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As cooler temperatures set in and snowfall covers New England, there’s no better time to cozy up with good company and an even better glass of wine!
Massachusetts has many unique vineyards and wineries from the mountains of the Berkshires to Cape Cod and the Islands, but nothing puts wine on the mind quite like winter time and location is everything. Venture out with that special someone or your best girlfriends for a day of wine tasting and wintry fun at these charming drinking destinations (and more!)
The Sustainable Vintner: If you’re interested in sustainability and ecotourism, Westport Rivers Winery is a must-sip! Not only is this family business one of the biggest wine producers in the Commonwealth, they’re also one of its greatest local land stewards. The winery sits on a sprawling 140-acre property in Westport. Upon purchase of the historic farmland in the 1980s, the Russell family pledged this South Coast space to both agricultural production and education. Free public tours are given every Saturday at 1:00pm and 3:00pm, with ticketed Taste and Tours available Monday through Saturday between 11:00am to 5:00pm. In the fairer-weather months, farmers’ markets and food trucks tend to pop up around the vineyard, so be sure to keep an eye on their website for updates.
Westport Rivers Winery
The All-In-One: Nashoba Valley Winery has something for everyone! Boasting a critically acclaimed restaurant, J’s at Nashoba Valley Winery, seasonal festivals, and specialized culinary events; day trips take a fruity twist in Nashoba Valley. This Bolton-based winery is your one-stop-shop for unique weekend or weeknight activities and full service libations. Guests are encouraged to pony up to the tasting bar for samples of full-bodied grape and fruit wines, but if wine’s not your thing, feel free to try a homemade brew or handcrafted cocktail. Don’t forget to bring Fido for a full family day of drinks, farm to table eats, and vineyard explorations at this pet friendly winery!
Nashoba Valley Winery
The Specialist: Every so often you hear about a one-of-a-kind treat worth venturing out for and this winter Still River Winery has it. Journey to the heart of apple country for a sip of locally-sourced apple ice wine. Traditionally made with grapes, Still River uses apples to create this sweet and tart, aromatic beverage. The Holtzman Family, owners of Still River Winery, welcomes curious cider and wine-lovers to their Harvard farm for a taste test of their own. Free tours are available for ice wine newbies and diehards alike, as well as opportunities to watch the wine making process and receive serving suggestions and recipe ideas. Still River Winery is a principal supplier of ice wine around the country from major hotel chains like the Mandarin to Disney World resorts— so why not embrace your inner stay-cation for a hometown USA winter getaway!
Still River Winery, photo source: stillriverwinery.com
Finally, for those who want a little cheese with their winter wine tour, be sure to check out the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resource’s listings of farmstead cheese farmers. Additional producers, local farms, and markets can be found here.