Wine Tasting 101 with a Local Twist

 Having been with Hardwick Vineyard and Winery (HVW) for almost a year and a half, with over 150 wine tastings under my belt, I’d like to share with you how a wine tasting with HVW is different from your typical wine tasting.

Wine Tasting

As a local family owned and operated Massachusetts vineyard and winery, we bring a much different wine tasting experience to our customers than what you may experience at most wine tastings. To help our customers appreciate the entire HVW experience we pride ourselves on sharing our story with each and every customer that samples our wines. Whether it’s talking about the renovation of the 1795 Giles E. Warner mansion or the building of the 5000 square foot mortise and tenon timber frame barn from oak trees that were cut down to plant the 9 acres of French hybrid grape vineyards, we have a story to tell and we enjoy telling it.

Additionally, we feel it is our responsibility to educate our customers on what goes into each and every bottle of handcrafted wines from our winery. The use of French hybrid grapes such as Cayuga White, Marechal Foch, Catawba, Seyval Blanc, and Vidal Blanc lends itself to a much different conversation than a conversation about wines produced from your typical Vinifera varietals such as Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, or Cabernet Sauvignon. I’ve often heard customers discussing how “just the smell of the wine brings me back to my childhood and reminds me of the wild grapes that we grew in our back yard.” 

Another great part of sharing our story and wines with people is their reaction when they actually try the wines. Our award winning and best selling Massetts Cranberry wine is made with 10% locally grown cranberries from the Prouty Farm in Hardwick and always leaves a smile on people’s faces.  The slightly sweet yet perfectly balanced Yankee Boy White also usually receives a positive reaction that often includes: “That is not what I was expecting.  It is nicely balanced with great fruit, nice acidity and just a touch of sweetness.

While one of our biggest goals is to share our story along with our wines, we also feel tastings are a fantastic opportunity to help educate our customers on the overall Massachusetts wine movement.  People are always amazed when I tell them that there are now over 40 local wineries throughout the state and that each winery has its own story to tell along with some great wines to taste!

If you’re interested in trying our wines, learning about the history of HVW, or the Massachusetts wine movement come and join us for a tasting!  Whether it is at the Winery in our tasting room bar or at a tasting at one of our 170 retail partners throughout the state, stop by to say hello and we’ll do our best to educate and entice your taste buds with incredible wines with a local twist!

Happy Tasting!
~ Brian White

Hardwick Vineyard & Winery Named a 2014 “Best of New England – Editors’ Choice” Winner by Yankee Magazine

Hardwick, MA—May 23, 2014—Hardwick Vineyard & Winery has been recognized as a 2014 “Editors’ Choice” winner in Yankee Magazine’s Travel Guide to New England. This designation is awarded by Yankee’s editors and contributors who name select restaurants, lodgings, and attractions in New England to the exclusive list. For 38 years, Yankee Magazine’s Travel Guide to New England has been the most widely distributed and best-selling guide to the six-state region, providing readers with a comprehensive vacation-planning tool and daily reference.

Hardwick Vineyard and Winery was selected as the 2014 “Editors’ Choice” winner for Best Cranberry Wine for it’s signature Massetts. Cranberry wine. Like all the wine’s found at Hardwick Vineyard and Winery, the Massetts. Cranberry wine embraces the New England spirit by blending sweet grapes from 
the vineyard with the tart cranberries sourced from a local farm.BONE2014LogoWeb

“We’re so proud and honored to be featured in this magazine for one of our most popular wines.” says Jennifer Samek-Lutkus, Owner of Hardwick Vineyard & Winery. “Our Massetts. Cranberry is a true taste of New England with grapes and cranberries both grown here in Hardwick, Massachusetts.”

As a family owned and operated winery, the Hardwick Vineyard and Winery has taken a unique approach to wine by uniting the local history of the town of Hardwick with their delicious wines. Built at the historical Giles E. Warner mansion in a beautiful country setting, the winery provides patrons with a piece of history with every tasting experience. The Winery is open Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays & Holiday Mondays from 11am-6pm and offers tastings of 6 wines accompanied by a souvenir logo glass for $6.00.

This is the first time Hardwick Vineyard and Winery has been featured in Yankee Magazine’s Travel Guide to New England. The May/June Travel Guide features more than 300 “Best of New England—Editors Choice” winners, which include the region’s best attractions, food & dining, lodging, and bargains.


Celebrating A.R.T with Local Artists and Great Wine

Over the years, we have embraced many local artists at Hardwick Vineyard & Winery. We feature many talented local musicians that entertain us as we sip our wine and we try to tap into that fun and exciting artist in each of us through our Paint Nite classes. We also have hosted and annual our Artistan Showcase Event where we provide talented, local artists with a venue to showcase their art, furniture, jewelry and more. In that tradition, we have begun a new initiative at Hardwick Vineyard and Winery that we are very excited to share with you. We have decided to truly Celebrate A.R.T by making the most of the space we have within the Winery and turning it into a gallery for some of our most talented local artists to display their work on a monthly basis. By collaborating with local organizations, such as the newly opened Workshop 13 in Ware, Princeton Arts Society and Quabbin Photo Group, as well as individual artists we have created a unique opportunity for not only the artists but also for our community.  

