for the complete winemaker’s library! A great resource for SOMMs as well! — Carlo DeVito, East Coast Wineries
This second edition unlocks the fascinating stories and lesser-known agricultural traditions of our New England region. Here in Salem, Massachusetts, this book has us looking at our museum’s grape arbors with fresh eyes and new insights. — Robin Pydynkowski, Peabody Essex Museum, MA
Stephen Casscles has blended his own biography with those of early French grape breeders and their Vitis children. Grapes of the Hudson Valley clearly comes from someone with first-hand experience in the field, in the glass, and in the library with his subjects. — Lucie Morton, Viticulturist, VA
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, author, The Wines of Eastern Europe Associate Professor, Global Wine Studies, Central Washington University, WA, retired
A “must-read” for anyone interested in growing grapes in the Hudson Valley or just learning about planting grapes in a difficult environment. — César Baeza, consulting enologist, Baeza Wine Connection winemaster, Brotherhood, America’s Oldest Winery, retired
IN THE NEWS
Reviews and interviews
J. Stephen Casscles
by Kevin Zraly
by Eric Miller and Carlo DeVito
344 pages + color insert
8” x 10”
Flint Mine Press