Now through New Year’s Day, New York’s Hudson Valley bustles with the sights and sounds of the holiday season. Festive shop windows, stunning art galleries, eclectic antique and novelty shops and a plethora of artisan shops and boutiques are the perfect antidote to the monotony of retail mall madness. Shop for distinctive, hard-to-find gifts and experiences for everyone on your list with some of these favorite local finds.
For sweet tooths: Oliver Kita Chocolates, Rhinebeck, New York
Walk into Oliver Kita Artisan Chocolate in the historic village of Rhinebeck, New York, and you will feel like you have been transported to a Parisian jewel box shop designed with the most discerning chocolate lovers in mind. The renowned chocolatier bakes with the perfumes and flavors of flowers, herbs, exotic fruits, nuts and spices. He even extends his fine chocolates to patrons around the globe with his online shop. Kita’s line of artisan, fair trade and organic chocolate bars and bonbons are crafted with remarkable quality using superlative French and Swiss methods and the finest ingredients. Heavy satin cream, award-winning sweet butter, the finest fruits, low sugar and carefully roasted nuts come together in artfully handcrafted designs. Whether you are in search of unique treats for the sweet tooths in your life or simply are searching for the finest chocolate bar, Oliver Kita Artisan Chocolate will not disappoint. Be sure to try the extra rich, homemade hot chocolate, perfect for wintry weather.
For wine lovers: Millbrook Vineyards & Winery, Millbrook, New York
Make gift-giving more memorable by designing a customized label from this world-class winery that will work with any photo, logo or artwork you provide to create a gift that’s uniquely yours, starting at $15.95 a bottle. Located on a 130-acre, scenic Dutchess County farm, Millbrook Vineyards & Winery in Millbrook, New York, is a glorious place to visit any time of year to sample award-winning chardonnay, pinot noir, cabernet franc, tocai friulano and riesling selections. This premier winery also offers a choice of memberships that ship your favorite vino right to your door. For the wine aficionado in your life who has everything, the winery also offers its Vine to Wine Boot Camp, a hands-on, eight-part insider’s experience that will challenge participants to roll up their sleeves and dive into grape-growing and winemaking during the growing season.
Antique Mystique: Hudson Antiques & Art Dealers Association, Hudson, New York
The scenic Hudson Valley is home to some of the best antique shopping in the region, and arguably, the country. The Hudson Antiques & Art Dealers Association, which represents 40-plus businesses in the city of Hudson, New York, has become widely recognized as a premier antiques and art center in America. Walk down historic Warren Street and you will find an amazing array of merchandise spanning all continents and several centuries, including decorative objects, vintage and new clothing, jewelry, gallery art, books, home furnishings and plenty of inspiration. From unique frames to midcentury lamps, vintage lounge chairs and Scandinavian textiles, there is something out of the ordinary for every savvy shopper.
Handmade & More, New Paltz, New York
For over 40 years, Handmade & More has been anchored in the heart of New Paltz, New York, bringing unique women’s clothing and accessories, American handcrafted ceramics and jewelry, children’s toys, stationery, bath products and more to Ulster County and the entire Hudson Valley. Owner Melinda Minervini is dedicated to delivering exceptional service and evolving her inventory to offer unique options that meet the needs of the community. New to the store this year is a line of organic artisan made goat milk skin care, exquisite handcrafts and jewelry and a variety of organic teas and sipping chocolate, all waiting to be discovered.