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As with all the most significant appellations in France, the regulations for St Emilion were laid down very soon after Baron Le Roy’s initial work in Châteauneuf du Pape, work which paved the way for the creation of the Appellation Contrôlée system. The St Emilion appellation dates from 1938, when the committee met to draw up the boundaries for the eligible vineyards, which are the town of Libourne and the Pomerol vineyards to the west, route nationale 10 to the north, where the the adjoining communes of St Emilion and Pomerol, such as St-Georges-St-Emilion and Lalande-de-Pomerol, may be found, the Ruisseau la Capelle and the Dordogne to the south, and to the east the vineyards of the Côtes de Castillon.

The permitted varieties match those allowed elsewhere in Bordeaux, namely the Cabernets Franc & Sauvignon, Merlot, Carmenère and Malbec. Naturally it is the first three that dominate, but the lead role goes to Merlot, which copes much better with the limestone and clay soils, as opposed to Cabernet Sauvignon which is better suited to gravel. One or two estates, with Cheval Blanc being perhaps the prime example, feature Cabernet Franc ahead of all the other varieties.

St Emilion - Appellation

The appellation regulations also allow for a Grand Cru designation, although the term is misleading. In Burgundy it is the highest honour for any plot of land, a designation intrinsically intertwined with the terroir of the region; here in St Emilion, where terroir is also so vital, a wine qualifies for Grand Cru status based on little more than a few details of the harvest - a maximum of 40 hl/ha rather than 45 hl/ha for basic St Emilion - and a minimum alcoholic strength of 11%, hardly a pressing requirement considering what I have already written of the New Bordeaux in my piece on climate change and new technologies. Thus the distinctions between St Emilion and St Emilion Grand Cru are very minor, rather akin to the difference between basic Bordeaux and Bordeaux Supérieur. As such, the Grand Cru designation is effectively meaningless to the consumer. The appellation regulations make mention of the more interesting tiers of the St Emilion classification, Grand Cru Classé and Premier Grand Cru Classé, but is clear that these designations are awarded by - or at least on behalf of - the Minister for Agriculture and the Secretary of State. Both rankings are determined by committee, who make their judgements based on visits to the domaines in question and on tasting ten vintages. For the 2006 classification, the decision was made on the strength of the 1993-2002 vintages.

A listing of the most notable estates is given here on the right, but rather than using the regional classification as a framework for the list, as I have done with other communes and appellations, here I have summarised the top properties according to the predominant terroir. It is not an unquestionable or hugely robust method (but then neither are any of the Bordeaux classifications in my opinion), especially as many properties possess vineyards that encompass several (or indeed all) of the St Emilion terroirs. It is not uncommon for properties on the plateau to have some vineyards on the côtes, and for some at the pieds de côtes where the limestone gives way to clay to also have some vineyards on the sandy plains to the west and south of the town. Where one terroir seems more significant for a particular property I have listed it appropriately; hence Cheval-Blanc and Figeac are both listed under gravel, although there is a component of sand in the vineyards. Likewise La Tour-Figeac is listed under sand, although there is a gravel component here. Naturally not all estates are listed, merely those that seem most significant for the St Emilion appellation.

Of these estates, which you favour most will naturally depend on personal preferences. There are some wines which tend towards a dark colour, rich texture, plentiful extract, low acidity and high points. It is easy to be swayed by such a style, especially when tasted among a line up of comparable wines. But taken to an extreme, as seems to be the case in St Emilion more than any other Bordeaux appellation, it is not a style I favour. Without sufficient acidity there is no freshness, and when extraction goes too far the wines must carry a heavy burden of tannin for the rest of their lives, and will never possess a balanced composition on the palate. Over-extraction, something I have already discussed in my osmosis and extraction chapter of this guide, is very much a right bank disease, with St Emilion being the more afflicted of the Libournais communes.

Despite my preferences for fresher, more balanced wines, however, I have no problem with the more opulent style per se; I do not think of it as inherently ‘wrong’. Also I have nothing against the garariste movement - a trend for opulent, low yield, microvinifications - which was born in St Emilion and which is typified by estates such as La Mondotte, Le Dôme and of course, the archetype, Valandraud - as some of these wines can be delicious. Interestingly, however, it seems to me that many of those who do enjoy this style of wine - or at least a vocal minority - do not hold a corresponding view. They view the less opulent, less extracted wines - read fresh and balanced - as underperforming, underachieving, insults to their palate, which they must regard, I suppose, as being the universal palate. They send the wines packing with ‘could do better’ scrawled on their reports, as if they were teachers judging miscreant pupils. Fortunately for me, the influence of these self-appointed teachers has not spread across the whole commune, and there are many wines produced in St Emilion which still suit my palate. To enjoy the wines of this region - which yields more bottles of wine than all four of the Médoc’s most famous communes combined - all that is necessary is a little exploration, and perhaps an open mind, open to the thought that high-scoring, hedonistic, low acid, over-extracted wines might not be the best - to your palate - that the commune has to offer.


