Clinton Vineyards was established in 1976 by Ben Feder, a Bronx-born book designer and artist who fell in love with New York State’s Mid-Hudson Valley and began building his dream in 1974. Inspired by the beautiful wineries and vineyards of the French countryside, where he had spent time as an art student under the GI Bill after World War II, Feder recreated this sublime experience in Dutchess County. He modeled the 100-acre Clinton Vineyards in the tradition of European vineyard estates, and chose to specialize in growing a single grape, producing white and sparkling wines. The latter is made in the classic French méthode champenoise, learned by Feder at the famed House of Bollinger. The first release, the 1977 Seyval Blanc, garnered strong praise from The New York Times, resulting in an enthusiastic sell-out.
Ben Feder’s wife Phyllis joined him in 1988, bringing to the enterprise her creative input, honed with world-famous graphic designers Milton Glaser and Seymour Chwast at Pushpin Studios.
Four decades since its beginning, Clinton Vineyards enjoys renown far beyond the Mid-Hudson Valley. With pluck and passion, Clinton Vineyards has created a line of Estate-Bottled wines — notably its Seyval Blanc vintages — that have earned awards nationally and internationally. In recent years, Clinton Vineyards created a line of dessert wines: Cassis, a black currant wine; Romance, a late-harvest wine; Embrace, a raspberry wine; and Desire, a blackberry wine.
Ben Feder died in 2009, but Phyllis Feder continues to maintain her husband’s legacy. A pioneer in local agri-tourism, Clinton Vineyards welcomes wine lovers to its property seasonally. Visitors can savor the Clinton Vineyards portfolio of award-winning, Estate-bottled wines in the exquisitely appointed tasting room and retail shop, located in a historic Dutch barn. A visit to Clinton Vineyards, a “Jewel in the Crown of Dutchess County” is a high point of a trip to the Hudson Valley.
Keith Ferris Photo
Jerry Novesky, Valley Table Magazine
David McDonald, Luminescent Media