Hudson Valley residents are mourning the loss of an internationally known local business pioneer who suddenly died.

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Gable Erenzo the founder of Hudson Whiskey, Tuthilltown Spirits and Gardiner Liquid Mercantile suddenly passed away at the age of 40 in his sleep.

"Our Tuthilltown team and the greater craft spirits community mourns the loss of Gable Erenzo - a true craft spirits pioneer. Gable worked tirelessly with his Father Ralph to develop and nurture the Hudson Whiskey and Tuthilltown Spirits’ brands before traveling the world as Hudson’s first brand ambassador. His bold personality, genuine warmth, and sense of humor brought joy to anyone he encountered," Tuthilltown Spirits stated on Facebook.

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Erenzo's stepmother confirmed he died in his sleep, adding the cause is unknown.

"I report, with a broken heart, the death of my beloved stepson," Cynthia Darlow wrote. "Gabe and I have had a rare and close relationship since he was five years old. At 40, he has cruelly been taken from us far too soon. Our grief is unspeakable."

Erenzo is credited with starting the bourbon revolution in New York State and went on to become internationally known. He and his father, Ralph Erenzo, helped give Tuthilltown Spirits a national presence. In 2010 they won the 2010 ADI Bubble Cap Award for Distillery of the Year, according to the American Distilling Institute.

"Gabe was a pillar of the local business community and an international star in his own right among craft distillers. His can-do attitude and great personality brought light into the lives of everyone who had the pleasure of interacting with him," Heady Teddy's wrote on Facebook. "Gabe, you will always be a legend in my book, and I’m so grateful for the time that we got to spend together."

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