1960s--growing up here summers
There was a hill in Orange County New York. The hillside overlooked what used to be an old Indian road used before the Dutch got here and then later it became a Colonial road leading to the local iron works and forge. The road ran alongside a stream for most of its distance, the name of the stream was Trout Brook, but us kids, we used to just call it Silver Stream--.

Anecdotal History of the property.
In 1777 the famous local highlands outlaw Claudius Smith accosted the son of one Jonathan Stevens who was herding his cow (singular) and demanded 'give me that cow in the name of the king'. It is certain that Claudius and not the king was eating Sirloin that night.

In 1927 Samuel Lifshitz established a farm here on that same property overlooking Trout Brook on 110 acres of land. They raised corn in the morning and played softball late in the afternoon. Conveniently, the cornfield was right next to the ballfield and also across from the airfield where Barky Dulgarian flew his plane. Barky was a character!

When they were not playing softball, raising corn or watching Barky buzz the rooftops, my family ran a lumberyard in Brooklyn. (We have the original cash register in the tasting room.)

1980s--90s
Well,I had never wanted to raise corn, or fly planes or run a lumberyard so after college, I, Sam's grandson, joined the Merchant Marine. (That's not me in the picture). By the time I returned from the sea in 1983, all but 11 acres of the land had been sold off for development. I decided the hillside was a perfect spot for a vineyard. Luckily for me, this 11 acres was a well drained South West facing hillside. so in 1989 I moved my family up here, supporting us by computer programming jobs and started planting the first vines two years later.

Finally, in 1999 Ken formed business partnership named Silver Stream Winery and began to produce wines from the locally grown grapes and they hoped to open the winery that year. Well, things never seem to go as planned here in the Highlands.

Things dragged on in front of various government agencies until 2004, when the Orange County Legislature in a 6 to 5 vote, voted to allow the winery on the property. It was a whisker thin margin. It took another two years after that for the tasting room facility to be added because, 2003 and 2004 turned out to be disastrous years for grape producers in New York due to a number of odd weather events.

 

Today
We hope to open this year and make enough money so we can go back to playing softball. (Just kidding,--we love this business).

 

Today there are five varieties grown here, Cabenet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Traminette and an Alsatian variety known by the tongue-twisting name of Gewurtztraminer and the tasting room is just about done. We are producing about 900 gallons of estate grown wines and about 600 gallons of other New York State varietals. We also make a vinegar that will knock you socks off and then hang 'em up on the bedpost.
Tasting room has come a long way!
We are a tiny operation right now making a premium product. We hope to grow our volume without sacrificing quality in the coming years. That is our goal for this little piece of land above Trout Brook. That is our goal for ourselves.

Reserved for future exciting events.
 

Copyright 2005, Silver Stream Winery. All rights reserved.