As we have begun the process of reaching out to our local community we have become more confident that this area has some incredibly talented artists. To help increase awareness of our artists, we will be hosting a Featured Artist Reception every 3rd Friday of the month. At these receptions, you will get a chance to meet the featured artist while enjoying music, art, cheese and crackers and of course…wine!  

We are excited to showcase our first Featured Artist, Tom Feller, for the month of April. Tom is a very dynamic and outgoing teacher from Sterling, MA who works with autistic children and adults. The last few years he has been raising money for Autism Research while running marathons in Chicago, Boston and London. Tom began selling his artwork as a way to raise funds for Autism Research and his marathon runs. This year, Tom is running the Boston Marathon in honor of the Boston Marathon bombing victims and will be carrying two American flags while dressed in full Colonial regalia. I had the privilege of meeting Tom Mountainside Market in Princeton, MA and after purchasing my favorite piece; I was able to get him to agree to display his work for us at the Winery.

We encourage all to come out and see his work, support his cause and you can also meet him on April 18th from 5pm-8pm for our Celebrate A.R.T. Featured Artist Reception at the Winery. Join us as we Celebrate A.R.T. with us at HVW and support our local Art Community!  
A: Art Exhibits… R: Relax with Friends…T: Taste local Wine!  

See you there!

Awakening Your Spring Taste Buds

MapleWineBreakfastFor those that live in New England, the arrival of spring means that the “sap season” is near the end. We’ve embraced this time of year and the tradition of boiling down sap to make maple syrup by celebrating with our annual Maple Barn Breakfast Festival.

This year marked the 4th annual event and was attended by many return customers as well as some new happy faces. We’re pleased to say that the release of our new limited edition Massetts. Maple wine added to the excitement and awakened the taste buds of our wine fans. With only 12 cases left in stock we are sure to make this wine again for next years festival.

We’ve been fortunate enough to have the weather warm up on Saturdays during the festival so that Sweet Sensations can set up their new popcorn machine and serve maple popcorn & cotton candy to our guests before they load up for the Hayride to the Maxfield’s Sugar house to see the sap boil. Local favorites Town Farm Gardens and Janice’s Kitchen have been setting up with their homemade jellies, pickles and baked goods to send the guests home with a treat after a fun filled family day.john_Pancakes

The food has been a delicious success with Jonathan flipping just under 3,000 pancakes for the first 3 sold out weekends—a new winery record! Our kitchen assistants have mastered the skill of keeping up with the buffet demands, customer requests and all the dishes! Without them the kitchen would be a wreck, so a big THANK YOU to our girls for all their help.

The comfy couches and warm woodstove in our tasting room have provided the perfect place to relax while sipping and conversing over maple mimosas and bacon bloody marts.  
For many visitors this was the perfect way to top of a wonderful day at the winery. Ken Averill of New England wine blog shared his experience at the Maple Breakfast in a recent post:
“We tasted the 6 wines which make up Hardwick’s usual stable of offerings as well as a limited edition maple wine and some wonderful hot mulled wine. The tasting started with Hardwick’s dry white “Giles E. Warner”, next the semi-sweet “Yankee Boy White, our personal favorite and through to their dry red wine, called simply “Hardwick Red.” Hardwick’s wine tasting offers excellent value. For only $6.00 we tasted 8 wines and the price included their complementary glass. Hard to beat.” 

We look forward to opening the deck in April to allow have our guests to move outside and enjoy chilled bottles of wine on beautiful sunny days. We are sad to see the month come to an end, but we can’t wait to see what springs up next at the winery.


Jennifer & Jonathan

New Events, Wine and More at Hardwick Vineyard and Winery

We are excited to have kicked off the 2014 season at Hardwick Vineyard and Winery this month. As you may know, the winery has been closed for the months of January and February but our fantastic team has continued to work hard to help us gear up for another amazing year.

With the help of Brian, our Director of Sales, we have expanded our retail partner locations and our wines can now be found in over 150 stores, in over 95 towns across Massachusetts! Be sure to check out our list of retail partners to see if your local store is carrying our wines.

Our calendar has also been filling up with fantastic events including our annual Maple Barn Breakfast, held every Saturday in March (be sure to make your reservations a.s.a.p.) and the annual Fathers Day Tractor Show this June. We’ll be continuing to host our hit “Girls Night Out” evenings with the first one, a Mexican Fiesta themed Girls Night Out, on May 2nd. We’ve also begun to tap into our creative side with a Paint Nite Event scheduled for April 19th and a new monthly event to showcase and celebrate local artists called “Celebrate A.R.T.“. Be sure to check out our complete calendar of events and follow us on facebook for additional information and regular event updates.

Limited Addition Maple WineWe’ve also been hard at work in the cellar perfecting our newest wine, a Limited Edition Massetts. Maple. Available in limited quantity starting this month, it is a great addition to our Maple Barn Breakfast and will be available for sale only at the Winery. Be sure to come in for a tasting and get your bottle while they are still available.

With a growing team and an ongoing focus on our local community, we are looking forward to a great 2014 season. Come in for a wine tasting, join us for an event or just stop by and grab a bottle or two of your favorite wine to enjoy at home. We hope to see you soon!