Finca Bella Vista | Red Wines

January 19th, 2009

By Giuliano Bortolleto, january 19th, 2009

The Finca Bella Vista Wine is a very especial product of the Achaval Ferrer. The production is so careful that the winery had to cancel the harvests of two consecutive years, 2005 and 2006. Despite the great loss, they not regret that “because it shows the huge care that Achaval Ferrer has with its wines” as the winery manager Julián said. However, they are now expecting to have the best harvest ever to the 2007 Finca Bella Vista, which can become the best wine ever produced by the Achaval Ferrer.

This is a “Terroir” wine, one exemple of the three single wineyards wines of the Achaval Ferrer Winery, made with Malbec grapes from the Bella Vista farm in Pedriel, in the Mendoza province in Argentina. This farm has only 5 hectars of planted area with only 12 hl/hect and is 980(3200 feets) meter above the sea level. The Mendoza dry climate garantees a thermic wideness, which provides healthiness and a good amount of sugar ti the fruit. Besides, due to the rainless of the region, the wine maker can use correctly the water in the irrigation in order to extract the most wonderful that the grape can give to the final product.

The color of this wine is absolutely fantastic. A real bright ruby color. The aroma is also superb. A combination of red fruits, like strawberry, and black chilli. The wine has a robust body. Nevertheles it mantains a good acidy level and a great elegancy and delicacy.

It really worths to wait for the new harvest of this surprizing Malbec from Achaval Ferrer.

Port Wine and Chocolates

June 26th, 2008

By Giuliano Bortolleto - 6/26/08

Undoubtedly, there is no better wine to pair with chocolates than a port one. May the chocolate be bitter or not. The Port wine is the only one which can support the high sweetness of the chocolate, due to its great intensity and complexity of strong flavors, making the port a potent wine, capable of pairing with so many foods of strong flavors. Although the chocolate might be very sweet and delicate, it stays on the mouth and on the tongue of whoever eats, forming a layer which is very awkward to be removed by a wine, even that this wine is a very strong one, such an urugayan tannat
That`s why the Port wine is the best choice on pairing wines with chocolates, in my opinion. Another good pick is a sparkling wine. The sparkling produces the perlage, which is very good to clean your mouth, no matter what you have eaten before. Sparkling wines are very versatiles and pair with almost all types of foods. However, only a Port can clean your mouth and tongue an at the same time harmonize with the chocolate, creating a strong, but delicious combination, emphasizing the flavors of both chocolate and Port wine. Port can be paired with other heavy foods such gorgonzola cheese and also ice creams.
Port Wine

Try yourself. Cheers!

Heather Johnston, tastes four red wines (Australian shiraz, French syrah, Spanish tempranillo, and Argentinian pinot noir), and pairs them with mushroom crostini and camembert cheese. Delicious!

The regions of wine production in the Island of CorsigaLes Vins D’appelation D’origine Controlee – (A.O.C.)

The Soils of Production
Ajaccio, Calvi, Cap Corse, Muscat du Cap Corse, Figari, Patrimonio, Porto Vecchio, Sartene.
Aromas in harmony and voyage into the heart of the island.

AOC of Ajaccio

The slopes of Ajaccio cover a wide area stretching from the Balagne to Sartène. This region is
home to an important number of winemakers who vinify their own grapes in their own cellars.
Here are to be found some of the most long-established and highly reputed domains in
Corsica, as well as small vineyards which are a real archive of wine-making history. The
Sciaccarellu grape is the pride of the Ajaccio vineyards, as it lends its character - a colour
clear but full and bright as a flame, and an exceptional distinction - to reds and rosés alike.
Surface: 242 ha, Production of Red: 5.087 hl, of Rosé: 2.556 hl, of White: 4.852 hl,
Return: 42,07 hl/ha

