Everyone knows about THE Vineyard (Martha’s, that is), but did you know that Massachusetts actually has plenty of incredible actual vineyards and wineries that churn out some pretty spectacular vintages? Check out this list of the best places in Massachusetts to sample some locally-produced wine. And don’t forget the cheese!
1. Nashoba Valley Winery, Bolton
One great thing about the tours and tastings at Nashoba Valley is that you don’t have to be a wine connoisseur to understand what’s going on. The experienced and friendly staff are great about introducing you to terms and wine-making techniques, so you’ll never feel out of your depth. Another wonderful thing about this winery? The apple orchards! Grab a glass of their top-notch hard cider and pick your own apples to take home.
2. Hardwick Vineyard and Winery, Hardwick
This is a top-notch small winery nestled in a classic New England farmhouse. Their selection is small but very reasonably priced, and the winery often has live music and cheese-tasting events. Try their Bay State Blueberry wine for a hint of sweetness with a dry finish. A tasting of six wines is only $6 and you can keep your glass.
3. Alfalfa Farm Winery, Topsfield
This winery made the list due to its interactive approach to wine-making. They actually invite you to join them during the summer months to help pick and squish grapes! This is an experience you’ll be hard pressed to find anywhere else in the area and definitely worth your time. Alfalfa Farm Winery’s selection of wines is quite robust for their size and the staff is knowledgable and friendly. Try a classic full wine tasting for $27 per person, or go all out with the Vinter’s Special tasting at $43 per person.
4. Mill River Winery, Rowley
This fantastic winery hosts wine-making nights where visitors can tour their production facilities and learn about how this small operation turns their grapes into delectable wine. Their Barrel Fermented Chardonnay is handcrafted using traditional methods and French oak to produce strong notes of pear and citrus. The background elements include fine strokes of vanilla, a hint of butter, and a crisp finish.
5. Furnace Brook Winery & Hilltop Orchards, Richmond
Fresh. Apple. Cider. Donuts. If those four beautiful words aren’t enough to lure you to Furnace Brook Winery, then perhaps the wide selection of dry to sweet wines and scenic orchards will do the trick. Grab a glass of their Syrah and spend a summer afternoon lazing in the sunny apple tree groves. Stopping by during the cold season? Snuggle up next to their warm fire and try a Johnny Mash Hard Cider. You can’t go wrong.
6. Westport Rivers Vineyard, Westport
If there’s one thing that Westport Rivers Vineyard has in spades, it’s a wonderful atmosphere in a gorgeous setting. They host evening sunset concerts throughout the summer (check their website for a detailed schedule) and the owners invite guests to picnic on their beautiful grounds…wine glass in hand, of course. Don’t miss out on sampling their unique selection of beers as well, if that’s more your style. Food trucks and farmers markets are also known to pop up around the vineyard, so keep an eye on their website.
7. Still River Winery, Harvard
Another great place to sample some really unique local flavors. They specialize in Massachusetts Apple Ice Wine, which is made of apples that have been slowly fermented at very cold temperatures to preserve their delicate aromas and flavors. The final product is deliciously sweet with a gentle bite and a clean finish. Served chilled and incredibly aromatic, it’s a local favorite!
8. Les Trois Emme Vineyard & Winery, New Marlborough
This is a wonderful hidden gem of the Berkshires. The staff here are incredibly knowledgable when it comes to food and wine pairings and will happily teach you the basics. Learning about how this small winery produces their wonderful stock is almost as much fun as the wine tasting itself. If you like sweet wines, this vineyard might be especially up your alley. Wine tastings are by appointment for groups of six or more, but they have open tastings every week (usually on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays).
9. Cape Cod Winery, East Falmouth
The sandy soil of the Cape may not seem like the best foundation for amazing wine, but this place manages to produce some incredibly flavorful and sophisticated wines. Wine tastings are $5 each and you get to take home a Cape Cod Winery glass for your collection.
Did you know that Massachusetts had so many great places to sample locally produced wine? What is your favorite vineyard or winery in Massachusetts?