The flair q & A

Kimberly Peacock

Talk about making a splash. Kimberly Peacock is co-owner of Tousey Winery, a premier destination in the Hudson Valley. Why? Because this talented entrepreneur (plus wife, Mom and all around busy lady) has built this award-winning business from the ground up. Let's toast to that!

Tell me about your business or specialty.
I am the co-owner of Tousey Winery located in Clermont, New York. My husband and I specialize in producing quality wine from grapes grown here in the Hudson Valley.

How'd you get to where you are now?

Ha ha - with a lot of long nights labeling wine, while nursing a newborn (make that three total!). In all seriousness, I don’t know how we did it other than we just kept going, and always made sure quality was a priority. We opened Tousey Winery in 2010, comprised of a boutique tasting room on Route 9 in Clermont and our vineyard is a few miles away on a picturesque hilltop.

We’ve grown our business one step at time, expanded our tasting room, taken over the small adjacent cafe, and garnered industry accolades and awards along the way. We’ve added a wine club and online ordering to our website, allowing us to expand our reach to more wine enthusiasts! We’ve experienced hurricanes that affected our harvests, other storm damage that flooded our tasting room (which had just been newly renovated!), Covid shutdowns and more. And here we are today, proudly still making great wine and growing our business.

I’m from the Hudson Valley but lived and worked in Denmark as a young adult - and that’s where I met Ben (he’s British). We moved back to this area 13 years ago and started Tousey. Our entrepreneurial spirit and a love of wine in general guided us to this decision. Three kids later, we are still going strong.

How has the Covid crisis affected your work or business? Any new ideas or approaches…or lessons learned so far?

Covid was a challenge, but I love a challenge. The fear of being shut down just made me work twice as hard. We doubled our outdoor seating, and offered free delivery from Albany to Hyde Park. We donated to local hospitals - I stood outside handing out bottles of wine thanking nurses as they ended their shifts. Now I have the most amazing new customers from the hospitals as regulars.

The challenge now is manpower - we are short staffed, desperate to find a chef and bar staff. So, even though we weathered the storm, we are continually feeling the effects of the crisis.

What surprises you in your work, now or in the past?

How surprised people are that New York wine is amazing. Also, how international wine writers/bloggers are fascinated with wine from our state.

What drives you crazy?

Misbehaved dogs! Or I should say, owners who are not considerate. We have sometimes had owners put dogs on the furniture in the tasting room, or don’t really discipline when their dog barks loudly at people coming in. It’s an ongoing joke between the staff and I (insert eye roll here). Don’t get me wrong, we love dogs - so quiet ones that stay by their owners (and owners who are cool) are totally fine. (I bet you regret asking!)

Who inspires you? (it can be anybody you know, or don't know)

Hands down my 12 year old daughter. She is a level 5 gymnast with 10.5 hours of practice a week on top of school. She still manages to make healthy snacks for her brothers and is proud of me for working so hard. People say she is a mini me but she is much more polite and kind!

Also - my team. I am so lucky to be surrounded by good, talented and caring people at the winery. They make the whole experience interesting and even fun!

You're a trailblazer - what are some highlights in your career to date?

- Getting a job at age 15 with a successful catering business in Denmark and working my way up through the ranks, and then at age 18 starting a small cafe in the middle of Copenhagen. My entrepreneurial spirit came early in my life.

- Starting the winery with my husband, with three small babies in tow and with very little finances - but lots of love. This proved to me we could build a business and a family if we were a total team.

- Lastly, when the cafe owner next door moved on to open his own steakhouse, I stepped in to keep it going and stay successful. It’s a great complement to the tasting room - wine and food side by side. Somehow none of it scared me - it was all just feelings of excitement. I guess that energy is what I need to keep the ball moving forward!

Words of wisdom or thoughts?

I’m a big believer in Karma… Also be good to babies and the elderly. Everyone in between should know better!


Kimberly Peacock is co-owner of Tousey Winery in Clermont, New York, along with her husband Ben. She is a longtime professional in the culinary world and is now a successful businesswoman sharing her love of wine, food and the Hudson Valley. A passionate entrepreneur, she manages the Tousey business top to bottom, including the sister cafe next door. Kimberly can often be found at special events around the region, selling and talking about wine. She lives in Clermont with her husband and three entertaining children.

(published 2022)