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Wine

Our Wine Department has become a destination for both serious and casual wine drinkers. Being a specialty store that focuses on research and quality rather than on quantity, we are able to feature unusual, hard-to-find wines, produced by small vineyards. We’re excited to be able to offer affordable treats from Europe, Australia and South America as well as fine domestics. Our extensive collection also includes a wide variety of organic, sustainable and biodynamic wines, and over 40 wines made right here in Vermont. We welcome you to delight in the presence of truly great wine!

 

Looking to stock your cellar or simply save on your favorite wines? Not a problem. We offer discounts on case purchases, even those already on sale, and are happy to fill special orders. Need a bottle chilled down quickly before heading home or to a dinner party? Check out our free Turbo Chilling Station that allows you to chill a bottle of wine to your preferred temperature in just 3-7 minutes!


For the most current info make sure to like us on Facebook, follow us Twitter, and join our Beer and Wine mailing list here.

Wine News

11/20/2016

 

Artesano produces fine mead and specialty vinegar in an old, restored general store in bucolic Groton, Vermont. We are Mark Simakaski and Nichole Wolfgang, the husband and wife team who founded the business in 2008 and have been making high-quality craft mead ever since. As a small family business, we strive to produce the best products with a commitment to our local agricultural producers and food system while maintaining a sustainable business.


Mead is humankind’s oldest fermented beverage — a wine made from honey. Artesano mead is our modern interpretation of this age-old drink. We take Vermont wildflower honey, mix it with water, and ferment it long and slow, then age it for about a year. It’s at this point that we select each batch for our full range of flavors, from our dry Essence Mead to semisweet Traditional Mead. We also have several varieties of fruit-infused mead, including Blueberry and Blackberry Mead. Our berries come from several local growers. Even our cranberries are grown here in central Vermont! Our Cyser starts with several varieties of Vermont heirloom apples pressed into cider and blended with our honey to create a beautifully balanced quaff. For those who love bubbles, we also offer a line of sparkling mead for festive occasions. Sparkling Cranberry Mead is a very popular addition to holiday gatherings. Rounding out our selection is Poet’s Mead — a robust bourbon oak-barrel-aged mead with a smooth finish. And for those who like it hot, we offer a fun, fresh Chili Cinnamon Mead — perfect for après ski.

Our love of locally produced food has led us to create a range of tasty vinegars over the past two years. We now offer a unique all-honey-based vinegar, cyser vinegar, apple cider vinegar and our new Daily Tonic. Daily Tonic is our version of fire cider, which has a base of honey and vinegar and is infused with a host of spicy and savory organic veggies. Aside from its immune-boosting properties, it’s a great base to use for vinaigrettes, marinades, and even for a Bloody Mary or a dirty martini with a kick. Our vinegar, honey, and tonic are all raw, unfiltered, and probiotic, and they add amazing depth of flavor to any culinary creation you can dream up.

Mead has a long tradition as a harvest drink. The bees have finished collecting their honey, and it’s time for a celebration of the bounty. Artesano mead can be served at the holiday table as an accompaniment to your meal, served alongside some of the amazing cheeses our local farmers make, or all on its own as a digestif. 

 

 

9/1/2015

by Sabra Ewing, Owner, Flag Hill Farm

 

When we moved to our abandoned Vershire hill farm in 1984, it was initially into a tipi and we used an open wood fire for all cooking. In the autumn, as temperatures fell and camping became less comfortable, we worked hard on building our energy efficient, off-grid house. That first fall we enjoyed apples picked from some of the dozen or so homestead trees still remaining from previous caretakers of the land.

Unlike Sebastian’s native England, we quickly noticed that wild apple seedlings were part of the local forest succession. The resulting fruit, with each tree being a different variety, produced a myriad of tastes that further inspired us. By sharing labor with friends, our first oak barrel was filled with our apples, and squeezed at Gingerbrook Farm using their wonderful, hand-cranked wooden press, mentored by Bob Machin and Joanne Liddell. The resulting wonderful vintage was much enjoyed by the town road crew on their annual trip grading our long access road! 

 

Having picked in commercial orchards and knowing that conventional apples are some of the most heavily sprayed food crops, we knew that we were committed to organic agriculture from the very start. By focusing mainly on organic apples for processing, we could avoid chasing the perfect looking, east coast organic eating apple – which is a tricky thing to produce. We planted 50 fruit and nut trees before we even moved onto our land, and hundreds more after that.

