The drive out to Pioneer Valley Vineyard was indeed, to say the least, a picturesque drive (sorry, didn’t take pictures along the way). It was a quiet drive along the back roads from where I hail to Hatfield, MA and upon arrival at the winery I found there was no tasting fee (see sign) for enjoying their wines.
Now when I first arrived I had thought the winery was through the front door of the white house (I think the flag threw me off),
but quickly realized the tasting room was located in the back of the house.
Now I was on the right track and could only imagine what may lie inside. I have found that many of the New England wineries are converted barns, out-buildings, stables, or any other combination of wood and nails to hold up the roof. So the inside looked like this.
Not a bad beginning to savor the wines I would choose. I was greeted by Linda (one of the owners) and later Casey joined in the tasting festivities. Prodded by their son Josh (making home made beer for the lot to enjoy) and better half, Jen encouraged Ma & Pa to go into the wine-making business. Casey, being a farmer by trade, agreed and their wines are available October through December on Saturdays and Sundays.
Here are the wines I got to taste on a fairly warm day:
Frontenac Red (dry): This dry red wine is estate grown with blueberry on the nose and black cherry, almond, and pepper flavors followed.
Frontenac red (semi-dry): Same aromas and flavors as the Frontenac Red (dry) but with a bit of sweetness on the back palate.
Tomato Wine: This wasn’t on the tasting menu but they asked if I would like to try it. I didn’t know what to expect so…this was made from 50% Mountain Frost tomatoes and 50% Plum tomatoes. Well, you can definitely smell the tomato on the nose. This semi-dry acidic wine produced a distinctive tomato flavor. This would probably go good with cheese and crackers. Pasta wouldn’t be out of the realm either. I can’t put my finger on it, but I did like this wine.
Blueberry: Locally grown and the aroma and flavor said the same – fresh blueberries.
Raspberry: The only difference between the Blueberry and Raspberry wines should be obvious, but in case you want me to spell it out for you: R-A-S-P-B-E-R-R-Y both on the nose and the palate.
Strawberry: An orangy-peach color yielded strawberry on both the nose and palate – no surprise here.
Cranberry: Made from Cape Cod cranberries I found a nice subtle explosion of cranberry on the nose. This was listed as a sweet wine but thought it more of a semi-sweet one.
Blackberry: This was very nice with a rich dark berry aroma with a black berry flavor and a nice smooth finish.
Well, there you have it. Here’s to good wine, good food, and good friends…