Rural Intelligence: The Online Magazine for Eastern New York, Western Connecticut and the Southern Berkshires
Monday, July 23, 2018
 
Search Archives:
Newsletters Signup
Close it
Get The New App!


Newsletters Signup
Close it

RI Archives: Rural Road Trips

View past Excursions articles.

View all past Rural Road Trip articles.


RI on Facebook    RI on Instagram       

Rural Intelligence

3 Apps Filler Ad

Why You Should Tiptoe Through The WAA Sculpture Walk

Cornelia Kubler Kavanagh, “Wave Form V,” painted bronze, 2014 – 2017.

By CB Wismar

From July through October, Washington Depot, Conn. has become a sculpture park, an outdoor art gallery presenting 50 commanding works by 40 widely recognized artists. International celebrity artists Julian Schnabel, Wendell Castle and Frank Stella creations are scattered throughout the town, appearing near work by such resident luminaries as Tim Prentice, Elizabeth MacDonald and Joy Brown. 

Curated by local arts legends Barbara Talbot and Mark Mennin, the widely divergent pieces are placed in the center of town (Dan Murray’s “Watch Me” greets customers at the bank), in open public spaces (Mennin’s undulating granite “Currents” shares a plaza with Wendell Castle’s bronze “Above-Within-Beyond”) and in parks, by the river and on nearby hillsides.

William “Bill” Talbot, “Airport,” ferro cement and strobe black lights, 1969; Frank Stella Star with square tubing.

Tim Prentice’s kinetic sculpture “Charlotte” catches the afternoon breeze suspending the dancing spider from an accommodating tree. Julian Schnabel’s heroic sized “Barbara Bush Skipping Down the Champs-Élysées” stands guard at the Washington Art Association (WAA) office, where information, maps and details about the opening reception (July 14 from 2–6 p.m.) are available. Close at hand are works by Cornelia Kubler Kavanagh, Caio Fonseca, Lauren Booth and William HM Talbot.

“The WAA Sculpture Walk 2018 is an exhibition with no obvious narrative except for the town itself, the hills around it and the river that runs through it,” said co-curators Talbot and Mennin. 

The flowing narrative expands to include the materials used by the 40 artists whose work is on display. From the mesmerizing bronze “Kneeler” by Joy Brown to the ceramic “Wheel” by Elizabeth MacDonald to Ned Smyth’s towering “Female Torso”, a full-sized urethane prototype, and William”Bill” Talbot’s ferro cement and strobe black light “Airport,” the media employed by the artists is richly varied and adds to the sense of being someplace most unique.

Robert Taplin, “Punch is Homeless,” milled foam and reinforced gypsum, 2012.

As Mennin and Talbot commented, “the bond of the background is what holds these placements together.”

There are many pieces immediately accessible to roads and walkways. Other pieces are set on hillsides that require a bit of hiking and navigating. “Level,” an heroic-sized piece by Peter Kirkiles, requires a bit of a climb.

The display area farthest from the town center places pieces by William Hyde Talbot, Sam Funk, Tom Doyle and Jake Paron in New Titus Park, the verdant sanctuary that borders the Shepaug River. It’s certainly walkable once there, but driving and parking is probably the best way to go.

The art is world class, the setting bucolic and inviting. The presence of the art gives the town an additional charm that makes it a worthy destination. 

The Washington (CT) Art Association Sculpture Walk will be in place until Nov. 1, 2018. Although that should not fuel our natural tendencies to procrastinate — “We’ll have to go… sometime…” — it should give the residents and visitors who frequent the quaint Connecticut village the opportunity to become comfortable with the 50 additions to the landscape. There is something elegant about having world-class installation art around when heading to the post office or the bank or the grocery store.

Washington Art Association Sculpture Walk 2018
Open daily from 9 a.m. until dusk.
(860) 868-2878

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Lisa Green on 07/03/18 at 09:16 AM • Permalink

Steven Holl’s ‘T’ Space Opens to the Public

By Jamie Larson

One can be forgiven for not knowing about the ‘T’ Space Gallery and T2 Reserve tucked away off secluded Round Lake Road in Rhinebeck, New York before now. The personal project of prolific international architect Steven Holl, ‘T’ Space is an exercise in the artistic synergy of architecture, nature, art, sculpture, music, poetry and environmental conservation.

‘T’ Space just opened to the public earlier this month after years of thoughtful development. Previously opened for a few scheduled exhibitions in the summer, the gallery and the unique buildings and sculpture-dotted trails of the 30-acre reserve are now accessible every Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. through the summer.