AOC of Corse Calvi

The Balagne is a region which is one of the gentlest of the island, with its well-ordered fields
and its superb villages perched between sea and mountain peaks. The wines of the Balagne
were known to Seneca, and today their full-bodied, aromatic reds, their fresh, sunny rosés
and their subtlest of whites, enjoy great success.
Surface: 276 ha, Production of Red: 4.157hl, of Rosé: 3.373 hl, of White: 971 hl
Return: 30,18 hl/ha

AOC of Corse Coteaux du Cap

In this region everything, from the potent soil to the hardy and industrious people, recalls the
fact that this land boasts a prosperous past in which the vine played a prime role. Today the
vineyards are limited to small areas. They produce red wines which age well, and, especially,
white wines of rare elegance and pronounced floral bouquet which have long been keenly
sought after.
Surface: 34,49 ha, Production of Red: 146 hl, of Rosé: 316 hl, of White: 507 hl,
Return: 32,81 hl/ha

AOC of Corse Figari

The most southerly vineyards of France, and also the oldest, as the first vines appeared here in
the 6th century BC. On a particularly arid, ancient granite plateau, buffeted by the winds,
grow traditional Corsican grape varieties, such as Carcajolu Neru. These varieties produce
distinctive, well-structured red, rosé and white wines of great subtlety.
Surface: 130 ha, Production of Red: 2.833 hl, of Rosé: 1.495 hl, of White: 605 hl,
Return: 36,55 hl/ha
2007 11

AOC of Muscat du Cap Corse

This wine is subtle and full of sunshine, a worthy rival to the greatest of muscats. However the
degree of pleasure found in this wine is an indication of the effort which goes into producing
it. As the old Tuscan saying goes: ‘A glass of Corsican wine, and I could climb Stromboli’. The
Muscat of Cap Corse is a very special wine. Yields are so low that that each grape fills to the
brim with sunshine. Only a handful of producers pursue, indefatigably, the secret process of
making this unique wine. Track down this wine, and merit it, as it will lead you into the
pantheon of great wines.
Surface: 98 ha, Production: 2.813 hl, Return: 28,7 hl/ha

AOC of Patrimonio

This small, fertile and vibrant region, well sheltered from the wind, and exceptionally well
exposed to the west, produces the best known of all the wines of Corsica, under the oldestestablished
Appellation. The vineyards are divided into small properties, whose owners have
the know-how to create wines of nobility. In Patrimonio the Niellucciu grape is king, producing
warm and powerful reds, and sunny, fruity rosés. The Vermentinu grape also has its role here,
in dry white wines with a lovely bouquet and a remarkable aromatic richness.
Surface: 409 ha, Production of Red: 8.407 hl, of Rosé: 5.695 hl, of White: 2.576 hl
Return: 39 hl/ha

AOC of Corse Porto Vecchio

Founded as Porto Syracusanus in 383 BC, present-day Porto Vecchio boasts medieval walls of
rose-coloured porphyry, and a magnificent natural harbour. The town is in the heart of a
vibrant region, within which one finds little creeks along the coast, groves of umbrella pines,
forests of cork oaks and, above all, some splendid vineyards perched on impressive hillsides.
Here the dominant grapes are Niellucciu and Sciaccarellu, an alliance which produces,
along with Grenache grapes, elegant, round reds, and subtle, aromatic rosés. As to the
whites, made from Vermentinu grapes, they are dry and fruity, and make a marvellous
accompaniment to fish and seafood.
Surface: 89,74 ha, Production of Red: 1.403 hl, of Rosé: 1.370 hl, of White: 655 hl,
Return: 38,27 hl/ha

AOC of Corse Sartène

The proud capital of the southwest is an austere and magnificent town which keeps watch,
from its rocky perch, over vineyards where grow the oldest local grape varieties. Sciaccarellu,
Nielluciu, Barbarossa and Vermentinu grapes are all found here, and produce well-rounded,
remarkably velvety wines with lots of personality. The reds are well structured, the rosés have
body, and the whites are full and aromatic. The ancestors of these wines found favour at the
table of Roman emperors.
Surface: 163 ha, Production of Red: 3.665 hl, of Rosé: 1.936 hl, of White: 904 hl,
Return: 43 hl/ha.
2007 12

AOC of Corsica

The cradle of traditional Corsican vine-cultivation is to be found on the slopes of the east
coast and in the valley of the Golo. Tucked under rocky ridges which reach to 1200 metres,
the vineyards are found on the lowest slopes. Here is to be found a range of fertile soils rare in
Corsica, from which are produced wines of very high quality. The Niellucciu grape gives
supple, well-balanced reds, and rosés of spirit and pedigree which often have a clear colour.
As to the whites, which are based on the Vermentinu grape, they are fruity and have a
palate of great finesse.
Surface: 1.456 ha, Production of Red: 22.284 hl, of Rosé: 36.747 hl, of White: 4.852 hl,
Return: 42,07 hl/ha
These predicted numbers from the 2006 Campaign present an approved volume of A.O.C of
about 110 000 hectolitres (all colours mixed).


