Whitecliff Vineyard & Winery

Celebrating the Hudson Valley Wine & Food Fest 2023 participating wineries

Whitecliff is an artisanal family-run winery created from the ground up by owners and founders, Michael Migliore and Yancey Stanforth-Migliore. Michael has lived on the property since 1975, when he was studying for a master’s degree in organic chemistry at SUNY New Paltz. In 1978 he started work at IBM as a chemical engineer in semiconductor manufacturing, and soon after began experimenting with grape growing as a natural expression of his background and his skills in chemistry. Wine had figured prominently in his upbringing: his German and Italian grandfathers both made wine at home, and it was part of every family dinner. Today Michael works closely with Cornell Cooperative Extension testing new grape varieties, and pushing the envelope on the quality of grape growing in the region. In that capacity he also serves as president of the Hudson Valley Wine and Grape Association.

Yancey joined in the planting soon after they met — through rock climbing on the Shawangunk Ridge. They married in the early 1980s. Yancey has developed the ability to teach about wine that contributes to Whitecliff’s tasting room. The extensive knowledge of wine-making and viticulture Yancey has built up over the years is leavened by her vivid memories of learning to love wine through the kind of spritzy, sweet rosés that are popular with so many Americans.

Brad Martz joined Whitecliff in the 2010 harvest as a dedicated volunteer and brought so much focus, energy, and intelligence to the cellar work that he rapidly progressed to full-time winemaker. In addition to hands-on work with Michael he’s also invested many hours in learning and research with the Cornell Extension. Brad applies the careful science necessary to make fine wine, but also brings great creativity with grape varietals that results in Whitecliff’s interesting and ever-evolving wine list.

Establishing the vineyard has been an ongoing process since 1979. It involves years of trial and error to determine which varieties will produce good yields and quality wine, while withstanding the cold winters. The rigorous approach of science and engineering, along with a generous helping of pigheaded determination, has provided the knowledge and the strong base necessary to create a successful vineyard and winery.

Whitecliff is one of the largest vineyards in the Hudson Valley, with over 20 varieties of grapes planted.

Presented by WineRacks.com, The Hudson Valley Wine & Food Festival will take place on September 9th and September 10th at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds in Rhinebeck, N.Y., which will be transformed into a foodie paradise featuring some of the best wines and culinary treats that the Hudson Valley and beyond have to offer.


On your mark, get set …

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