“We are very proud of this gallery. It’s a gem,” said Director and Curator Susan Wides, whose husband Jim is Holl’s brother and an accomplished graphic designer. Jim Holl designs ‘T’ Space’s printed materials and Steven Holl’s wife Dimitra Tsachrelia is the site’s director of education.

Director/Curator Susan Wides, Graphic Designer Jim Holl, Io Helene Holl, Director of Education Dimitra Tsachrelia and Founder Steven Holl.

“It’s a family enterprise,” Wides said with a chuckle, adding that the properties are also part of the Steven Myron Holl Foundation.

Holl has created some of the most iconic modern buildings here and around the world. His many active projects include the REACH edition to the Kennedy Center, the Hunters Point Community Library, and Hudson Yards in Manhattan. He acquired his upstate home in 1995 and added the “Little Tesseract” house to it in 2001 as a prototype for his “solar stack” design. He built the ‘T’ Space in his back yard in 2010. Floating above the landscape, not a single tree was felled during construction. The result is, among other things, a striking affirmation that the clean lines of modern architecture and nature can coexist and play together in aesthetic harmony. 

The Reserve, which Holl saved from being subdivided in 2014, is home to a summer architecture residency program in the light-bathed converted hunting shack, T2 Studio. But the most visually striking structure on the property is the “Ex of In” house. Arresting from the outside, the “experiment of interiors” is all about the intersecting spherical dimensions of the negative space within the 980-square-foot house. The thought-provoking structure really must be seen to be understood, from its environmentally passive design to the intentional way the light reflection off the frog pond hangs like a dancing painting on the wall. If you really want to get inside, private tours can be scheduled and, believe it or not, you can spend the night in the Ex of In House through Airbnb.

“The Reserve would have been subdivided for five houses before Steven got it,” Wides said. “Instead he made a compressed house that works in concert with the woods and the light.”

The gallery and reserve have already hosted important works by artists such as Ai Weiwei, Pat Steir, Richard Tuttle, and many more over the years, accompanied by opening events that further the site’s mission to unite physical art with poetry and music. New pieces are commissioned and poets receive awards. There are two more openings this summer that should be added to any calendar. All the art forms celebrated at ‘T’ Space are meaningfully enhanced by the natural surroundings. You enter the grounds through a discrete trailhead — easy to miss along the roadside — and unconventionally placed windows in all the buildings highlight the perfectly framed views of ferns and moss-covered rocks.

“Being able to renew and reflect in nature is very important,” Wides said. “The surroundings are everything. It makes you more present with the work. It’s centering.”

The current exhibition, “Where None” by Richard Nonas, is a permanent installation, a 900-foot line through the reserve made from 80 railroad ties. The Gallery hosts “Notes on Where None,” visual thoughts on the larger work that echo the space itself in unique ways. 

“Every artist fills the gallery differently,” Wides said. “We want to explore the core meanings and values of art.”

‘T’ Space
137 Round Lake Rd., Rhinebeck, NY
Open Sundays, noon to 5 p.m.
$10 suggested admission.
To book a tour for an individual or group of 10 or less, contact info@smhfoundation.org.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Jamie Larson on 06/11/18 at 09:26 PM • Permalink

Find Your Center In A Local Labyrinth

By Jamie Larson

Mazes are made to confuse you and lose you down many paths. A labyrinth is built with one meandering, spiraling path designed to draw you methodically to the center — the center of the design and the center of yourself. While your mind may jump to some of the well-known dangerous mythical and pop culture labyrinths, the RI region actually has many real labyrinths and they are all soothing and pleasantly contemplative experiences.

These circular walking patterns, which originated in ancient Greece but were later adopted as Christian and Eastern meditative practices, are characterized by the Labyrinth Guild as a “three-fold path. Upon entering, one begins the symbolic path of purgation, or releasing and letting go. The center represents illumination and opening to the divine (and) the return path is union, taking the walk’s benefits back into our lives.”

All of the local labyrinths, whether built by a Christian church, yoga center or a group of old college chums, were designed thoughtfully to help pull one away from external stresses and focus inward. Though they may be crafted with different motivations, there is no denying that the act of slowly and deliberately walking any of them is effective at helping to peel away some of the layers of our outward-facing selves, even if for just a moment.