Mourvèdre | Red Wines

June 24th, 2008

Red Grape Mourvèdre
Mourvèdre, with its meaty richness and wonderful longevity, forms the backbone of our Esprit de Beaucastel. The seventeen acres of our vineyard devoted to Mourvèdre represent over a third of the acres currently planted in red Châteauneuf-du-Pape varieties. The intense animal quality of Mourvèdre is often improved by the rich fruit of Grenache and the structure, spice, and power of Syrah.

Early History

Mourvèdre is native to Spain, where it is known as Monastrell and is second only to Grenache (Garnacha) in importance. From the Spanish town of Murviedro, near Valencia, Mourvèdre was brought to Provence in the late Middle Ages where, prior to the phylloxera invasion at the end of the 19th century, it was the dominant varietal.

The phylloxera invasion was particularly devastating to Mourvèdre. Whereas most of the other Rhône varietals were easily matched with compatible rootstocks, Mourvèdre proved difficult to graft with the existing phylloxera-resistant rootstock. Thus, when the vineyards were replanted, most producers in Châteauneuf-du-Pape chose to replant with varieties that were easier to graft, such as Grenache. For decades, Mourvèdre was found almost exclusively in the sandy (and phylloxera-free) soil of Bandol, on the French Mediterranean coast, where it is bottled both as a red wine (blended with Grenache and Cinsault) and as a dry rosé. Compatible rootstocks for Mourvèdre were developed only after World War II. Shortly thereafter, Jacques Perrin of Château de Beaucastel led regeneration efforts in Châteauneuf-du-Pape and made Mourvèdre a primary grape in the red Beaucastel wines. Since the late 1960s, total plantings in Southern France have increased dramatically.

Mourvèdre came to the New World as Mataro (a name taken from a town near Barcelona where the varietal was grown) in the mid to late 1800s. In Australia, it found a home in the Barossa Valley and in California it was first established in Contra Costa County. Until recently, the grape was rarely bottled by itself, and was instead generally used as a component of field blends. The increasing popularity and prestige of Rhône varietals and a return to the French Mourvèdre name has given the varietal a new life. Currently about 400 acres are planted in California.

Mourvèdre at Tablas Creek

Mourvèdre is a late-ripening varietal that flourishes with hot summer temperatures. As such, it is beautifully suited to our southern Rhône-like climate at Tablas Creek, where its lateness in ripening makes it less vulnerable to late spring frosts. In the vineyard, Mourvèdre is a moderately vigorous varietal that does not require a great deal of extra care. The vines tend to grow vertically, making Mourvèdre an ideal candidate for head-pruning (the method traditional to Châteauneuf-du-Pape), although vines can also be successfully trellised. When head-pruned, the weight of the ripening grapes pulls the vines down like the spokes of an umbrella, providing the ripening bunches with ideal sun exposure.

Our Mourvèdre vines (like all of the vines at Tablas Creek) are cuttings from Château de Beaucastel’s French vines. Although Mourvèdre was available in California when we began our project, we felt that the American source material was less intense in both color and flavor than the French clones. The berries from the Beaucastel clones are small and sweet, with thick skins and intense flavors.
Rótulo de vinho rosé de Mourvèdre

Flavors and Aromas

Wines made from Mourvèdre are intensely colored, rich and velvety with aromas of leather, game, and truffles. They tend to be high in alcohol and tannin when young, and are well-suited to aging. The animal, game-like flavors present in young Mourvèdres can be so strong that they are occasionally mistaken for the bacteria Brettanomyces. In a well-made Mourvèdre, these flavors should resolve into aromas of forest floor and leather with aging. Although it is occasionally bottled as a single varietal, the intense animal quality of Mourvèdre is often improved by the warmth and fruit of Grenache and the structure, spice and tannin of Syrah. Mourvèdre-based wines, like our Esprit de Beaucastel, pair well with grilled and roasted meats, root vegetables, mushrooms and dark fowl such as duck: flavors that harmonize with the earthiness of the wine.


