“There is a valley in New York. And a river runs through it. And Henry Hudson first discovered it.” So starts a show, recorded a show from PBS that broadcast on KET over the weekend called New York Wine & Table. I admit to recording the oddest thing that catches my interest on occasion, but the description of “specialty growers revitalize farming and wine making in the Hudson River Valley, with blackcurrant wine, apple vodka, and apple cider” appealed to me on some level. I suppose the combination of farming and wine making were the two things that really caught my attention, as I am passionate about both of those. Of course I also thought my trip to upstate New York several years ago was beautiful and I was a little curious about apple vodka as well. I find myself fairly awake this evening and after watching a documentary of Chris McCandless I was feeling more alive then usual and thought I would watch that video while I wrote a blog about something else.
I am sure my apathy and general sarcasm is lost in the first few lines above. Henry Hudson was perhaps the first, officially documented European to discover the river that we know as the Hudson in the modern era. How simple it was for the show to overlook the several different tribes of Native Americans that lived in the area of the Hudson long before the European invasion of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Actually, even that statement is not at all true either. Henry Hudson was the first European to actually explore up the Hudson River in 1609. However, an Italian by the name of Giovanni da Verranzo actually documented the river that flowed into the upper end of what is known as New York Harbor today in 1524, nearly a one hundred years before Henry Hudson. This of course does not consider possibilities of Viking explorations that are speculated to have occurred to North America and again, as stated, completely ignores the Native Americans that lived in and around the Hudson Valley for perhaps centuries.
This statement, made as if it were a matter of fact at the very beginning of the thirty minute recording caught me so off guard with the major and obvious flaw that I immediately doubted the next statements made. I suspect that growing of grap?es for wine was indeed recorded in 1670 in the then New World in the Hudson River Valley. Though I personally have my doubts as to the nature of any vinting going on in the time frame being on a commercial-scale, but rather for self-consumption.
I will have strong doubts about the statement that the Hudson Valley can be considered the birthplace of the concept of farm to table though. After all – since the first of our ancestors of so long ago started into some sort of agriculture practice versus just hunting and gathering what was already there can it not be said the concept was farm to table? Who are these folks really trying to kid about such things?
Okay, I am going to let it go at this point and just watch the show – fully doubting anything presented in the show mind you, given the three major glaring errors that most fourth graders would have caught. And that is in roughly just the first ninety seconds of the show. I may have to follow-up at a later point. One would think they would hire some fourth graders to do some fact checking before they spout of about such things. Makes me wonder if I am being on super alert to such things given the wide awake state of my brain and that I normally miss or gloss over such things or if instead this is more an advertisement promoted wine production in the Hudson Valley without regard to the actual facts of the matter? Reminds me of how so often the medieval knights horse is often portrayed as a daft horse and the falsehood is perpetuated by often those that should really know better.
** – Image from Hudson Valley Wine and Liquor Site