With the New Year right around the corner we wanted to take a moment to reflect on all the exciting things that have happened this year at Hardwick Vineyard & Winery and share some of our favorites with you.
The year started off on a high note with our Massetts Cranberry selected as the 2014 “Editors Choice” winner for Best Cranberry Wine by Yankee Magazine. 2014 was also a year full of fantastic events including our annual Maple Breakfast, the Mountain Moonshine Mystery Dinner, the annual Father’s Day Tractor Show, The Big E and so many more fun events! We tapped into our creative side with Paint Nite Worcester, glass-painting workshops and even hosted local artists to perform live music and display their work in our Celebrate A.R.T series. We loved being involved with the local community and seeing everyone having fun as they created handmade masterpieces and spent quality time with family and friends.
This year will always stand out in our minds as the year of blueberries. After much preparation and anticipation we were able to release our newest wine, Baystate Blueberry. Our Blueberry Bash release party was a huge success and everyone seems to love the blueberry red wine almost as much as us! Although the wine is not yet for sale at our retail partner’s—it is in the works and we will be sure to let you know when it happens!
Just a reminder, the winery is now OPEN YEAR ROUND! We would like to wish you a happy New Year and thank you for helping make our 2014 such a success!
We look forward to seeing you next season—we know it will be a great one!
~ the HVW team
The stockings are all hung, the halls are all decked and we are ready to celebrate the holidays here at the Hardwick Vineyard & Winery. As we wrap up our 2014 season, we have filled our calendar with a number holiday themed workshops and classes with partners Bemis Farms Nursery, Paint Nite Worcester and Heartfelt Fine Gifts. Check out the full event descriptions on our event calendar here.
Our annual Holiday Open House was on Sunday, December 7th, and as always, it was a great way to get in the holiday spirit! Attendees enjoyed guided tours of the Giles E. Warner mansion, hot mulled wine and live music by our beautiful 9 ft. blueberry wine-themed tree. They were able to relax by our fireplace and wrap up holiday shopping with bottles of our new Baystate Blueberry wine or a HVW gift basket.
This year we are also proud to be partnering with local organizations Jo’s Jackets and Hardwick’s Christmas for Kids to help children in need this holiday season. Bring a donation of new children’s winter clothing items (hat, gloves, mittens, jackets etc.) or a new unwrapped gift at the Winery and receive a FREE tasting.
Our holiday decorations are still out and we have delicious mulled wine to sip by our tree, so be sure to stop by and enjoy the holidays at the Winery. We look forward to celebrating the season with you!
~ the HVW team
Image above from masslive.com
This time of year is full of fairs and festivals focusing on agriculture and fun family activities. The biggest of these fairs in regards to size and our participation is the Big E. Located on the grounds of Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, Massachusetts—The Big E is America’s only six-state fair and showcases “world-class entertainment, delicious foods, thrilling rides on the North American Midway, and fun for the whole family”.
Always an exciting event for Hardwick Vineyard and Winery, The Big E hosts The Northeast Gold Wine Competition. This annual wine tasting competition includes wines from 7 different states including: Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Maine and New York. With a goal of raising awareness of New England/New York wines—the competition is always a fantastic way to showcase the high quality of wines and vineyards here in New England and New York.
We are excited to announce that this year our wines have received 4 Silver Medals and 1 Bronze Medal. You can check out the full competition results on the Big E website and learn more about our award
winning wines in this recent blog post.
Hardwick Winery Big E Winners:
- Massetts. Cranberry- Silver Medal
Judges Comment: “Off-dry – Light floral, plum and cranberry aroma.”
- Yankee Boy White- Silver Medal
Judges Comment: “Classic hybrid taste – easy to enjoy.”
- Giles E. Warner-Silver Medal
Judges Comment: “Very light dry white with nice acidity.”
- Quabbin Native – Silver Medal
Judges Comment: “Nice – medium dry.”
- Yankee Girl Blush- Bronze Medal
Judges Comment: “Intriguing wine – I like it!”
There are only a few days left of Big E fun so be sure to come try our award-winning wines at the Hardwick Vineyard and Winery booth in the Massachusetts building at the Big E’s Avenue of States. Not going to make the Big E? Stop by the winery for a tasting Friday – Sunday from 11am – 6pm.
The third weekend in August is always an exciting few days here in Hardwick as the town hosts the annual Hardwick Community Fair. Held on the Hardwick town common, the fair is recognized as the oldest fair in the United States with this year marking it’s 252nd
anniversary. It is always packed with family friendly activities that everyone will enjoy, and embraces the local agriculture community with exhibits, booths and more.
Only a quick 10 minute drive from the town common, Hardwick Vineyard and Winery always looks forward to hosting fair attendees. We are excited to be adding to the area’s weekend festivities with some great events right here at the Winery:
- This Friday, August 15th our weekend kicks of with an Artist Reception to celebrate the 89th birthday of acclaimed photographer Les Campbell as part of our Celebrate A.R.T. series. The event is open to the public and will showcase his work from “The Early Years”, including black & white portraits and nature photography.
- Saturday, August 16th the Winery will be open for tastings 11am – 6pm so stop by before or after you visit the Fair to view exhibits, enjoy the Chicken BBQ and take part in a true New England tradition.
- To wrap the weekend up, join us for our weekly Sangria Sunday (11 a.m.-6p.m.) with live music starting at 2:30. We recommend grabbing a delicious breakfast from Rose 32 and taking a scenic drive to check the Ware–Hardwick Covered Bridge or the Quabbin Reservoir on the way.
Whether you’re looking for the perfect summer day trip or a weekend away (check out our list of additional attractions and great B&B’s here), the beautiful countryside and local attractions of Hardwick are always a good bet, but a trip during the 3rd weekend in August will be something you’ll never forget.
For 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.
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