Wine Tasting 101 with a Local Twist (Part II)

What to Expect From a Hardwick Wine

As the days begin to shorten and the nights become a little cooler, we try to fit in as many last minute summer activities as the calendar allows. Our thoughts begin to shift to the changing of the seasons and the many things to look forward to in the autumn including; the brightly colored fall foliage, apple picking, attending local agricultural fairs, and children returning to school after a long summer vacation.

Pouring WineThis is also the time of year when Hardwick Vineyard & Winery is gearing up for what is usually our busiest and most exciting season! With over 100 wine tastings already under our belt for 2014, the fall season is the perfect opportunity to taste our local wines. You can visit our winery on the weekend and enjoy a picturesque drive along country roads while leaf peeping, picnic lunches, and of course, delicious wine. Another great option is to spend a fall afternoon sampling wines from all over the world as well as local wines made right here in Massachusetts at one of over 180 retail partners’ Fall Grand Tastings.

If you haven’t had an opportunity to try our wines yet, we think you will be pleasantly surprised and would love to give you a sneak peek at what you can expect.

The first wine that you will taste is our Giles E. Warner dry white wine, which is named after the 1795 Federal style mansion located on our property. This wine is a blend of Cayuga White with a touch of Seyval Blanc and it is a truly elegant white wine with delicate hints of citrus and orange peel. More often than not, our customers say, “it reminds me of the grapes I’d find in my backyard growing up as a child.” This wine is a very dry, clean, clear, and crisp white wine.

Our next wine is a personal favorite, called Yankee Boy White; it is a blend of Cayuga White, Seyval Blanc, and Vidal Blanc. This wine is perfectly balanced with just the right amount of sweetness and some nice acidity accompanied by an explosion of apple and pear flavors. It can be compared to an off-dry Riesling, or even a semi-dry Chenin Blanc in terms of its style. I first fell in love with this wine at my wedding reception at the winery back in 2009 and still enjoy sipping it on my patio almost 5 years later!

Our Yankee Girl Blush is our fruitiest as well as our sweetest wine that we produce and we have deemed this wine “summer in a bottle”. If you are not yet ready to say goodbye to the beautiful summer that we are having, pick up a bottle of this unique blush wine and you will be pleasantly surprised at its complexity. This wine exhibits nice floral and fruit notes with aromas of peach, apricot, melon, passion fruit and strawberry. We use the Yankee Girl Blush in our famous peach sangria that we serve at the winery on Sangria Sundays. We encourage you to try the recipe at home as a refreshing summer cocktail.

BONE2014LogoWebOur fourth wine is what has become our flagship wine, the award winning Massetts Cranberry. This wine has been our best-selling wine for the past 13 years. With a quintessential New England taste, we are proud that it was just recently awarded the editor’s choice award from Yankee Magazine as “the best cranberry wine in New England”. To get the fresh cranberry taste, we blend 10% fresh local cranberries from Clover Hill Farm right here in Hardwick along with 90% Cayuga White. The cranberries are added post-fermentation which gives the wine just the right amount of tartness, acidity and just a touch of sweetness. This wine is similar in style to an off-dry
rose and would go great with freshly picked apples, or even a homemade apple pie for dessert!

Our dry red wine aptly named, Hardwick Red, is a beautiful wine that is made with 100% Marechal Foch. If I had to compare this wine to something that you may be more familiar with, I would have to say that it is similar in style to a Beaujolais or a lighter style Pinot Noir. With a full bodied flavor, the Hardwick Red displays a rich bouquet of berry, plum and a unique spicy quality that pairs well with red meats, wild game, and rich sauces.

The last wine that we produce is our Quabbin Native. This wine is technically our dessert wine however it is not cloyingly sweet and actually dries out nicely on the finish. Made with 100% Catawba grapes, this wine exhibits aromas of wild grapes and fresh raspberries and is comparable in style to a bright, fresh, and fruity semi-sweet rose. The most common reaction I get from people tasting this wine is that “that is unlike any wine that I have ever tasted!”

So whether you are trying to get in some last minute summer activities or looking ahead to planning your autumn day trips, make sure to incorporate a visit to our winery where you will be able to enjoy a taste of New England incorporating Yankee ingenuity with our traditional winemaking! If you can’t make it to the winery, don’t forget to stop by to see us at the many local fairs and festivals this fall including the Big E in West Springfield as well as Red Apple Farm in Phillipston. Lastly, you can always stop by to see David, Mary Beth, Amy, Missa or myself at one of our many retail partner locations throughout MA. Just follow us on Facebook for updates on where our next tasting will be. Until next time, I hope you enjoy many new and exciting wines and thanks for supporting local!

~ Brian White