For your consideration, we’ve compiled a list of just some of our wonderful local labyrinths. It should be noted that some of these are on facilities only open to guests, so please follow the links to check times and availability.

Omega Institute For Holistic Studies
Rhinebeck, New York

Omega’s labyrinth is a great example of the lasting beauty of a simply constructed pattern made of field rocks and following the traditional seven circuit design. In a 1993 edition of Jeff Saward’s Caerdroia: A Journal of Mazes & Labyrinths, Paul Devereux — author, lecturer and researcher of “archaeoacoustics” (the study of sound at ancient places) — discussed the original construction of the labyrinth at Omega in 1987. He posited that it may be the oldest public stone labyrinth in the eastern United States. Devereux said the location of the site was selected using “authentic geomantic methods” which do not require dowsing rods. The labyrinth was made by an earthworks class led by Devereux and each member selected a potential site independently. According to Devereux, 70 percent of the class chose the same location.

Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health
Stockbridge, Massachusetts

Like the rest of the grounds and trails here, the labyrinth at Kripalu is fabulous. Though it was originally constructed in a similar modest low stone style, the inclusion of little, manicured evergreen saplings meant the labyrinth would slowly grow and change with time. Now the pathway is lined with tall, shapely trees, connected by berms of colorful wildflowers. While this is the most elaborate entry on the list, the beauty of Kripalu’s labyrinth isn’t a distraction; rather it helps to further immerse you in its meditative power.

St. James Church
Hyde Park, New York

The labyrinth is used with some frequency in the Catholic church. The meditative intention of walking a labyrinth in a religious context puts emphasis on prayer, but the language used to describe the experience is often surprisingly similar to the more Eastern-based meditation practices. The labyrinth at St. James is nestled beside the church’s small cemetery. Inlayed into the grass, it’s a powerful place for reflection.

Our Lady Of Hope RC Church
Copake Falls, New York

Like at St. James, the labyrinth here is inlayed in the grass behind the church. The peaceful spot is surrounded by an old stone wall that opens onto a bucolic field beyond. It is hard not to feel somewhat transported by the unmistakable influence of the church’s Irish lineage. There’s an interesting, incidental synergy between the traditional design of the labyrinth and Celtic knots common in church iconography.

Philmont Village Park
Philmont, New York

The labyrinth in the Philmont Village Park was built by old friends from Emerson College looking to mark their 14th anniversary gathering with an element of community service. In partnership with the local Walking the Dog Theater Company, the group used one of the oldest-known labyrinth designs in the Christian context, from Chartres Cathedral outside Paris, France, which some in the group had visited. This design is recognizable by its central flower. The mosaic-style labyrinth in the village grass echoes the way the design is inlaid on the floor of the French cathedral.

Wisdom House Retreat and Conference Center
Litchfield, Connecticut

The labyrinth at this interfaith retreat center comes from the traditions of the Daughters of Wisdom, who still live and worship here. Continuing in the tradition of Saint Louis de Montfort and Blessed Marie Louise Trichet, the aim of the congregation is to seek Divine Wisdom, and the labyrinth is used in the pursuit. Now open to worshipers of all faiths, the labyrinth, made of alternating rings of stone and brick, expands its usefulness.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Jamie Larson on 10/09/17 at 10:14 AM • Permalink

New Milford Joins A National Barn Quilt Trail Trend

By Lisa Green

Quilts have told stories for hundreds of years. But in the past couple of decades, they’ve started presenting their stories in a new way — a new medium, in fact — and New Milford, Conn. is one of the first (if not the first) communities in the RI region to join the national barn quilt trail.

These are not your traditional stitch-by-stitch quilts, although the New Milford project took as much time and effort to achieve as any cotton quilt might. Quilt patches are actually quilt-like patterns painted on eight-foot-square plywood, and then mounted on barns. Beyond the artistic purpose, there’s a mission to New Milford Barn Quilt Trail: to honor the town’s farming history, and encourage people to explore that history, quilt by quilt.

The town-wide effort began in 2013, when New Milford’s then-mayor, Patricia Murphy, an avid quilter, applied for a state economic development grant to bring the first barn quilt trail to Connecticut.

When the town received a $7,700 award by the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development in 2014, Murphy started to get the ball rolling. The effort would involve getting barn owners interested, helping them develop the quilt designs, finding artists to paint them and, finally, getting them hung. Alas, Murphy was voted out of office and the project stalled. It took two grant extensions, plus private contributions, funds from other town commissions, the office of the current mayor, David Gronbach — and many in-kind volunteer hours — to make the project a reality.

