"Longevity" aptly sums up the Hudson River Region of New York. The historic region claims both the oldest continuously active winery in America, the Brotherhood Winery (est. 1839) as well as the oldest operating commercial vineyard in America (dating to 1827), now the site of the Benmarl Winery. Today, there are five hundred acres of vineyard flanking the Hudson River, which flows due south through eastern New York State. The region hosts close to 30 small wineries, most situated on the western bank, where an eastern exposure permits early morning sunshine to warm the vineyards. Although most vineyards are located closer to the banks of the Hudson, viable growing conditions do extend several miles to the east and west of the river. The Hudson’s perfect north-south orientation moderates the otherwise harsh climate, channeling maritime breezes inland, cooling the hot, humid summers and keeping winters milder. Though the local industry was built on hybrid varieties like Seyval Blanc and Baco Noir, cold- tolerant vinifera, like Chardonnay and Cabernet Franc, are also finding a niche in some appropriately situated vineyard sites.