 

Over the years we went a bit permaculture-wild, testing everything we could from apple rootstocks resistant to borers, to chestnuts, kiwis, cotoneasters and many more. Some notable years yielded certain exotic fruit successes but it was the apples that slowly but steadily formed the reliable backbone. We now harvest a wealth of varieties all selected for flavor and
grown without any sprays whatsoever.

 

We are committed to staying small and making a product from our own fruit that fully represents an expression of the immediate land around us. Over the years as our trees and our children grew, our cider business also grew – organically. Years of having to explain what hard cider was (and “no you can not let your child taste it”), have pleasantly faded, replaced by a huge, international passion for cider.

 

We are one of they very few certified organic wineries (which is the category cideries fall under) and distilleries in the USA. Conventional wines not only do not have to list ingredients, but also can be made with a cocktail of them. Buying organic wines mean that not only are you supporting acres of organic fruit growing, but you can also relax drinking a product that can only contain very limited and approved additives. All our ciders – bubbly, champagne method, and still – are dry and very complex, made with only apples, sugar, and some yeast. No foreign apple concentrates used here! 

 

Over the years we have also raised hundreds of Angora goats and exotic parrots, but that is a different story. They are all gone these days and only the apples remain – we trust many of them will be still around many years after we ourselves are gone. We are grateful for all our friends, family, patrons and pickers who have helped sustain us the last thirty years. 

 

Flag Hill Ciders are distributed in Vermont and Massachusetts. Our organic, Vermont Apple Brandy “Pomme de Vie” is available at Vermont liquor outlets.

 

 

 

8/7/2015
















 


by Tom Bivins, Executive Director, Vermont Cheese Council


Despite an undeserved reputation for sweetness (mostly due to an unhealthy American obsession with White Zinfandel in the 80s and 90s,) most really great rosés are dry or off-dry with a hint of berry and mineral, making them a great match for Vermont cheeses. The grapes used to make rosé wines range from Grenache to Malbec to Pinot Noir and Syrah. The grape juice rests on the skins for a few hours or overnight to produce the sunset hue of rosé wine, ranging from salmon pink to the deep pink of a fully bloomed peony. The wines are generally fruit forward and are reminiscent of late spring fruits – such as strawberry or cherry – and are both tart and refreshing. There are great French rosés from Tavel, Bandol, and Cotes de Provence; but the United States – including Vermont wineries – is also making lovely rosé wines.


Rosé is a great wine to consume in the spring. It’s lighter than the big reds we consume throughout the winter, and is lighter than

the barely there white wines that we find so refreshing at the peak of summer. It’s also perfect for some of the great fresh goat milk cheeses being produced here in Vermont in the spring. Try it with a classic like the Vermont Creamery Coupole, or one of the great cheeses from Lazy Lady Farm like Bonaparte, or serve it with a simple chèvre lightly flavored with fresh chopped garden herbs, from Willow Moon Farm or Hildene. Or try a bit of Twig Farm’s Fuzzy Wheel for a blast of flavor.


Other cheeses that would work well with a rosé include cow’s milk cheeses like Jasper Hill Farms Moses Sleeper or Blythedale Farm’s Vermont Brie or von Trapp Farmstead’s Mt. Alice. All of these would pair beautifully with a locally produced rosé, and point out the earthy, mineral qualities of both the wine and the cheese. If you prefer an aged cheese, you can’t go wrong with Vermont Shepherd Invierno, a fantastic sheep’s milk cheese; or try with Spring Brook Farm’s Ashlyn. 


Shopping List: Summer Rosé and Vermont Cheeses

Rosé Wines

• Fresh Tracks Farm Little Piggy Pink Vermont – $13.99 

• North Branch Vineyards Miss Maeve Vermont – $14.99 

• Meinklang Pinot Noir Rosé Frizzante Austria – $17.99  

• Castelfeder Lagrein Rosato Italy – $16.99 

• Crios Malbec Rosé Argentina – $12.99 

• Bieler Père et Fils Rosé France – $9.99

Vermont Cheeses 

• Vermont Creamery Coupole 

• Lazy Lady Farm Bonaparte 

• Twig Farm Fuzzy Wheel 

• Jasper Hill Farm Moses Sleeper 

• von Trapp Farmstead Mt. Alice 

• Blythedale Farm Vermont Brie