Most people might not think of Massachusetts as wine country, but this state actually has a slew of amazing vineyards and wineries. One of the best – and the most tucked away – is hiding in the rolling hills of the Berkshires.
Read on to find out why this little-known winery makes an amazing day trip destination, even for families or non-wine aficionados.
Furnace Brook Winery is a remote vineyard in the Berkshires. It's part of Hilltop Orchards, a historical apple orchard. This
So why is this winery so special? For starters, it's a destination that the whole family can enjoy. Even if you're not into wine or aren't of age to partake, there's plenty to do and see here that doesn't involve pouring yourself a glass of vino.
The 200-acre property is almost entirely preserved farmland. Visitors can enjoy free wine-tasting all year, which means you can sample varieties you're interested in before committing to bringing home a bottle or two.
For the less wine-inclined, there's apple-picking and hayrides in the fall, as well as cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in the winter. During the warmer months, you can hike through the orchards and along lush woodland trails surrounding the winery.
If you do feel like trying the goods, you're in for a treat. Visitors can of course partake in free wine tastings, but additional tastings are just $5. At that price, you'd be crazy not to try a bit of everything. They also offer homemade fruit pies, scones and artisan cheeses. While you're at it, pick up a bottle of their 100% pure maple syrup.
In terms of what's on offer, you have a dizzying selection of both dry and sweet wines to choose from. Try favorites like their Chardonnay Special Reserve and the Old Vine Zinfandel, or sample their distinctive Johnny Mash Hard Cider (made from estate-grown apples and aged in oak barrels) or "Bee My Honey" Mead. They also produce delicious Apple Ice Wine, a New England classic.
Of course, this winery isn't just special because of its gorgeous location and amazing activities. Furnace Brook wines consistently bring home gold.
They've won numerous awards at the Northeast Wine Competition, and their Sparkling Muscato was awarded Best in State in 2010. Yankee Magazine also raves about this winery, naming their bottles on their 2011 Best of New England list.
There's honestly no reason not to stop by this beautiful winery for a bit of country air, a scenic picnic and a taste of fine Massachusetts wine. There's plenty of free parking and the vineyard is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day. You can find the Furnace Brook Winery at 508 Canaan Road, Richmond.