Each of the quilt blocks is meaningful to the barn host family and ties into the local agricultural past. On Smyrski Farm, a design with maple leaves is symbolic of its sugar maples trees tapped for syrup in the past two centuries. The Harris Hill Farm family chose a whimsical cow design to honor the memory of their father, a longtime dairy farmer and international expert on Brown Swiss cows. Hunt Hill Farm Trust (founded by famed bandleader Skitch Henderson and his wife, Ruth), reflects a more modern approach, with squares featuring a heart, fresh produce, an artist’s palette and musical notes, expressing the nonprofit’s mission of “cultivating the love of the land, food and the arts.”

Designs realized, the project moved on to New Milford’s Village Center for the Arts, where volunteers painted the huge squares. Finally, the quilts were hung by more volunteers, this time from the town’s facilities department (they’re the ones with the cherry picker, after all).

Now that the eighth barn quilt has been completed, the organizers of the trail are ready to officially “open” the self-guided tour. On Sunday, the New Milford Barn Quilt Trail committee will honor the people who helped make the trail a reality at a reception at The Silo (located at Hunt Hill Farm Trust). For the rest of us, the trail is easy to access via the website, which offers a background of each of the quilt blocks, a history of the farm itself, plus a map to get you to them.

“This is just the first phase,” says Julie Bailey, one of the core organizers, along with Sue Harris Bailey of Harris Hill Farm and Suzanne Von Holt, who happens to be the town sanitarian. “We hope to do another 8 barns in the next 3 years.”

“It was a huge volunteer project,” she adds. “We couldn’t pay people, but we did supply a lot of brownies.”

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Lisa Green on 09/18/17 at 10:12 AM • Permalink

Tour Historic Barns Of Dutchess County — And Party At The End

Heermance Farm. Photos: Carol Pederson, Capturing Moments Photography.

By Lisa Green

Here’s the setup for the perfect September day in the Rural Intelligence region: Car, motorcycle or bicycle — unfamiliar country roads — historic barns — farm visits… and an end-of-the-day reception in a barn with food and drink catered by local purveyors. Oh — and live music, too.

Thanks to the Winnakee Land Trust, that day will actually happen on Saturday, Sept. 16. The annual self-guided tour of historic barns and working farms — this year’s is the 11th — is a northern Dutchess County signature event that allows city and country mice to explore the historic barns that hold the stories of the region’s past.

The tour begins at the Southlands Foundation’s recently restored South Barn in Rhinebeck and meanders throughout northern Dutchess County with stops at a handful of barns and farms. Tour takers are equipped with a map and information guide…and old-fashioned, printed driving directions, because GPS doesn’t always work in some locations.

“The barns on the tour this year are a little off the beaten path,” says Ellen Henneberry, director of development for the Winnakee Land Trust. “People will probably go on some roads they’ve never seen before.” Because they’re off the major byways, Henneberry suggests people pack a lunch to tide them over until the reception.

This is the first year cyclists have been invited to join the crowd. Eliminating the need for them to pedal their way all the way back to their cars at the end, Winnakee is having bicyclists start at the reception site (Heermance Farm) and providing shuttle transportation to the first barn (Southlands) on the tour.

Case’s Corner.

And as for those barns — many, although not all, are Dutch barns, some still standing from the 18th century. Plenty of them are still in use or restored; some have been converted for adaptive reuse. Volunteer docents will be stationed at each barn, because it’s helpful to have someone on hand who’s knowledgeable about the history and architecture of these structures.

“People are totally amazed that these huge structures are often held together with wooden pegs. There’s not one nail,” says Larry Thetford, whose barn, loaded with artifacts on display, has been on the tour in past years. “It’s gratifying to see their reactions to the hand-hewn beams and super-fine joinery, and to watch them marvel at how the barns were put together with the limited tools and equipment of those days.”

The tour culminates with a “barn-rocking reception” at the Barn at Heermance Farm in Red Hook, with food prepared by Chocolate Mousse Catering and beverages courtesy of From the Ground Brewery and Schatzi Wines, with the “rocking” part provided by the Steven Michael Pague Ensemble.

The funds raised from this event will benefit Winnakee Land Trust, a nonprofit organization in Rhinebeck that works to protect and preserve the natural, agricultural, recreational, architectural, cultural, scenic, historical and open space resources of northern Dutchess County. (It also provides public recreational opportunities through its two parks — Drayton Grant Park at Burger Hill in Rhinebeck and Winnakee Nature Preserve in Hyde Park.)

