Kitty Cats in the Catskills
By Christina Bowe, Wholesale Sales Manager
A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure to travel to the Catskills to present wines to stores and restaurants in that area. The scenery was amazing and the leaves were beginning to change. Each winding road had scenery and the climb up and down the mountains was stunning with a little town nestled around each turn. Just when I thought we were beyond civilization, we happened upon the town of Catskill established in 1788.
Our first stop in this quaint little town was Bell’s Café, which I understand has been a long-standing establishment on Main Street, Catskill. While I was there, a woman and her young daughter came in to see what kind of changes had been made. She had frequented Bell’s when she was a girl and wanted her daughter to have the same experience.
The owners Yael and Keith were fantastic. The cuisine is Israel/American food. Unfortunately, it was a little early for lunch, but the smells coming out of the kitchen were incredible. The lunch menu appetizers consisted of duck ravioli with pesto sauce and roasted eggplant with tahini. Lunches also included interesting salads, paninis and burgers. The dinner fare was equally exciting with panko encrusted lamb and Moroccan-style spicy shrimp.
Yael and Keith are committed to local products and being creative with the bounty from the local harvest. Because of Heron Hill’s commitment to this style of living, we all had a lot to talk about and I hope I did not overstay my visit. They were currently carrying out Semi-Dry Riesling and have brought in the Unoaked Chardonnay and Vidal Blanc. Their wine list is very eclectic and Heron Hill is proud to be present.
Before entering Bell’s I noticed a row of colorful cats on pedestals lining the street of antique shops, boutiques and galleries. I asked Amber Dennis, my wholesale representative from Southern Wine and Spirits, what the meaning of all these beautiful cats that made me want to stop my day and spend the afternoon prowling about these imaginative kitties.
This years Quadricentennial Celebration of Henry Hudson’s discovery of the beautiful Delaware river; the Catskill Cats will be decorated in themes depicting the wonder of this great valley they call home. Sixty painted fiberglass felines will be sCATered along the historic Main Street in the Village of Catskill for this summer-long celebration.
On October 4th, all of the cats were auctioned to be adopted into permanent homes, something I wish I could have returned to do.
The rest of my visit was wonderful, exposing Finger Lakes wines to the area stores and restaurants. The Finger Lakes is a relatively unknown wine region in this area and I get sincere gratification when I see the simple smile on their faces and the nods of their heads indicating that “Yes, the Finger Lakes makes some exceptional wines.”