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HVADC Client: Dew East Farm Winery

Jan 15, 2024

West coast experience comes to Germantown

The experienced winemaking husband and wife team of Charlie Miller and Emma Rosenbush moved from California to Germantown to make wines and ciders informed by the flavors of their new farm’s old apple orchard and the bounty of the state’s great grapes. What was Dewey’s Wines out west is now Columbia County’s own, Dew East Farm Winery.


Miller and Rosenbush, whose mother has lived in Rosendale for 25 years, moved to Columbia County in 2021. Early on they spied the HVADC shingle on Warren Street while driving through Hudson and were immediately curious. As their plans to convert their farm on 9G developed, they received their first loan for operating capital through the Columbia Economic Development Corporation, who referred them to HVADC if they had future needs.


“To move to a new area and already feel support and enthusiasm for what we are doing is so incredible, and we are so thankful to the community,” Rosenbush said. “We recognize we are moving into an amazing existing agricultural community. We want to bring our style while respecting what’s here and the history of local farming.”


After working two harvests, Dew East’s beverage business has started to take shape. They made their first wine in 2022 but are still waiting on the approval of their farm winery license from the state to be able to sell. It also became clear that there was an immediate need for an equipment and infrastructure upgrade. Rosenbush and Miller worked with HVADC Business Services Coordinator Duane Stanton to secure financing through the HVADC Agribusiness Loan Fund. The loan fund primarily provides financing for projects which include the purchase of machinery and equipment.


The loan fund is available through HVADC in its capacity as a designated lender to help administer a $10 million fund from New York State that was made available to assist local agribusinesses with easier access to capital.


“The fund is an impactful tool HVADC employs to help provide access to capital for small agribusinesses that may otherwise face limited opportunities,” said HVADC Deputy Director Mary Ann Johnson. “It not only supporting the success of small businesses like Dew East, but also improving the economic outlook for rural and surrounding communities.”


At Dew East the funding will go towards processing and bottling equipment as well as a transportation truck. Rosenbush said there has been a learning curve to moving east, such as realizing there wasn’t a regional farm vehicle rental operation in place. She said that during their first year they used a rented moving truck to transport produce.


But Rosenbush said that while there are certainly differences to farming and winemaking here compared to California, they are excited about being in the Hudson Valley and are embracing what it brings to their new life and business.


“Emma and Charlie have been amazing to work with thus far. Their passion for making quality wine is extremely commendable, especially when taking account their cross-continental change in scenery. I foresee them being a vital member in Columbia County, and the greater Hudson Valley, for many years to come, and we are happy to work with them to make that happen,” Stanton commented. 



That starts with the farm itself, which boasts a mature orchard. Its apple crop is geared more towards eating than cider making, but they are inventing new recipes that include “co-ferments, which blend cider with wine.


“We’ve been rehabbing the orchard,” said Rosenbush, “We pruned 150 trees last year. Charlie has been digging these beautiful old trees out of overgrowth. One thing we are excited about is that the orchard hasn’t been sprayed with pesticides in a decade.”


Dew East, like Dewey’s before it, selects grapes purchased from other growers to make their wines. Not having to run a vineyard themselves allows Miller and Rosenbush to take advantage of, and experiment with, the best grapes the region has to offer in a given season. It’s a historically established business model of wine making called “negociant” in French, meaning a wine merchant who purchases grapes, juice or finished wines, and vinifies/bottles them under their own name. When Dewey’s was operating out of San Francisco, while Miller worked for other wineries as well, the couple used the same technique. Miller and Rosenbush are also adept at sharing facility equipment with other wine makers. It’s a novel approach that cuts down on overhead and it will be interesting to watch if more entrepreneurs follow Dew East’s lead in the future.


Sadly for wine and cider enthusiasts, we are still a little ways away from getting a taste of Dew East at the farm, as there is still a lot of work to do, but with the assist from HVADC, they hope to be pouring glasses in their onsite tasting rooms in 2025.  


To learn more about the HVADC Agribusiness Loan Fund Program, visit

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