When you think about the wine industry in the United States, you’d be forgiven if the only place that you think produces wine is the Napa Valley in California.
You’ll find a lot of Vermont wineries in the fine state of Ohio, and we’re here to tell you more!
How Many Wineries Are There In Vermont?
There are approximately 20 wineries in Vt. And the list keeps on growing. The wine industry in Vermont is expanding. More and more vineyards are appearing on fields and hillsides all throughout the state. Their award-winning products are sold on site and in many shops for all to enjoy.
What Wine Are Vermont Wineries Best Known For?
Flavourful, cold-hardy grapes like Frontenac, Marquette, and La Crescent are the main ingredients in Vermont’s delicious wines:
- Marquette wines from Vermont wineries are normally medium bodied. They have noses of cherries, blackcurrants and blackberries. In other examples, more complex aromas such as tobacco and leather might also be exhibited. There may be spicy pepper notes on the finish. It is suggested that Marquette responds well to oak treatments such as barrel ageing and oak chipping.
- As a wine, Frontenac can be made in dry, sweet or rosé styles. This grape varietal is increasingly utilised in order to make port. The juice often has a deep garnet colour, with cherry aromas. Secondary characteristics of blackcurrant, plum and sometimes chocolate have also been identified. Dry styles typically benefit from oak contact.
- La Crescent is best for the production of off-dry and semi-sweet wines. It will probably retain some acidity, which balances this style. It is a fairly aromatic variety and exhibits flavours of stone fruits, such as peach, citrus fruits or even tropical flavours of pineapple.
Handmade varieties of reds, whites and dessert wines from Vermont wineries give a broad range of styles, as do fruit wines that are made with blueberries, rhubarb, apples and raspberries. In addition, dessert ice wines are not to be missed. These are made from grapes that are harvested after the arrival of winter when the juice of the grapes is highly concentrated and super sweet.
What Is The Oldest Winery In Vermont?
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One of the best wineries in Vermont – and the oldest – Snow Farm Winery and Vineyard started as a way in order to preserve Vermont’s agricultural land for farmers. The relatively mild climate of the island is situated in Lake Champlain which allows for the growth of vinifera grapes such as Pinot Noir and Riesling.
However, more cold-hardy varieties are grown here as well. Snow Farm has been making wines for a while but it is most known for producing the ever-popular ice wines, which the Wine Spectator named in their 2009 Editor’s Choice Edition.
Each spring the vines are pruned back in order to increase grape production. Days are whiled away together in the vines singing, chatting as well as catching up on winter happenings. In the summer the vines need constant attention with tying, clipping, training, and hedging to ensure the grapes have access to the sun so that they can reach their full potential.
Every year the wine farm gathers with their community to harvest our many varieties of grapes. Most make it into the buckets, while others are eaten.
What Is The Largest Winery In Vermont?
In the mid-2000s, Lincoln Peak Vineyards’ Chris and Michaela Grantor produced their first commercially available wine. Lincoln Peak makes in excess of 25 000 bottles a year. The family’s vineyard is one of the biggest grape producers in Vermont. It is the oldest Vermont winery.
For the family, it all started in 2001 with a shoebox full of grapevine cuttings from a fellow in Minnesota. Chris planted the cuttings. They grew and then thrived. Within a few years, grapes took over.
Their wines won a loyal following from Vermont to California. They won four best-in-show awards together with several gold and double-gold medals at International Cold-Climate Wine Competition.
Almost 5 km north of Middlebury, Lincoln Peak is set on 12 sprawling acres of grapevines that face the western sun. Its Friday night concert series attracts as many as 300 people on a Friday night.
The Granstorms began farming the land, on which Lincoln Peak is situated, in 1981. They started with an apple tree nursery. For 10 years, Chris sold trees for 10 years, all the while setting up a strawberry farm.
The strawberry enterprise took off. People used to line their cars up in the morning waiting for the Granstroms to open their gates. The strawberries were good to them for more than 20 years however the promise of the new, cold-hardy grape varieties caught our attention.
Other Vermont Wineries To Visit
Boyden Valley Winery + Spirits, Cambridge
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One of the most pioneering Vermont wineries, The Boyden Winery was constructed on fourth-generation farmland. At Boyden’s Cambridge farm and tasting room, it is suggested that you pair a selection of local cheese or chocolates with your wine.
On Saturdays, try out one of the house-made sangrias (different each week) while lounging on the patio. For an adventure, paddle down the Lamoille River with Vermont Canoe and Kayak.
Putney Mountain Winery
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Putney Mountain Winery creates some of the best fruit wines in Vermont. This is made possible due to their keen eye for detail. Alongside fruity wines, they provide an assortment of spirits that are made in small batches for optimal flavour and quality.
At Putney they make their wines and liqueurs utilising fresh ingredients from regional as well as local farms. Their winery is totally solar-powered and all waste from the winemaking process is recycled or composted.
For a long time, Vermont’s cold climate was inhospitable to growing grapes. Wines were developed in a mead-style from fruits such as apples. Then, with the assistance of Minnesota Hardy, the University of Minnesota’s fruit research department, Vermont winemakers found hybrid grapes.
These are delicate vinifera varieties, utilised to make all the well-known European wines, were bred with hardier, cold-resistant grapes that are native to North America. The result was fruit that could produce well-balanced and complex flavours while still surviving the winter.
There you have it! The best wineries in Vermont that deserve a visit. This part of Ohio has some wonderful fruit of the vine just waiting to be enjoyed!