Those of us who like to enjoy wine have a variety of options to choose from in Vermont. We can enjoy wines from Shelburne Vineyard, Jess Quiet, La Garagista, Boyden Valley Winery & Spirits, and Newport Vineyards.
Despite being a tiny sliver of land, Vermont has managed to make its mark as a destination for wine lovers. The latest entrant to the ranks is the Zafa Wines, a one woman show with a taste for blending the natural with the unnatural.
Zafa is the brainchild of California native Krista Scruggs. She migrated to Vermont to learn the ropes. She’s now the proud proprietor of Zafa Wines, a company that’s earning the oh so dubious distinction of being named on Wine Enthusiast’s list of 40 under 40 tastemakers. She also produces a variety of zingy beverages in her small-batch brew shop in the village of Quechee.
The Zafa wine isn’t the only high-end production in the state. Three more renowned Vermont labels are currently producing highly lauded natural wines. One of the most lauded, Heekin’s, is credited with the first ever use of hybrid grapes in Vermont. These grapes are a cross between European wine grapes and native American species. These grapes are a little more expensive and a bit more complex than traditional vineyards, but they are the best tasting of their kind in the state.
Besides wine, Vermont also produces a handful of other beverages. The Green Mountain State is also home to the Haymaker Bun Company, a baker’s delight in the heart of the state. They make morning buns and other pastries, as well as a variety of cocktails and craft beers.
Located in Central Vermont, La Garagista produces a wide variety of natural wines. These include white and red varieties made from hybrid grapes. This is a very unique wine destination.
La Garagista wines are a treat for the senses. They are a refreshing drink that is smooth and fruity. The wine is made from hybrid grapes such as Frontenac Gris and Marquette. These grapes are hardy and disease resistant. They are a good fit for low intervention agriculture.
La Garagista is a small winery that makes wines that are delicious and refreshing. Deirdre Heekin is the owner and winemaker of this winery. She says that she started making wines with no prior experience. She is a passionate advocate for the natural wine movement. Her wines are a perfect example of how to make wine without using conventional methods.
Deirdre Heekin’s passion for natural wine making has inspired many others to follow her example. She says that her winemaking process is organic, biodynamic, and minimal intervention. She sells wines that are transparent and story driven. She also hosts occasional pop-up events. She says that her wines are very popular and are available in many wine shops.
La Garagista is also part of a wider community of small, biodynamic wine producers in Vermont. The winery is located on Mount Hunger in Barnard, Vermont. It has two vineyards, one in the mountain and one in the Champlain Valley.
An Unlikely Vineyard
Located in Bethel, Vermont, Deirdre Heekin’s winery is a pioneer in the emerging natural wine movement in New England. Her wines are made using a combination of organic and biodynamic methods, eschewing conventional winemaking practices.
Deirdre’s wines are available at her tasting room or through curbside pickup. She also hosts pop-ups and offers tasting appointments. She sells several wines including Damejeanne, a blend of Marquette and La Crescent, which sings of the crunchy Green Mountain soil. This wine was named one of the Best Wine Books of 2014 by the New York Times.
Deirdre’s vineyard grows hybrid grapes, which are only vines that grow in Vermont. These grapes were once a laughing stock in the wine world, but they have now earned a reputation as some of the region’s best. They offer disease resistance and withstand summer rains.
Deirdre and her son Caleb started their vineyard with the aim of growing organic food and wine. Their farm is biodynamic and their vines are planted using organic gardening and permaculture techniques. Deirdre and Caleb wanted to create a sense of place.
The vineyard produces a variety of grapes including La Crescent, which produces aromatic whites, and Frontenac Gris, which is a hybrid of native American grapes. La Crescent is typically high in acidity, but with apricot and citrus flavors. They also produce a tart red wine, the St. Croix, which has notes of black currant.
Boyden Valley Winery & Spirits
Located in a picturesque 5th generation Boyden farm in Vermont, the Boyden Valley Winery & Spirits is steeped in the history and culture of the Green Mountains. It is home to a plethora of grapevines, including a grove of 8,000, as well as 100 maple trees. The winery also boasts an impressive array of other beverages, including a wide array of spirits and artisan hard ciders. In addition to the impressive libations, the farm also produces a few meads and gin tonics.
The most important part of the whole operation is the family that runs the show, including owners David, Mark, and Stephanie Boyden and their respective wives. They’ve been farming the 800 acre property for over a century. They produce organic corn, soybeans, hay, beef, and maple syrup, and craft more than 20 different wines and spirits.
Boyden Valley Winery & Spirits has the honor of being the first craft distillery in the United States to produce a craft distilled cream liqueur. It’s also the first to launch a red ice wine. The winery has produced more than a dozen wines and spirits, including the one that won the coveted award for best Vermont ice wine, in addition to a couple of ice ciders of their own.
There’s a reason the Boydens have been growing fruit and producing hay and beef for over a century, and it’s all about sustainability. A recent announcement by the winery’s owner tells us that they will be closing their tasting room by the end of this year, and will focus exclusively on producing spirits.
Located in the heart of Vermont, Shelburne Vineyard is one of the most popular Vermont wineries. With its scenic views, tasting rooms, and award-winning wines, it’s no wonder that Shelburne Vineyard is often a destination for wine lovers. It is open seven days a week from 11am to 6pm. The tasting room offers wine by the glass and bottle, as well as cheese, chocolate, and charcuterie boards. The tasting room is open for tours every day from May to October.
Shelburne Vineyard is known for its award-winning cold-climate grapes. Among the grapes they grow are Louise Swenson, Marquette, and Petite Pearl. The winery has also been awarded with medals at national competitions.
Vermont has the potential to become one of the top wine regions in the country. It has the ideal climate to grow vinifera grapes, which thrive in cooler climates. This makes it an ideal location for low-intervention agriculture. It also helps that these grapes are disease-resistant, making them a good fit for natural wine making.
Shelburne Vineyard has been in business for years. Founder Ken Albert planted his first vineyard in 1998. While working at IBM, Albert began planting grapes in his backyard. His small vineyard yielded a few bottles, but Albert had a vision for bringing cold climate wine to Vermont.
After Albert began producing wine, he was surprised by the amount of people that showed up at his winery. He opened the first tasting room in 2000. His goal was to create a place for wine lovers to enjoy wine and share stories. He wanted to create wines that were interesting, complex, and high-quality.
Located in the heart of Newport, VT, Newport Vineyards began as a small winery. Today, it’s New England’s largest grape-grower and has been award-winning for its wines. It’s also family owned. The owners recently expanded the vineyard to a 100-acre plot and added a deli and bakery.
The vineyard produces wines with a wide range of flavors. The company is especially known for its Gemini Red, which is a crisp, light red. It’s also known for its crisp In the Buff Chardonnay.
The vineyard is also home to an award-winning wine shop and restaurant. The owners pair the wine with New-American dishes. They also host group wine tastings and seasonal events.
The vineyard’s wines are organic and are produced with low intervention agriculture. In addition, the winery practices composting and recycling.
The vineyard is open year round. In addition to free tastings, you can also buy bottles of wine online. During the warmer months, you can take a hike along the old Rutland Railroad trackbed, known as the Island Line Trail.
The vineyard also hosts a polo tournament. The Newport International Polo Series is held at Glen Farm. There are also culinary events and live music. Newport Vineyards is located close to beaches and shopping. It’s a great wine destination for both locals and tourists.
Vermont is also home to several notable wineries. Greenvale Vineyards, for example, has been around since 1863 and offers daily tastings of estate wines. It also hosts jazz concerts on Saturdays.