Counoise | Red Wines

June 23rd, 2008

Red Grape CounoisePerhaps the question we hear most frequently at wine events and in our tasting room is “Counoise? What the heck is Counoise?” Even the Wall Street Journal joked about Counoise’s obscurity in a recent article about blends. Yet the grape is a key component of many Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines, and comprises 10% of the Beaucastel Rouge. Its moderate alcohol and tannins, combined with good fruit and aromatics, balances the characteristic intense spice, strong tannins, and high alcohol of Syrah.

Early History

The precise origin of Counoise (pronounced “Coon-wahz”) is unknown. According to the great Provençal poet Frederic Mistral, it was introduced into Châteauneuf-du-Pape from Spain by a papal officer, who offered it to Pope Urban V when the papacy was based in Avignon in the mid-14th century. Counoise was planted in the vineyards of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and was given a prominent place in the wines of the celebrated Château la Nerthe estate of Commandant Ducos in the late 19th century. Ducos was a student of the characteristics of various grape varietals, and played a key role in the development of the Châteauneuf-du- Pape region. When the Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée laws regulating (among other things) the permitted grape varietals were passed in the 1930s, the varietals planted by Ducos (including Counoise) comprised 11 of the 13 allowed Châteauneuf-du-Pape varieties. The varietal saw a similar rebirth at Château de Beaucastel when Jacques Perrin increased the planting of Counoise as a complement for Syrah.

Counoise at Tablas Creek

We brought Counoise cuttings from Château de Beaucastel in 1990 and they spent three years in USDA inspection. Once the vines cleared quarantine, we began the process of multiplying and grafting, and we currently have 5 acres planted. The grape is particularly suited to the geography of Tablas Creek, as it produces most reliably in stony hillside soils and reliable sun. It is easy to graft, is moderately vigorous, and ripens fairly late in the cycle. We knew that we wanted to list the individual varietals on the front label of our bottles beginning with the 1999 Reserve Cuvée. Before we could do that, though, we had to get past the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms — the federal agency which, until the reorganization mandated by the Homeland Security Act, oversaw label approval for wine. Since no one else in the States had used Counoise on their label, it fell to us to demonstrate it was a legitimate grape. The process, which included submitting a full dossier of materials (in French and English), took two years. Now Counoise is a fully registered (if not widely recognized!) grape varietal.

Flavors and Aromas

Counoise is a deep purple-red, and has a rich, spicy character, with flavors of anise, strawberries, and blueberries. In our Esprit de Beaucastel, Counoise comprises 5-10% of the blend, and helps open up the more closed varieties of Mourvèdre and Syrah. Its soft tannins and forward fruit rounds out the blend and provides an element of finesse to the final product. At slightly higher percentages (10-20%) in our Cotes de Tablas, its soft fruitiness and pronounced spice give the wine an earlier-drinking friendliness that compliments the fruit and acidity of Grenache and the structure of Syrah

Blackberry Wine
A Novel
By Joanne Harris

Blackberry Wine By Joanne Harris | Red Wines

Jay Mackintosh is uninspired. After penning his first and only successful novel, Jackapple Joe, he has faded into obscurity. His ambitious girlfriend tries mercilessly to goad him towards a new literary endeavor, but nothing seems to stir him.

Then, one spring day, he finds himself thinking back to his summers with Joe, the crusty, magical old man who was the inspiration for his novel. Joe lived in a ramshackle house near an unused railroad line, where he cultivated a lush and almost jungle-like garden. At the time, Jay was a lonely, bored kid, and Joe adopted him and kept him spellbound with stories of his adventures, and the lore of the charms he used to help grow his flowers, vines and trees.

This strong wave of nostalgia drives Jay into his cellar, where he dusts off six bottles of Specials — Joe’s potent homemade fruit wine. The wine, it seems, has a life of its own, and once Jay breaks the wax seal around the neck of one bottle, his life is changed. A sudden epiphany leads to a permanent change, and he impulsively decides to buy an old farm in France that reminds him of Joe’s long ago home.

Moving to the small town of Lansquenet in the French countryside, he begins to cultivate his garden and rebuild the run-down farm. Slowly he is welcomed by his colorful neighbors, including the secretive, strong-willed Marise, who lives on the farm next to his. When the sun goes down each night, he retires to a candelit room where he feverishly spins the lives of the villagers into a new novel. As the novel progresses, Joe begins to appear to him, gently coaxing Jay to embrace a life that feeds his soul, and to challenge the very foundation upon which he has built his life.

