A visit to our wineries offers hospitable winery tasting rooms where you taste new cold-climate grape varietals and old-world classics and often meet the owners. From “Grandma Moses country” in Washington County to “horse racing country” in Saratoga County & the “Queen of American Lakes” in Warren County, we’re less than a half-day drive from New York City, Boston, and Montreal and only a short drive from Albany and Glens Falls, NY and western VT! From the beauty of the Adirondacks to the excitement of the Capital Region, we’re rich in historical and cultural attractions.
Tony and Debreen Oliva, owners of Oliva Winery, are part of the Upper Hudson wine trail family, and have been since 2012. Debreen Oliva is past secretary for the winemaker and grape grower association – the Upper Hudson Valley Wine and Grape Association. We interview them here to announce their exciting news for Oliva Winery – they’ve added a new tasting room and a brewery in Saratoga Springs.
TONY OLIVA: We began making wine in 2012, sharing the task of selling wine and running the winery with my wife, Debreen. With wine selling well and many regular customers, beer naturally followed. Joined by our son, Anthony, Racing City Brewing Co. was formed.
UHV: Why did you choose Saratoga Springs for your new tasting room?
DEBREEN: There’s no place like Saratoga Springs. We first came to Saratoga Springs as tourists close to 25 years ago. A single Travers Festival weekend at Saratoga Racecourse grew to a week, then a month, then a second home within walking distance of the track, and finally a permanent home for my husband and me. Saratoga was initially our “Summer Place to Be’; now as a 12-year resident, we have discovered many new favorite spots in town. So it was natural for us to open Oliva Winery and Racing City Brewing Co. in Saratoga Springs.
DEBREEN: Wine is made on location and fermented in 250-gallon stainless steel tanks. Wine lovers can partake in a wine tasting or sip a glass of wine. Beer is brewed on site as well and served by the glass or as a tasting flight. We also offer a nice variety of guest taps, including a hard cider, and we serve New York State distilled products made into coctails. We are also working on our kitchen and plan to have a light menu very soon that will expand to a full kitchen in the future.
ANTHONY OLIVA: Oliva Winery and Racing City Brewing Co. will be a fun place to hang out with friends. The communal tables Tony built with wood from a local mill will enable customers to interact with friends old and new. The winery and brewery will embody everything that makes Saratoga such a special town, a day at the races, a night out on Broadway, a classical performance or rock concert at SPAC, a walk through Congress Park with a ride on the carousel, and, now, a glass of wine from Oliva Winery and a beer from Racing City Brewing Co.
UHV: Tell us a little more about your new venture into brewing beer.
TONY: The beers we brew reflect our mission. Racing City Brewing Co. may be new to Saratoga Springs nightlife, but we’re not trying to fix what’s broken. And that’s how we feel about our beers. We don’t need to reinvent the wheel. We’re in a classic town like Saratoga, and we’ll be brewing classic styles of beer with a modern take to ensure not only a unique experience, but there’s something for everyone. Just like this town.
UHV: Oliva Winery and Racing City Brewery is located at 250 Excelsior Avenue in Saratoga Springs, NY. Congratulations! We wish you good luck and great success!
OLIVAS: Thank you. Cheers!
What better way to spend a spring day than touring the Upper Hudson Valley Wine Trail? Hoppy Trails Brew Bus, Premiere Transportation, and Cask & Kegs Tours drive wine lovers from winery to winery in style.
Hoppy Trails Brew Bus boasts a safe and educational experience. Explore local wineries while learning about what makes each special. Choose from preset tours or customize your own. Tours with Hoppy Trails include free samples, behind-the-scenes looks and an opportunity to meet the makers producing one-of-a-kind beverages.
Premiere Transportation‘s extensive fleet serves a variety of transportation needs from bachelor and bachelorette parties, an upscale limo cruise, a casual tour, or a night out on the town. Who wouldn’t love to spend one of these occasions being professionally chauffeured around the trail to sample wine and purchase your favorite bottles?
Casks and Kegs Tours offers an intimate ride through twists and turns, over hills and dales, as your group explores the many diverse vineyards and wineries on NYS’s Upper Hudson Wine Trail. Find the hidden gems of vineyards and wineries in the beautiful farmland and foothills of the Upper Hudson region and beyond.
As the craft beverage industry grows in upstate New York, it has never been easier to explore and plan a tour in the our region – New York State’s newest designated wine trail – the Upper Hudson Wine Trail.
Members of the Upper Hudson Valley Wine and Grape Association are pleased to announce the official state designation of the Upper Hudson Wine Trail with the governor’s recent signature on the bill.
Thank you to Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner and Senator Kathleen Marchione and their staff. Assemblywoman Woerner and Senator Marchione authored the legislation designating a portion of the state highway system as the Upper Hudson Wine Trail. Assemblywoman Woerner said, “Upstate New York has a rich history in the wine industry, and communities in Saratoga and Washington counties are adding to it by establishing successful wineries and vineyards,” Woerner said. “The new trail will highlight our region’s natural resources, boosting tourism, family businesses and the local economy.” Each year New York State’s wine industry generates $408 million in state and local taxes. “A thriving agricultural industry benefits the state’s farm and food industries, hundreds of local communities, and all of New York’s consumers,” Woerner added.
Senator Marchione’s legislation designates portions of the State Highway as the Upper Hudson Wine Trail from its northern point at Lake George, to its southernmost point at Clarksville, and as far west as Fonda, and to the easternmost point at Salem. “The designation will help grow New York’s vital grape, grape juice and wine industries that generate more than $4.8 billion in economic benefits yearly,” Senator Marchione said.
Since 2012 our association members worked with the past and present New York State Legislature, Dept of Ag and Markets and Dept of Transportation to bring this official designation to fruition. In final stages of the legislative process our Association negotiated strongly to ensure the interests of all vineyards and all wineries were represented in the bill. This resulted in substantive changes to the bill that satisfied the pioneering vineyards and wineries in our region.
Kudos especially to our Association’s executive committee – Kate Taylor, current president and owner of Galway Rock Vineyard & Winery, Gerry Barnhart, past president, current acting treasurer and owner of Victory View Vineyard, Sasha Pardy, secretary and owner of Adirondack Winery, and Josh Cupp, vice president and owner of Thirsty Owl Outlet and Wine Garden.
The inclusive bill became law due to the efforts of all members including Amorici Vineyard, Fossil Stone Vineyards, Ledge Rock Hill Winery & Vineyard, The Saratoga Winery, Oliva Vineyards, Swedish Hill Winery, Mariposa Fields Vineyard and Johnston’s Winery, as well as representatives from the New York Wine & Grape Foundation, the NYS Farm Bureau and Northern Cross Vineyard. The eventual road signs for the Upper Hudson Wine Trail will include a designated route spanning from Lake George in the North into parts of Washington, Saratoga, Warren, Rensselaer, Albany, Schenectady, Montgomery and Schoharie counties.
The members of the Upper Hudson Valley Wine & Grape Association worked for several years educating consumers of our budding wine region and increasing recognition of the local grape and wine industry. We are thrilled that our New York State government has officially recognized the Upper Hudson Wine Trail and look forward to the continued growth and advancement of the wineries and vineyards of our expanding region. Our Association fully supports the bill as signed by Governor Cuomo and we look forward to working together to make the Upper Hudson Wine Trail one of the most vibrant wine regions in the country.