Our 40th Visit!! Walpole Mountain View, Walpole NH

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We visited Walpole Mountain View Winery in mid December, which waiting for a snowstorm to set in. Walpole Mountain View Winery is located in Walpole, New Hampshire. We became slightly lost on the way there thanks to our GPS, but were able to get there in one piece. Definitely a food day to test out how my fairly new tires handled the snow covered roads.  100_1181 100_1182
When we pulled up to Walpole Mountain View Winery, we thought it looked very pretty, all dressed up for Christmas. When we entered, we were greeted by David, who introduced us to the Winery. The tasting room has a bar along the right side, and many bar height tables, with comfortable chairs to sit in to have your tasting. 100_1195 the menu100_1194David showed us the wine list, had us pick a glass (stemless or traditional), and told us to pick out 6 wines each. The wine list was extensive, but was easy to view. It was a two sided menu, with dry wines on one side and sweeter (greater than 1% residual sugar) on the other side. They were then listed by dryness or sweetness level. Once we picked out our six, David brought us to a different room to view a short video tour.

Walpole Mountain View Winery Facts:

  • Family run winery, with each member taking part
  • 2000- they began to think about the land (rolling hills, wind and sun) and how located elsewhere, it would be great as a vineyard. They started to look into grape varieties that would work for them
  • 2004- they started to plant the grapes
  • 2009- made their 1st wine
  • They currently operate on 5 acres, with 32 varieties of grapes, producing 28 wines. 4 varieties of grapes they grow are table grapes.
  • They are one of the few estate wineries in New Hampshire. An estate winery is when all grapes used in their wine comes from their property
  • March of every year brings pruning
  • Harvest is mid-September to October
  • Autumn–> Spring= wine production time
  • All grapes are hand picked
  • They add oak chips during some red wine fermentation
  • They strive to be as environmentally friendly as possible

When we finished our video tour, we went out to the deck area to see that setup. The deck area had 3 long, bar height tables with stools. Overhead heat lamps were set up, making the room good for most weather, although too cold for that particular day. 100_1183 Mark, testing the heating lamps  100_1185  100_1188  100_1184 100_1187 View from the deck area

We then went back to the tasting room, where Alysa had put together our tasting trays. David brought them over to us and instructed us on how to properly complete the tasting.

100_1189 My tasting tray

100_1191 the tasting table set up

Our tasting:

La Crosse: white varietal ’11. Oak aftertaste. Only oaked white in ’11. Crisp, warm tart flavor, slight lingering flavor.

Barnett Hill White: plum nose. Easy mouth. White blend, 2012

Seyval Blanc: white varietal, 2012. nose- honey/mead like. “Slowly tart,” a great description- not quite tart. Unfiltered

Marquette ’10: great red, tart and fig. Bold. Would enjoy with a steak dinner.

La Crescent ’12: Sweet with a tartness. Sweet apple and pear with a slight citrus flavor. Unfiltered, white varietal.

Frontenac Gris: white varietal, 2012. Mark said that Kiwi flavor was a good description, smooth also makes sense. Unfiltered.

Leon Millet ’11: off dry red. Nose- cranberry, cocoa, molasses, jam. Mouth- dry, maple, cherry. Yum & great nose! We really enjoyed this one!

1761 Walpole Red: red/white blend. Good nose- peppery. Fruity but not sweet, with a slight spicy tingle.

Mountain View Red: red/white blend, 2012. Raisin with a hint of chili pepper. Fruity taste, but not too sweet. Bolder.

Marquette ’11: red, roasted red pepper. Chili powder with a slight mushroom nose. Berry, cherry and bold.

La Crescent “Late Harvest”: 75% 2009, 25% 2010. Peach & Citrus. Notes of melon. Very sweet and tasty dessert wine.

Cayuga White “Late Harvest”: tropical like; dessert wine

We had a great experience at the Walpole Mountain View Winery. David was very friendly, and made us feel very comfortable.
The set up was interesting, in a good way. We liked that you sat down, chose your wines to taste and went to watch the video tour before coming back to enjoy the tasting. This not only made for a good experience for us, but we can envision this set up working very well during high traffic times.

Want to visit? They are currently closed for the winter, and typically reopen Memorial Day weekend. 

2013 Hours (check their website and facebook for 2014)

Memorial Day- Halloween
Fridays 5-7p
Saturdays: 12-6p
Sundays: 1-6p

November 1st-Late December
Fridays 4-6p
Saturdays: 12-5p
Sundays: 1-5p

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6th Annual Vermont Life Wine and Harvest Festival at Mount Snow in Dover, Vermont

100_0734Last weekend, Mark and I went to Vermont for the 6th Annual Vermont Life Wine and Harvest Festival, located at Mount Snow in Dover, Vermont.