Annual Tour of Historic Barns and Working Farms
Saturday, Sept. 16, 11 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. Reception 4:30 – 6 p.m.
Tour begins at Southlands Foundation, 5771 Route 9, Rhinebeck, NY
$50 per person (children under 12 free).
Register online or call (845) 876-4213.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Lisa Green on 09/05/17 at 06:42 PM • Permalink

The Berkshires’ First Farm To Fork Fondo Pedals Into Town

By Amy Krzanik

When I first heard that Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield, Mass. would host the Berkshires’ first Farm to Fork Fondo on Saturday, Sept. 23 and Sunday, Sept. 24 I thought, “Sounds great!... wait, what’s a fondo?” If, like me, you’re more of a casual bicycle rider and not a competitive racer, a fondo is taken from the Italian “grand fondo” or “big race.” Like its Italian cousins, this local fondo, organized by Wrenegade Sports, will be a timed race where you choose how far to ride (from 12 to 87 miles).

And the “fork” part? Riders get to stop along the route to sample food from local farms, and are invited to a post-ride barbecue, all on Sunday. An additional Saturday night Meet the Farmers Dinner in the Shaker Village’s 1830 Brick Dwelling dining room is also available.

The event coincides with the Village’s annual Country Fair, which will include local food and crafts, quilt displays, demonstrations, tours, hikes, chicken races and other kids’ activities, and a performance by The Whiskey Treaty Road Show.

The timing was intentional, says Tyler Wren, a former professional bicyclist, founder of Wrenegade Sports and director of the Fondo. He and the Village have been collaborating closely to bring riders an authentic farm experience. “Every [fondo] is a destination event and has a real tourism impact,” says Wren. “We’re pleased with the turnout; 23 states are represented so far. While they’re in town, we encourage [racers] to patronize local businesses and farms.”

To that end, Wren will get help promoting the region from participating farms and producers such as Hilltop and Bartlett’s orchards, Woven Roots, High Lawn, Wolf Spring, Taft and Colfax farms, Turner Farms maple syrup, and Les Trois Emme Winery. Big Elm is donating a pint to every finisher. Six Depot and Maple Hill Creamery will man Sunday’s pre-race fuel-up station.

The Fondo, which Wren started in 2015, has grown from two races the first year, to six races in its third year. (The race in the Berkshires will have been preceded this year by ones in Pennsylvania, Vermont, the Hudson Valley, the Finger Lakes region and, this Sunday, in Maine.)

The mission of the series is to “highlight and support the symbiotic relationship between cyclists, farmers and beautiful landscapes.” To meet its goal of supporting farmland preservation, Wren and his team collect donations from sponsoring companies and participants, which they donate to local organizations. Riders get to decide which organizations those are. Last year, Wrenegade gave more than $15,000 to local groups.

Other perks of registering for the ride include on-site local and cycling industry vendors, first aid stations along the route, and a free bicycle skills clinic on Saturday night with six members of the Colavita - Bianchi Professional Women’s Cycling Team, who also will ride alongside cyclers in Sunday’s race. But register soon, because the cap is set at 500 riders and Wren says more than 400 people have already signed up.

Farm to Fork Fondo – Berkshires
Saturday, Sept. 23 & Sunday, Sept. 24 (Race Day)

Hancock Shaker Village
1843 W. Housatonic St., Pittsfield, MA
Prices range from $39.99 for the 12-mile ramble to $418.99 for a first-class, 87-mile race with all meals included.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Amy Krzanik on 08/22/17 at 01:29 PM • Permalink

An RI Recommendation: The Hudson Valley Then And Now Fest

Photos courtesy Barbara Todd.

By Lisa Green

Last summer, my husband and I spent a few jam-packed days in Dutchess County, and its brevity notwithstanding, it turned out to be one of the most enjoyable mini vacations I’ve ever had. Which is why, when the Artists Collective of Hyde Park (ACHP)and the Hyde Park Free Library announced the first-ever Hudson Valley Then and Now Festival, I paid attention. And why I wanted to pass the information along to Rural Intelligence readers. At the risk of sounding like the Dutchess County tourist bureau, there’s a lot to see and do, and this festival would make an excellent beginning to a weekend or day trip.

