Monday, September 6, 2010

Excellent article on Maine wine and grape growing

In the past, we've seen some pretty bad articles about growing grapes in Maine. From misconstrued information to misinformed journalists, grape growers in Maine have had to work hard to convince the public that it's possible to make good Maine wine from Maine grown grapes. We're beginning to see, quite literally, the fruits of our labor, and even journalists are starting to get the story straight.

We want to highlight this particularly well written and well researched article, titled Bottling Maine that appeared in the Portland Monthly. Below, is an excerpt from the article with a list of all the Maine wineries.

A Guide To Maine Wineries

Bar Harbor Cellars at Sweet Pea Farm
Bar Harbor

A beautiful hilltop winery in a Civil War-era home. Must try: Riesling, Dry Blueberry
Bartlett’s Maine Estate Winery
Gouldsboro

Maine’s oldest winery, est. 1982, and designed by winemaker Bob Bartlett, a former architect. Must try: Reserve Dry Oak Wild Blueberry, Blueberry Sangiovese, Trio
Blacksmith’s Winery
South Casco

Winery is a converted farmhouse and barn where a village blacksmith once lived and worked. Must try: Sparkling Cranberry, Trillium
Breakwater Vineyards & Farm
Owl’s Head

Winery is housed in a barn overlooking the Rockland breakwater and its lighthouse, and is the only Maine winery currently growing vinifera grapes. Must try: Oaky Chardonnay
Cellardoor Vineyard
Lincolnville

Maine’s largest winery has two tasting rooms: a post-and-beam barn at the Lincolnville vineyard and a Victorian house (The Villa) in Rockland. Must try: Viognier, Serendipity
DayBreak Manor Vineyard
Wiscasset
This beautifully landscaped manor has a rentable cottage and small boutique store. Releasing their first wines this summer. Tasting room is in the works.

Dragonfly Farm & Winery
Stetson

Enthusiastic, young hobbiest-vintners make wine on a lovely new farm near Bangor. Must try: Clarity
Fiddlers’ Reach
Bath

Makes five meads from Maine and Georgia honey. A fine one-man show from owner/winemaker Rob Nicoll. No tasting room. Must try: Merrymeeting Dry Mead
Maine Coast Vineyards
Portland

Offers a variety of wines from locally grown grapes. No tasting room. Must try: The Scarborough Beach Series
Maine Mead Works
Portland

Maine wildflower honey is used to make dry and semi-dry meads, blueberry mead, and seasonal varieties. Must try: Blueberry Mead
Oyster River Winegrowers
Warren

Owner specializes in wines made from his own organically grown grapes. Must try: Villager White
Prospect Hill Winery
Lebanon

This friendly farm winery has hilltop views, nice gardens, animals, and trails for kids to enjoy. Must try: Edelvira, Chancellor
Salmon Falls Winery
South Berwick

Winemaker, an environmental engineer and wine connoisseur, makes a variety of red wines. No tasting room. Must try: Milestone Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon
Savage Oakes Vineyard & Winery
Union

A family-friendly winery on a farm owned by the same family since the 1790s. Must try: Seyval Blanc, Barn Red
Shalom Orchard Organic Farm & Winery
Franklin

Jim Baranski, who built his own rustic winery, has a scientific background and loves to experiment with historic blends and oddball varieties (including creations such as Kiwi and Wintergreen wine).  Must try: Cranberry Cyser
Sow’s Ear Winery
Brooksville

Maine’s second-oldest winery, opened in 1991. Tom Hoey, a self-sufficient homesteader, makes wines from his own, hand-picked fruit and other local fruit. Must try: Rhubarb Wine
Sweetgrass Farm Winery & Distillery
Union

Makes a variety of wines, rums, brandies, and more on an attractive family farm in the pastoral hills of central Maine. Must try: Apple Wine, Cranberry or Blueberry Smash
Tanguay & Son Winery
Lewiston

A school maintenance supervisor and his son, a computer-program analyst, make wine in their own little laboratory in Lewiston. No tasting room. Must try: Maine Blueberry
Unity Winery & Vineyards
Unity

Offers unusual wines with names like Tickled Pink and Petal Pushers. Tasting room is in the works. Must try: Four Sisters Elderberry Wine
Winterport Winery
Winterport

Makes a large variety of fruit wines and holds tastings in a renovated hardware store. Pairings, a center for food and wine education, is located here. Must try: Apple Wine, Cranberry Wine, Flying Dutchman