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October 26, 2007


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I'll pitch in $40!

I'm in for a hundred bucks.

"For $1.6 million, you can get 45 acres of vineyards..."

Where are the vineyards? There are no vineyards shown in the slide show -- just houses and fallow land. If you examine the orthophotos on the Ulster County Parcel Viewer (T/Gardner: 85.4-4-47) there might be 4 short rows of grapes in a token vineyard. A lot of this land is low and wet and not at all suitable for viticulture in my opinion.

Over the summer, I believe Rivendell moved their "winery", aka tasting room, up to a small lot on the main highway for more visibility. Apparently, they decided they have no more use for the land and buildings where they started the business -- it's easier and cheaper for many of these agritourism wineries to have the wine made elsewhere and truck in the finished case goods.

This will most likely be sold for housing. Much like the North Fork, land is more valuable here in the Hudson Valley for development than agriculture.

Sorry if I have spoiled the romantic visions of all you would be vineyard/winery owners and investors.

Yeah, that seems like a reasonable price. But if there are no vines...Real estate development could be a likely option, depending on the zoning. Oh, and the real estate market sucks right now.

Are the Vintage wine bar licenses in play as well? Aren't they attached to the winery and considered extensions of the tasting room (albeit in Manhattan), thus the current owners couldn't keep those separately?

Dr. Vino --

I don't think that it is Rivendell Winery that is being offered for sale.

It's my understanding that Rivendell has moved their business to a new location in a higher traffic area on the main road (299) just west of the Village of New Paltz. What is being sold is the real property / real estate at what was the former location of Rivendell Winery.

All you get are the land and buildings that used to be occupied by Rivendell Winery and perhaps four short rows of vineyard planted to who knows what variety.

Rivendell has moved to a new location and is still being operated by the same owners under the same business name as far as I can tell.

Yes, the real estate market is down right now -- but this is 15 miles from Stewart Airport which has just been taken over by the Port Authority to join JFK, LGA, and EWK as the fourth major Metro NYC airport. They may not get their 1.6 million next week, but land is only going to go up in value in that area over the next decade.

It is the height of unchecked non-journalistic hubris (not to mention bordering on libel) to sport a headline such as you have on your website. The right to blog does not give one the right to spread falsehoods or worse and your bold yet untrue headline now shows up on page one of a Google search.

Rivendell Winery is NOT for sale.

While it is true that the property that Rivendell has operated on since 1987 is on the market, that is not because the winery is closed, closing or for sale. We are in the process of moving the winery - with all of its winemaking equipment, warehousing and tasting room functions to its new location three miles away. We have never owned the property in Gardiner, and are moving to a location that we do own, planting 7 acres of vineyard and continuing our 20 year history of making wine and marketing ours and other NY wines in our tasting room.

For the record, Rivendell is continuing in its current location through at least the end of the year. We expect to be in our new location this winter.

As anyone who has been in business knows, it can be challenging to manage the press - we are constantly trying to make sure that the information that gets published is accurate and truthful. We do that with the legitimate press by having interviews and press organizations police themselves by insisting on proper research for stories by their reporters. Sadly that is not true in the blogging world, where journalistic integrity is too often pre-empted by a desire to "sell papers".

I received an email from the selling agent with this information. And, since several emails to you in the past have gone un-returned, I didn't bother sending another this time around.

I'm more than happy to modify the headline to reflect the correct information.

I don't think it makes any sense to attack all of blogging because of a miscommunication such as this one, do you?

While neither I nor my computer can find any emails or communications from you in the past, I'll chalk that up to you not having my email address correct.

I have followed many of your blogs story lines with interest - especially where they have included mention of us and have never felt compelled to respond before, even when reading such nit-picky criticism as; getting the appellation wrong on one of the 200 wines on our printed tasting notes or that bit about the corked bottle of wine in our Soho location. (Who blames the store or restaurant for a corked wine? And we certainly did not continue to use it or CHARGE for it once it was discovered!) Like you I prefer to let the organic nature of the blogging world shape the information that gets around. But I will always insist on accuracy - from my newspapers, from my blogs and from my children.

Robert: You should have several emails from some of my other email addresses. I've emailed you about Rivendell wines mostly, looking for distribution out here on Long Island because I'd love to review them via blind tasting. I only use lenndevours@gmail.com for blog-related things specifically.

I disagree with you that the comments published here (whether written by me or readers or one of my contributors) are nit-picking.

No one blames a restaurant if a bottle presented at the table is corked (at least they shouldn't) because the waitress/steward/sommelier may not have tasted it, but I know that most tasting rooms check bottles before pouring to customers. I think you'll agree that that is a great way to avoid any such problems?

And, you may not think that getting the appellation correct on the wines you pour is important, but I'll bet that the winery in question would.

I don't think that anyone who reads LENNDEVOURS is anti-Vintage NY. On the contrary, I think they want it to be everything that it can be. Nobody is perfect and I'd think you'd welcome feedback from passionate customers.

touchy... it said it was for sale not foreclosure..sounds like clearing it up could have been a little kinder and gentler.. libel?

Robert, your sweeping condemnation of blogs, this website, and Lenn's integrity do not seem warranted at all. The real-estate mix-up is perfectly understandable considering the circumstances, and the opinions expressed by readers and contributors over the way Vintage NY served their wines were at no time defamatory. The balance of comments over that piece wished to express joy that there is a NY-specific store to talk abou at all and to help push that institution into doing an even better job of creating NY wine converts.

You know, allowing you to make more money.

To date, I have no experience with Rivendell wines or winery and have yet to visit Vintage NY. Frankly, your condescending attitude is doing very little to compel me to change that fact.

New Paltz ZBA denied Rivendell's application last night. Looks like they can't relocate to New Paltz. Where will they go now?


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