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Lindenwald is named for Martin Van Buren’s home, a National Historic Site, which is a unit of the United States National Park Service located 20 miles south of Albany, New York, or two miles south of the village of Kinderhook, in Columbia County. The National Historic Site preserves the estate and thirty-six room mansion of Martin Van Buren, the eighth President of the United States. Van Buren purchased the estate, which he named Lindenwald, in 1839 during his one term as President and it became his home and farm during his retirement.
Van Buren, a founder of the Democratic Party, purchased the home and approximately 125 acres of land in 1839 for $14,000 (equal to $310,056 today) while he was still President. However, Van Buren did not move into the home until 1841 (after he was defeated for his second term by the Whig candidate William Henry Harrison in 1840). Eventually, his four living sons, Abraham, John, Martin Jr., and Smith, had rooms in the mansion. The home was previously owned by the Van Ness family and was where Washington Irving wrote most of his book A History of New York. Irving and Van Buren later became friends.
Van Buren ran two United States Presidential campaigns from Lindenwald. In 1844, he based his ultimately unsuccessful run for the Democratic nomination at the estate. That year, Van Buren lost a hotly contested fight to nominee and eventual President James Knox Polk. In 1848, in opposition to the extension of slavery into territories captured from Mexico as a result of the Mexican-American War, Van Buren ran for President on a third-party ticket (The Free Soil Party), again directing his campaign from Lindenwald. Van Buren’s campaign drew enough votes away from the Democratic nominee, Lewis Cass, to allow Whig candidate Zachary Taylor to prevail.
Van Buren named the estate Lindenwald, which is German for “linden wood”, after the American Linden (American Basswood or Tilia americana) trees lining the Albany-to-New York Post Road, which is still located in front of the home. The section of the road on the property remains unimproved to this day. Some replanted Linden trees also remain by the side of the road. Lindenwald was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1961.
Van Buren passed away at Lindenwald on July 24, 1862. He was 79.
Packaged in a distinctive blue bottle and named for President Martin Van Buren’s summer home in Kinderhook, this is one of our most popular wines. It’s a blend of Diamond and Niagara grapes, and smells and tastes like a juicy Concord grape, reminiscent of those found on wild vines. It’s sweet yet light – a great sipping wine or accompaniment to foods as varied as spicy food to dessert.