Vol. 1 No. 28…middle New York

Since, as I said in the last blog, we are going in reverse order of the actual trip, this edition will cover the Hudson River valley and a surprise just outside of Middlebury, Vt.

First, there is much to see in this region – winery-wise – that is, but there are some surprises. In Karen McNeil’s The Wine Bible, First Edition, published in 1985, she mentions a little-known fact: Brotherhood Winery in the Catskill foothills is the oldest continuously run winery in the United States. Founded in 1839, it produced sacramental wines – a fact that came in handy during our country’s lunacy, Prohibition, or as some called it: “the noble experiment”. TB is one of those as it most certainly was an experiment which brought the Mafia and other gangs to power, but it most certainly was not noble, as any number of Congressmen who voted for it would attest but continued to imbibe when it became a Constitutional Amendment, the 18th and was finally repealed by the 21st, but by then the damage was done and it took decades for the wine industry to stage a comeback.

Note that in The Wine Bible, she talks at length about Brotherhood Winery but there is nary a mention of it in the 2nd Edition. Also there were 18 pages devoted to New York wines in the original volume, but just 14 in the new one, although the type is smaller.

In the Hudson Valley, the only one mentioned by McNeill, and while I didn’t visit the winery, was Millbrook, located not far from Hyde Park, Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s home.

It is a beautiful winery, very pastoral, and set up for tourists, and the author recommended their Tocai Friulano which I found and purchased a bootle, and better still it wa the Proprietor’s Special Reserve, 2014 vintage. While it is not like Viognier, it has an unusual flavor, not the bitterness but a slightly green flavor, but it doesn’t mask the rich, creamy taste. At $20 it is a great buy. The rest of their wines, both red and white range from $20 to $35. If I am back in the area again I will be certain to visit.

While the Finger Lakes excel in white wines, and some surprisingly good reds, especially Cab Franc’s, Long Island, is comprised of two branches forming a claw, North Fork and South Fork, each with a different microclime and soils. I had some very nice wines, both red and white, in both areas.

If you are driving to Canada there are two routes you can take from the Hudson Valley. We decided to take the one that went through a sliver of Vermont. Along the way through farmlands we came upon Middlebury, one of the most beautiful and gentrified towns in America…with exclusive Middlebury College as an added draw. As we left town, I saw a sign for wine tasting and not having stopped that day, veered off to it. Just off the highway was a house set back with a parking lot in front. It was Lincoln Park Vineyard and Winery. Inside it was charming as was the server. Some unusual wines with colorful names, wouldn’t win any awards in California but altogether pleasant. If I had a place up there I could easily settle back in front of a fire with a glass of their wine.

They also had some innovative ideas. They sold Vermont cheese and some nice wine accessories but what caught my eye was a ‘wine growler’ engraved with their logo. I asked about it and was told you buy it for $5, have it filled with your favorite of their wines, and get the $5 off. Then when it is empty come in and again save $5. Pretty neat!

From there we drove north to Niagara Falls where I have some advice: only go on the U.S. side long enough to take the Maid-o-the-Mist, then head for the Canadian side. The place to stay, only one as far as we were concerned is the Marriott Fallsview, closest to the falls with an incredibly beautiful view. For dinner, a view restaurant was recommended to us by my son with the odd name The Keg. It was a beautiful restaurant, good wine list, and a view almost as good as the one from our room, five floors higher a hundred yards away.

After the next edition, we go to Quebec City where we stayed at the historic and beautiful Frontenac and got any number of surprises in Canadian wineries we visited…could have stayed three days longer, they were that good.


©Copyright 2015 TBOW, all rights reserved.



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How did Trader Bill originate? It was conceived by me as a way of providing information summaries of global financial markets so that friends and associates could bring themselves up to speed on events and changing market conditions upon their arrival at work. In addition, it provides information on speakers and economic releases that day with consensus estimates and level of last release so that the reader is prepared to react, or knows how the market might react upon the release of information. Who is Trader Bill? Initially any reference to me was as ‘i’. This is to remove the aura of ego and to suggest that i am but a humble reporter, albeit with 35 years of investment experience. Investments are demanding of ego, however, or one would not feel that he was qualified to manage someone else’s money in the first instance. Therefore i needed an ‘alter-ego’. Like Winchell and Mahoney, Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy and especially Trader Vic and Mai Tai’s! Why Trader Vic? Because he was a likeable man who delivered pleasure to his customers and knew exactly what their desires were. The reason for the alter ego became obvious once I introduced Trader Bill into my commentaries: people started asking what Trader Bill thought. They had never asked me what I thought before, but suddenly they wanted to know what TB thought! Now mind you they KNEW that I was Trader Bill but for some reason he became bigger than life. Maybe it was the small ‘I’? What does Trader Bill try to do?His goal is to educate from his years of experience. Consider that most of the traders and people managing investments weren’t even around in 1987 for the crash! Consider that Graham and Dodd, and even Warren Buffet are not relevant to them, too old hat. Their historical perceptions of markets and fundamentals (earnings, price/earnings ratios, bonds, debt service coverage) are irrelevant in this fast moving world. This is the NEW ECONOMY, or is it? How did your style originate?Years ago i found that i had a knack and talent for writing. In addition, i developed an ability to analyze market news about 15 years ago. It took the Crash of ‘87. Prior to that i was just listening to what others said about the economy. But bond yields had been soaring in ‘87 yet the stock market just kept hitting new highs. That was when i began to learn about markets. i have both a dry and witty sense of humor (some call it inane!). Therefore i attempt to make even the worst news somewhat amusing: whether it is the absurdity of an economic release, or the comments of a CEO. This is trading desk humor (or gallows humor). It isn’t politically correct but it does ease tension. Ironically, it is seeing the light at the end of the tunnel (in the Navy they say: it’s always darkest before it’s pitch black!), that allows you to be more objective in your analysis, as bad as a situation is there will still be a tomorrow! You will see that i practice three-dot journalism, a style made famous by San Francisco reporter Herb Caen, whom i idolized. At least to me it is effective. What is so special about your analysis?Frankly, i don’t know that it is special, but at least it beats “the market closed down today on profit taking.” What i do know is that most of what you read is spat out without considering whether or not it is rational, like the above statement. Is it right? Sometimes yes and sometimes no, and that is the key to what is different about my analysis: it is meant to make you think. Is Dan Rather right or is Trader Bill right? If it causes you to stop and think about it, regardless of whether you agree, i win! Because THAT is my goal…not to have you think i am a guru, got that? Bet you never heard that ANYWHERE before in my business! Instead they want you to think just how smart they are but remember in this business if you are right 60% of the time you ARE a genius! Another thing that is different is when i am wrong on an analysis i will tell you, not hope you forget what i said. So now you have the tools to do what the speculators and hedge funds do: challenge authority, and if you make money it is because YOU did it not me. i was just a tool, your flunky to do the grunt work and let you decide…course you could be wrong too but at least you looked at the big picture. But the goal is also to have fun! This shouldn’t be a business of hushed tones and grim faces. It is a living, breathing thing and nowhere else in the world do you have the odds as much in your favor as here. Just beware of the guy who wants to put his arm around you and tell you he is your friend. So there you have it. I hope you select me as one of your sources for market information. If you do I promise to work my best for your financial success. Trader Bill

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