A celebration of the arts, the Hudson Valley Then and Now Festival July 13-16 will present a series of events reflecting the history and lifestyle of the Hudson Valley. The venture is spearheaded by the Artists’ Collective of Hyde Park (a nonprofit organization of local artists dedicated to promoting the arts and artists in the Mid-Hudson Valley), along with the Hyde Park Free Library. A grant from Dutchess Tourism has allowed the groups to think bigger than their typical one-day events and fundraisers.

“Hyde Park is known for its history,” says Barbara Todd, a photographer and digital artist who’s on the board of the ACHP, citing the FDR Library and Vanderbilt Estate. “But Hyde Park isn’t just history; there’s a lot of art, and we’re looking at this festival as a way to bring people into the area.”

Singer-songwriters Eric Garrison and Liz St. Leger.

It’ll be a good start. The festival begins with a Thursday evening concert featuring accomplished Hudson Valley musicians. Friday’s activities include a Paint & Sip session, with the subject being a scene of the Vanderbilt Overlook at Hyde Park on the Hudson. On Saturday, there’ll be art and music all day, hosted by musician, author and DJ Myael Simpkins. An evening concert follows, with Kevin and Carol Becker and Rich Keyes, acoustic folk musicians. On Sunday, ACHP welcomes the public to a reception for its group show and a fusion dance performance. A community art contest is the festival wrapup. Throughout the weekend, the Hyde Park Free Library will be open to its exhibit of historical photos on loan from the FDR Estate.

Activities will toggle between the library’s annex building at 2 Main Street (at Route 9) in Hyde Park, and the Artists’ Collective at 4338 Albany Post Road (also Route 9, and just a few blocks south of the library). Many of the events are free.

And after the festival, or between events, you can do what we did last summer: tool up and down Route 9, visit the FDR home, library and museum, indulge in a meal at the Culinary Institute of America, stroll the Walkway Over the Hudson, check out snazzy Rhinebeck, attend a concert at Bard SummerScape or the Spiegeltent, and buy a fiberglass goat at one of the town’s antiques and collectibles shop. (Well, you don’t have to do that, but I couldn’t resist.)

Hudson Valley Then And Now Festival
July 13-16
Hyde Park, NY
(845) 229-9029

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Lisa Green on 07/03/17 at 10:29 AM • Permalink

Music And Food Take Center Stage At Winery’s Summertide

By Jamie Larson

Live music, wine and food, all of the highest quality, enjoyed in a meadow overlooking the mountains…sounds like a dream. It also sounds like the Summertide Festival from July 7-9, at Cascade Mountain Winery in Amenia, New York.

It feels a little like the setting of a fairy tale, down a winding dirt road, when Charlie Wetmore’s winery emerges around the bend. But it may feel even more surreal when you leave the quiet wood and emerge into the festival ground dotted with vendors from the best regional wineries, distilleries, breweries, restaurants and farms. And there’s a stellar lineup of performers, too, including Sunday evening’s headliners Jesse Colin Young, Jonathan Edwards, Cole Quest, Kerri Powers and many more.

“It started with wanting to do something special for the winery’s 40th anniversary, and it just grew from there,” says Wetmore. “We want people to come here and think music.”

The first night will even include a fireworks display. Wetmore has clearly put a lot of thought and care into the planning of the event so that it’s balanced, exciting, but still relaxing.

“It’s important to know that the festival is kicking off a whole summer of music,” Wetmore says. “We hope people who come out here for the first time for the festival will see what a great spot this is to sit back with some wine and food we’re really proud of, and enjoy some music.”

Summertide, named for the winery’s best-selling vintage, opens the season-long celebration of the 40th anniversary. Wetmore began building the winery with his father, novelist Bill Wetmore, when he was just 14. The winery officially opened when he was 18, in 1977, and now he runs the place with his sister, Joanie Wetmore Yahn. The legacy of the winery goes back to a time when New York wine wasn’t really a thing. They were only the fourth in the state and the first east of the Hudson.

The family ran a highly regarded full-time restaurant for many years and still offers high-end meals and relaxed barbecue on weekends. Their culinary acumen will be on full display, along with that of their vendors, during Summertide with a kitchen and outdoor pizza oven helmed by executive chef Maria Laura Quintero. Wetmore’s love of lobster, especially Maine lobster, has lead to Cascade Mountain’s must-try lobster roll. They’re also serving up fresh salmon, diver scallops, locally sourced steak frittes, a Hudson Valley cheese and charcuterie board and a lot more. Wetmore encourages festival attendees to try the pizzas coming out of the new outdoor brick pizza oven and anything from the trusty smoker. There will also be food on the festival grounds from Chaseholm Farm Creamery, Old Chatham Sheepherding Co., Jacuterie, Muchachula, Big W BBQ, Lobstercraft and other vendors.