We played tourists for the weekend, visited a couple of breweries and a winery, saw the beginning of fall foliage and went camping. 100_0741
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We started our weekend early, heading over Friday morning. We arrived around 1pm, and started our weekend off with a quick chat and tasting at Northshire Brewing. Look here next week for a review and photos! We followed the beer with more beer (and lunch) at Madison Brewing Company, a brewpub. Look here next week for a review and photos!

We then checked into the campground, and went out on the pond for a little bit. 100_0653  100_0646 We followed paddle-boating with a dinner cooked over the fire and watched the fire glow… 100_0654  100_0672 100_0684  100_0683  100_0682

The next morning, Saturday, was the day of the 6th Annual Vermont Life Wine and Harvest Festival. After making a quick breakfast of bagels toasted over the fire, we set off for a fun and alcohol filled day.

When we arrived at Mount Snow, we (at first) went the wrong way. Although our GPS was giving us the correct directions, even once we were on the Mount Snow property, we tried to follow the signs to determine where to park. Unfortunately, it was a breezy day, and some of the signs had turned around, misdirecting us. Luckily, the hotel valet directed us the correct way (as our GPS had been telling us to do haha). 100_0717After we found parking, we checked in and proceeded to have our IDs checked. After receiving our “over 21” bracelets and a stamp stating we had paid, we proceeded to get our wine glasses, grab bags and 3 tasting tickets a piece.100_0718  100_0729

We decided to walk around the two large tents before really stopping to taste anything. There were wineries, cider, cheese farms, and distilleries, places sampling jam, pickles and candy…

Oh, a note on the tastes. Each taste cost 1 ticket. A size of a taste varied table to table, some saying it was 1 ticket per pour, others 1 for all they were offering, and others, 2 tickets for all that they were offering. We were not able to try all of the wineries, but were able to try most and didn’t spend too too much on extra tickets (about $13).

Many of our stops at the festival:

Grafton Village Cheese:

We tried:

  • 3 year cheddar (bought)
  • 5 year cheddar
  • Maple Smoked Cheddar (very dry, but good!)
  • Leyden- English style cheese. Really good!

All of their cheese was very delicious! Would have loved to go home with more- will look into buying at least another block next time we are in Vermont. One of the really great things about the Grafton Village Cheese table, besides all of the delicious cheese, is that although this was one of the first tables we went to, they remembered us at the end of our day, when we went back to make a purchase. Something as small as that gesture of remembering really helps make a difference.

Newhall Maple Syrup:

Woodfired, grade A maple syrup

Really good, nice, sweet and thick

Newhall also made a cider, and had it paired with two other small orchards for a tasting:

we tried them in the following order, from lowest to highest in both alcohol and acidity

  • Windfall Orchards Ice Cider- 30 different varieties of apples go into the making of. 9% ABV. Great with dessert or cheese
  • Eden Heirloom Blend-10 different varieties of apples, 10% ABV. Goes well with dried meats
  • Newhall Ice Cider-Won a double gold metal. 12% ABV.

We both liked all three, for different reasons. Each one was unique.

Caledonia Spirits and Winery

All products are made from honey

I was very excited about this brand, due in part to the “Barr” name of two of their products.

Our tasting:

  • Barr Hill Vodka- not harsh, slight honey flavor
  • Barr Hill Gin- honey more powerful here. A sipping gin. Although I am not a gin drinker, i enjoyed this.
  • Elderberry Cordial- really good! Would be great as an after dinner drink or mixed with Prosecco 100_0722  100_0719  100_0721  100_0720

Whistlepig Straight Rye Whiskey

100 proof. Highest rated whiskey, 96 points. Good taste, but pricey. I found out after the festival that Whistlepig is not made in Vemont as we were made to think (all the others were Vermont made). I was disappointed in this. I did, however, find out that the distiller who makes this used to work for Maker’s Mark, which could be why I enjoyed it.

Vermont Farmstead Cheese Company

Tried:

  • Lille- thicker than Brie. Really good! Great flavor
  • Governor’s Cheddar- good, dry cheddar

Mad River Distillers

  • Maple Finish Rum- tastes like whiskey to me (which in later discussions with a distiller I know, I found was actually the oak barrel taste that I associate with whiskey). The maple syrup is aged in bourbon barrels.Good flavor
  • First Run Rum- good mixer
  • Chocolate Rye- nice, spiced, smooth100_0723

Vermont Distillers

  • Metcalf’s Raspberry Liqueur- good, tastes like raspberry jam. Would be great added to other drinks, or even a splash in sprite
  • Metcalf’s Vermont Maple Liqueur- Really good. Mark said it could be his new skiing coffee mixer.

