Maine Coast Vineyards
Welcome to Maine Coast Vineyards
We began growing wine grapes in 1997 in the old agricultural region of Falmouth, Maine called Hurricane Valley. (The valley was created by a strong hurricane in the 1600s that pushed up one of the feeder creeks to the Piscataqua River and roared down the valley, toppling oaks and maples and allowing the local settlers to create fields from forest without as much work.) Hurricane Valley today is home to a dairy farm, Wilshore Farm, a nursery and berry/vegetable farm, Winslow Farms, as well as Maine Coast Vineyards, created on the site of an old chicken farm.
Our family has worked hard for 11 years on our 14 acre property experimenting with grape varieties and wine-making techniques to bring great wine, that goes perfectly with our local foods, to market. Maine is not Tuscany, it is not Bordeaux or California. It is an environment where we live and enjoy the cold and wintery days as well as the joyous, warm, blue-sky days of summer. Where the explosion of color in autumn makes everything seem just right with the world.
The wines of Maine Coast Vineyards are in keeping with this beauty and greatness of our state. They are wines to accompany lobster bakes, and fresh goat cheese, haddock chowder and "pier fries." They are made for enjoyment with all the bounty of our state from grapes grown right here.
And I know you are going to ask so, here it is: yes, we grow using only organic fungicides and pesticides. Are we certified organic? No, we might someday, but for us, growing sustainable is an essential element to respecting the land we work and live on. How could we spray harsh chemicals on our property that children play on and gives us the water in our well? It just doesn't make any sense to farm in any other way than to respect the land where you live and work as best as you can. More in my blog on this.
There are a couple of important things for us:
1. Maine Coast Vineyards wine is produced under federal regulations that ensure that the certified growing area is "Maine". If you don't see the word "Maine" on the front of the bottle in big letters, the wine was not made from at least 85% Maine-grown grapes (the same holds true for other states' wines, as well). A winery can bring in bulk wine or grapes from anywhere in the world and make wine at a winery in Alaska, but that doesn't make the wine "Alaskan wine." It just makes it wine produced from grapes from somewhere else and made into wine in a winery in another place. Not a bad thing, many wines in the world are made this way and we drink and enjoy them along with most consumers. But if you want to buy a wine made with grapes grown in Maine, then look for the word "Maine" right on the front label standing alone. Then you'll know you have a wine made from Maine grapes. We believe that local wine belongs to the place it is grown and are making it our goal to have every bottle produced say "Maine" right on the label.
2. We may not make Chardonnay, or Cabernet, or Merlot, (because it just doesn't grow well here) but every bottle of wine we make will represent the expression of the Maine land on which it was grown, will be of outstanding quality, and it will be the best wine possible to drink with the superb seafood and meats and produce of our state. That is what wine is all about anyway, creating a beverage from a product grown on the land that goes with the native foods of that land. And that is what we are doing.
After 11 years of experimenting, both in the vineyard and in the winery, we believe that we have established the foundation of what will be the premier Maine-grown grape winery in the state. One of the best things about wine is that, more than any other agricultural product (okay, cheese and honey sneak on the list, too...) it speaks the land, the climate, and the place where it is grown. So when you buy "local" make sure the "local" includes wine made from LOCAL grapes (or fruits, as you may). Thank you for your support and we look forward to sharing a glass of Maine Coast Vineyards wines with you someday.
Wazzup in the Vineyard
Harvest was great this year. Many friends enjoyed the beautiful, sunny fall day harvesting with us.