Idyllic as it all seems, it’s the performances that are going to keep folks moving at the festival. Wetmore said getting Young (the voice of “Get Together”) was a real honor and they’re excited for what a draw he will undoubtedly be.

Jonathan Edwards, best known for his angry protest song dressed up in a peppy folk melody, “Sunshine,” will perform, as well. Edwards has a winery of his own not too far away in North Stonington, Connecticut.

Any local business that can pull it off with the quality and grace of Cascade Mountain Winery deserves a great 40th anniversary party. We’re lucky we get to join in on the fun for Summertide…and the rest of the summer.

Summertide at the Cascade Mountain Winery
Friday, July 7 – Sunday, July 9
835 Cascade Mountain Rd., Amenia, NY
(845) 373-9021

Tickets:
Day Pass: $80
Weekend Pass: $150
All-Access Pass: $200
Young Adult Pass (12-21): $40
Under 12: Free

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Jamie Larson on 06/25/17 at 12:20 PM • Permalink

Go For The Wine, Stay For The Music, Food, Art And Yoga

Music at White Silo Farm and Winery.

By Lisa Green

Last week, while doing our research to bring you a roundup of summer outdoor music series, we saw that wineries have become venues for music. We realized, too, that they are offering more than tastings along with a little music on the side. Given that the wineries’ real estate alone is worthy of a day trip, these extra-viticultural activities — dinners, yoga, chocolate pairings and more — are excellent excuses (or, rather, reasons) to visit your local wine producers.

This is just a sampling of events at some of the wineries throughout our coverage area. For more information, check the individual websites or the area’s wine trails, including the Connecticut Wine Trail and the Hudson-Berkshire Beverage Trail.

Cascade Mountain Winery, Amenia, NY
The future location of Summertide, a locally sourced wine, food and music festival next month, Cascade Mountain Winery has a restaurant led by executive chef Maria Laura Quintero that offers lunch on weekends. In mid July, there will be a Summer Saturday Concert Series from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. featuring local bands and BBQ every Saturday through August. 

Clinton Vineyards, Clinton Corners, NY
The winery will celebrate its 40th vintage on Saturday, June 24 from 2 to 6 p.m. and will include tastings, a live jazz trio and a pop-up farmers market of local vendors including Crown Maple Syrup, Canoe Hill Café, Hoofprint Cheese, Beacon Bakery and Rock Steady Farm. (Read more about the vineyard’s history and Phyllis Feder, the owner, in The Rural We.)

Millbrook Winery, Millbrook, NY
Talk about a perfect pairing. Here, you get the benefits of yoga and wine combined. Yoga classes (three for $50, or drop in for $20) include a post-class complimentary glass of wine. Classes are scheduled on Sundays, July 23 and August 13, 11 a.m. to noon.

Millbrook Vineyard makes the most of its impressive facilities with a host of other events: a Summer Solstice Lobster Bake, with live jazz in the background, on June 24; and an outdoor jazz concert series on Saturday evenings (with different specials at The Grille each week). Make it a regular Saturday night by purchasing a Jazz at the Grille Season Pass that includes the music, a glass of wine and your own wine canteen. Food Truck Fridays offers family-friendly menus from local food trucks from 5-8 p.m., and wines on tap for $5/glass.

Hopkins Vineyard, New Preston, CT
Take in the view of Lake Waramaug every Saturday at Summer Sadhana Yoga from 10 to 11:15 a.m. Practice yoga outside with instructor Jacquie Rupert (class held indoors if raining) for $20/class. Or consider a moonlit evening at the fire pit. On July 9, join a crowd around the fire and enjoy music by the Kings of Karma. There will be a food truck available for dinners to go, or bring your own picnic.

Haight-Brown Vineyard, Litchfield, CT
This is a vineyard that caters to the legions of chocoholics who wouldn’t mind subsisting on it — and wine, of course. Haight-Brown hosts Chocolate Decadence Sunset Tours aboard a train that runs along the Naugatuck River. En route there’s live music, food and wine, and chocolate tastings. The itinerary includes a stop at Fascia’s Chocolates for a tour and make-your-own chocolate session (and more tasting).

