The Tasting Panel magazine

August 2012

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DEPARTMENT HEADER Climbingto the FOR HUDSON WHISKEY AMBASSADOR GABLE ERENZO, THE BRAND IS A FAMILY AFFAIR by Raun Norquist / photos by Daniel Gonzalez B Gable Erenzo rock climbs in Central Park. His first forays on the rocks were at the age of six, on the park's Rat Rock, where he climbed with his father. 72 / the tasting panel / august 2012 rand Ambassador for Hudson Whiskey, Gable Erenzo, cannot be defined by that title alone. He is not only the Ambassador for the brand, marketed by William Grant & Sons, but also part owner in the distillery that produces it. Erenzo was intrinsic in structuring the business and—literally—hands-on in the building of the distillery; then for two and a half years he actually made the spirits. His story reminds us that you don't always arrive at the place for which you departed, and his story can only be told as a family affair. Gable's father, Ralph Erenzo, was looking for a life-changing move. He had always been a passionate rock climber, something he imparted to his son, whom he encouraged to start climb- ing on Rat Rock, in New York City's Central Park, by the age of six. His search led him to a piece of property in the small town of Gardiner, 90 miles north of Manhattan, with a working grist mill and adjacent to the Shawangunk Mountains, a huge craggy outcropping of bedrock, 2,289 feet above sea level. This rock climber's heaven is affectionately referred to as "the Gunks." With this property, Erenzo Sr.'s plans took form: "Bunks in the Gunk," a climbers' resort. But the property needed a zoning variance from agricultural to commercial, and he had neighbors with deep pockets who did not share his vision. In a des- perate measure to save the property, a friend suggested that Erenzo develop something within the existing agricultural zoning. Top

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