 

100_0724 100_0761 We stopped by their tasting room at Hogback Mountain Scenic Overlook on the ride home, but they were not present. We assumed their staff was at the festival.

Vermont Spirits

  • Vermont Gold Vodka- not too much of a burn. Distilled from maple syrup.
  • No 14 Bourbon Whiskey- Mark really liked; they suggested adding water to a glass of whiskey to make the flavors open up

Mother Myrik’s Confectionary

Had their Buttercrunch to sample. Really delicious! It is handmade and made with Cabot Creamery butter.

 

Saxtons River Distillery

  • Vermont Maple Liqueur- good, although somewhat harsh going down
  • Vermont Maple Bourbon Whiskey- Mark tried, he said it was good, but “weird” because the maple flavor is different
  • Perc Coffee Liqueur- tastes just like coffee

Comment made by Mark:

“There’s a lot of maple and cider stuff in Vermont.”

Everywhere we looked, there was maple flavored stuff or cider!

Shelburne Vineyard

Tasting:

  • Louise Swenson- driest of the whites. Not too dry, it had a nice pucker to it
  • Riesling- Mark “that’s good.” Me- dry Riesling, not typical for me.
  • Lakeview White- semidry blend
  • Marquette- dry red. Hybrid grape with pinot noir. I actually liked this one, which surprised me. Mark also enjoyed.
  • Harvest Widows Revenge- semisweet red. Best served chilled. Mark and I really enjoyed.

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North Branch Vineyard

Tasting:

  • Frontenac Gris- dry white. Nice flavor to it, white peach and citrus. Liked it!
  • Miss Maeve- red raspberries. Not strong raspberry flavor, dry rose. Not sweet like you would expect.
  • Traminette- semidry. Similar to a dry Riesling. Rose petal and grapefruit. Mark liked.
  • Lacrescent- semisweet. Intense sweet apricot. Liked it, it is a different flavor
  • Marquette- oaked. Dry, black pepper and cherries. Like it, sweet, although it doesn’t intend to be.
  • Marechal Foch- dry blackberries. We both actually enjoyed this wine, although we tend to not like dry wines (guess our tastes are changing!)

Comment by Mark:

“I think we’re spoiled by Lukes.”

Lukes Liquors, located on the South Shore of Massachusetts in Rockland, hosting a wine tasting twice a year. The cost is $5, and for that price you get a wine glass, booklet, pen, small bites, and the opportunity to taste more than 100 different wineries.

Fresh Tracks Farm

We had to pick 3 each to try

  • American White- Mark tried, it was alright
  • Vermont Rose- I tried, it was ok
  • Vermont Apple Wine- semidry, juicy apple juice front. Refreshing finish. Good apple wine- you don’t see many apple wines that aren’t ice wines, so it makes it to be a more affordable way to enjoy
  • 2011 La Crescent- Mark enjoyed, and later went back for a larger sample (1 ticket for a larger pour)
  • 2011 Frontenac Gris- I tried and really enjoyed. Good amount of sweetness. I went back for a larger sample later.

Crowley Cheese

Had to try this cheese due to it being a family name.

  • Unusually Sharp- soooo good!
  • Chive- really good!

Yum! Understood the high prices, but would have purchased if it were less expensive for what they had left when we got there100_0638 100_0730

Whetstone Ciderworks

Told us their ciders were as “dry as any other cider on the market” and “a food friendly product.”

Our tasting:

  • Orchard Queen- dry, crisp, refreshing
  • Barnyard Blend- more rustic, English Farmhouse style. I enjoyed this one more than the Orchard Queen
  • Orchard King- most carbonated of all. Mark enjoyed
  • Whetstone Reserve- a different flavor. Mark enjoyed

Grandview Winery

Our tasting:

  • Pear Wine- Eastern States Wine Convention “double gold” and “best in show.” We both thought it was really good
  • Cranberry Wine- Ok, have had other cranberry wines that I have enjoyed more (such as those from Plymouth MA!)
  • Mac Jack Hard Cider- fresh grown Vermont apples, carbonated
  • Strawberry Rhubarb- nose picks up strawberry, then mouth picks up rhubarb
  • Raspberry Apple Wine- great nose. Nice and refreshing. Great combination. This is the bottle we left with, which was enjoyed with our Grafton Village 3 year Cheddar Cheese by the campfire.

On Sunday, we packed up and set off towards home mid-morning, making a stop on the way at Honora Winery. Look for that post soon!

Want to go to the 7th Annual Vermont Life Wine and Harvest Festival? Look here for more information as the time gets closer.

Due to the nature of our visit (it being a festival), there is not a huge amount of detail for many of the wineries. Since it was a festival, they are all still on our list to visit.

 

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