Miranda Vineyard, Goshen, CT
Let’s see, we’ve got music, yoga, chocolate, a moonlit fire pit. What’s missing? Oh yes — vintage cars. Thoughtfully, Miranda Vineyard has a “Vintages & Vintages“ annual antique car show, coming right up on June 25 from noon to 6 p.m. Bring your own vintage, (car, that is) or just come to ogle and enjoy some music, food and wine. There will be an open mic event going on at the same time. Miranda Vineyard also hosts live music every Sunday from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Sunset Meadow Vineyards, Goshen, CT
The activity here centers on its chocolate and wine pairing sessions, which include five estate wines and five specialty chocolates, nearly every day at 11 a.m. A special message to canine lovers: Sunset Meadow Vineyards produces “Big Lab Cab,” named after the vineyard dog, Churchill, a 120-pound dog adopted by the vineyard’s owners in 2011. You have to love that a portion of the profits of this wine go to The Little Guild in Cornwall.

White Silo Farms & Winery, Sherman, CT
This family-operated boutique winery produces wine in small batches, but that doesn’t stop it from hosting some unique events. This weekend (June 17), the winery puts on the 10th annual Rhubarb Festival. There’s Yoga in the Vineyard with Jessica and Jimmy Serra from Primary Wellness; join them on June 25 from 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. followed by wine tastings, iced tea, freshly baked scones and fruit. $25 in advance, $30 at the door.

Other events include BBQ in the Vineyard on July 29 from 6-8:30 p.m. with music by Marty/Kayla. On August 4, from 6-8 p.m., Jamie Ray (a.k.a. Conga J) will lead a drumming circle. $10 admission includes a glass of wine. White Silo also hosts monthly exhibitions featuring works from local artists and artisans.

Furnace Brook Winery, Richmond, MA
The Berkshires’ best-known winery is based within Hilltop Orchards, which has sweeping views of the surrounding Berkshire Hills. A popular activity is the full moon trek (prepare to snowshoe it in winter). The hike lasts up to one-and-a-half hours, and incorporates Native American traditions relating to moonlight. Your reward for the physical effort is a bonfire, wine tasting and entertainment.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Lisa Green on 06/12/17 at 02:38 PM • Permalink

Hudson Valley Sunday: A Day Trip For Antiquers And Others

Calling all antiques lovers, historic building appreciators and day-trippers looking for a new adventure: A day-long excursion in the Hudson Valley, hosted by the editors of The Magazine Antiques, is taking reservations for an outing on June 11. “Hudson Valley Sunday” includes tours of some magnificent properties — from private homes to a fabulous round barn — along with opportunities to shop (for antiques and otherwise), plus food and cocktails from some of Hudson’s finest purveyors. And one more thing: transportation is provided. But sign up quickly, because there are a limited number of spots.

Greg Cerio, editor-in-chief of the magazine, wanted to bring back the magazine’s tours; in the ‘80s, it hosted excursions through Europe. As a frequent visitor to Hudson, Cerio has created an appealing itinerary, and, notably, one offering easy access for New Yorkers.

The coach departs from the Hudson rail station and heads to its first stop, Edgewater [above], an 1825 neoclassical mansion on the banks of the Hudson River. The private home of historic preservationist Richard H. Jenrette, it’s a Greek revival jewel box that Jenrette has furnished with a mix of original and period pieces. Visitors will tour the grounds and a docent will be inside to talk about the art and furnishings.

The second stop is Abby Rockefeller’s Churchtown Dairy, an 1830’s farmstead (now a biodynamic farm) that features a stunning new round barn with a domed roof. If the weather cooperates, lunch will be here. If not, it’ll be at stop number three, the recently renovated Hudson Hall, formerly known as the Hudson Opera House, which was built in 1855 as City Hall.

Mid afternoon offers a break for shopping in Hudson, with discounts available at many of Warren Street’s antique shops, galleries and other stores.

The tour concludes with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres (from Talbott & Arding) at The Inn at Hudson, a 1906 Dutch/Jacobean house full of decorative flourishes, stained glass, and a garden that should be in full bloom on the day of the tour.

“It’s a great day trip with the opportunity for shopping, drinks and snacks built in,” Cerio says. “There’s real interest in it — we’ve already heard from people in Chicago, Columbus, Ohio and Virginia who plan to join us for the tour.”

Hudson Valley Sunday, hosted by The Magazine Antiques
Sunday, June 11, $275

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Lisa Green on 05/29/17 at 12:13 PM • Permalink