Discussion Questions

1. Compare Kerry and Jay’s relationship to Marise and Tony’s relationship. In what way are they similar? If they don’t satisfy each other romantically, what other needs might the relationships fill?

2. “Wine talks; ask anyone…. It has a million voices. It unleashes the tongue…. It revives summers long past and memories best forgotten” (pg 1). Does this statement resonate for you? If so, how? How does it relate to the Specials? Are there other instances in the novel in which food or wine play an active role in guiding a character’s actions?

3. What qualities made Joe so appealing to Jay? Jay felt betrayed; was his anger justified? What was Joe attempting to teach Jay about reality, about everyday life? Did Jay ever learn this lesson?

4. Discuss the presence-or lack thereof-of nature in Jay’s life, and how it affects his state of mind. What-if anything-is the author saying about country living versus city living?

5. Why did Jay have to destroy his new manuscript before beginning a new life? Why was it important for Jay to finally plant Joe’s “Specials” seeds?

About the Author: Joanne Harris is the author of the critically acclaimed novels Blackberry Wine, Five Quarters of the Orange, and Chocolat, which was nominated for the Whitbread Award, one of Britain’s most prestigious literary prizes. Half French and half British, Harris lives in England.


Blueberries | Red Wines
You can also use these recipes using Saskatoon Berries, Bilberries or Cranberries in place of the Blueberries.


Blueberry Wine

* 4 to 5 cups blueberries
* 5 cups granulated sugar
* 2 teaspoon acid blend
* 1/2 tsp pectic enzyme
* 1 teaspoon nutrients
* 2 campden tablet
* 1 package wine yeast
* water

Blueberry Port

* 6 pounds (12 cups) blueberries
* 1/2 cup Dry malt
* 4 cups granulated sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon acid blend
* 1/2 teaspoon pectic enzyme
* 1 teaspoon yeast nutrient
* 2 campden tablet
* 1 package Sherry or Port yeast
* water

1. Crush the fruit. Add 12 cups of water and all other ingredients except the yeast. Stir well to dissolve sugar. Let sit overnight.
2. Specific gravity should be between 1.090 and 1.095. Sprinkle yeast over the mixture and stir. Stir daily for five days.
3. Strain the must and squeeze the juice out. Siphon into secondary fermentor, add water to make up volume and attach airlock.
4. For a dry wine, rack in three weeks, and every three months for one year. Bottle.
NOTE: You must finish wine dry if making Port.
5. For a sweet wine, rack at three weeks. Add 1/2 cup sugar dissolved in 1 cup wine. Stir gently, and place back into secondary fermentor. 6.

Repeat process every six weeks until fermentation does not restart with the addition of sugar. Rack every three months until one year old.


- The wine is best if you can refrain from drinking it for one full year from the date it was started.
- Age all wines one year or more.


If desired, 1 cup red grape concentrate may be added to the Blueberry Wine at the time of bottling for a fuller flavour. If used, also add 1/2 teaspoon Stabilizer to prevent restarting fermentation.


Blueberry Wine, A Wine for All Seasons

Vaccinium corymbosum L. (Ericaceae) - Latin for blueberry

Blueberry Wine | Red WinesAlthough grapes grow throughout the world, the winter weather in western Massachusetts is severe by any standard. Vinifera grapes, i.e. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, etc. cannot grow at our elevation (1,370′ above sea level). French hybrid grapes, i.e. Seyval Blanc or Vidal Blanc, may grow but we haven’t tried. But blueberries grow here in abundance. They grow wild and are also cultivated within a five mile radius around the winery. Blueberry wine can be made in a variety of product styles. The wine can be made dry or sweet, still or effervescent, light or strong, and all of it is delicious.

Blueberries are indigenous to North America. They have been a part of the American tradition since the pilgrims. The Native Americans associated the blueberry, or “starberry” (just look at the star design on the bottom of one) with the Great Spirit. It was thought that “starberries” were sent to Earth to end a period of famine. Wild blues were eaten fresh in Summer and dried or made into a paste for medicine, food, teas, juice, syrup and dye in the Winter.

We don’t know for a fact, but we can hope that blueberries were served at the first Thanksgiving at the other end of Massachusetts. We like to think they may have served blueberry wine.

At Thanksgiving, drink Blueberry Wine…
An American Wine For An American Tradition.


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