Also in this Issue:

Saddle Up! How to say “I Do” to a Hudson Valley Barn Wedding

For a Kingston/New York City Couple, Home is Where the Art is.

A Little Shellfish

Michael Drapkin: Wine Merchant

Map: How to Get Here From There

Kingston Snapshots

Decora: Hip-Hop Artist/Social Activist/Urban Farmer

The Times They are A-Changin’: Kingston’s Evolving Second-Home Market

In For The Long Haul: A Kingston Weekenders’ Love Story

Escape-Worthy: Cold Spring

Kale Kaposhilin: Technology Innovator/Community Builder

Welcome to the Beerhood: Those who Brew Together, Stick Together

Michael Drapkin: Wine Merchant

Upstater Magazine   |  By   |  Photo by Roy Gumpel

Hometown: Baltimore

Moved upstate from: Brooklyn

Hudson Valley home: Downtown Kingston

Favorite parts of upstate life:“Being that cooking is an essential element of our lifestyle, having fantastic urban farms in Kingston and access to farmers doing great work in the Hudson Valley makes our lives more enriched.”

Least favorite thing about upstate life: “If I forget something on the grocery list, I can’t walk to my corner bodega.”

From Washington, D.C., to southwestern France, to Manhattan, and on to Kingston, Michael Drapkin’s life journey has been fueled by wine. He can be found these days at Kingston Wine Co. on Broadway in Downtown Kingston’s Rondout district, clad in a traditional French serving jacket, offering education and fine libations to all comers, or at his Rondout-area home, which he shares with his wife Theresa, an artist who keeps a studio there.

Why Kingston? “A combination of factors: An endless search for the perfect bricks-and-mortar retail space in New York City led us to expand our search north,” says Drapkin. “We stumbled on Kingston, thanks to the Airbnb listing Church des Artistes [on Spring Street in the Rondout]. A desire to have more space to create, in addition to the natural resources of the Hudson Valley, solidified our decision to move.”

Both Drapkin and his wife have retail and hospitality in their blood, with family connections to a D.C. pharmacy, Brooklyn wine shop, and McGlade’s restaurants on the Jersey Shore. And the shop they have created together—with Drapkin as primary proprietor, and his wife helping out and exerting design sensibilities as needed—is winning raves for maintaining an intimate, friendly, casual feeling paired with a broad and deep expertise.

“The fascinating thing about wine is how multidisciplinary it can be,” says Drapkin. “It’s been made by man for thousands of years. It holds a symbolic place in many facets of our world cultures. We approach wine with a humble fascination of its complexity yet don’t over formalize it. Wine is a quotidian element of our dinner table. Wine can be as refined or unrefined as the consumer chooses.”

Drapkin sources his offerings from all around the world, with a strong preference for “farmers and makers who work hard to preserve and enrich their land for future generations.” He explains: “We have something to learn from the monks of France, who worked the vineyards of central Burgundy making pinot noir in the year 1200it’s a long, rich, persistent agricultural process.”

It’s an attitude that resonates well up here, as does the couple’s collaborative spirit. “There are lots of good vibes here,” says Drapkin. “The business organization for Downtown, the Kingston Waterfront Business Association, is a great resource of support and a vehicle of collaboration. We feel a real sense of solidarity.”

  • Nicole Francis

    We love Michael and Theresa and what they have brought to our community, the Kingston Wine Co. and beyond. They are sponsors of the Kingston Land Trust walks and Michael is major Kingston history geek. And he sourced a wine for us just like the ones we had on a recent trip to Southern Italy. And I personally think he looks like Lucky Luciano (in his jailbird jacket) so I sometimes call him Lucky. Thanks for featuring him and the store!