Monday, August 28, 2006

Maine Report Part Five: Bartlett Winery

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On the final day of vacation, a few of us went to the Bartlett Winery in Gouldsboro for a tasting. And we ended up buying, um, a little wine...

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That was just what came home with J. and myself (minus a bottle that's already been given to a friend). Another in the party bought a case on her own.

I think some of the others thought we had gone a little crazy. The Bartlett winery is a fruit winery, you see, and the wines we bought were made from blueberries, pears, raspberries, blackberries, apples and peaches. The reputation of fruit wines is humble to say the least. At best someone might have a fond recollection of a grandparent's elderberry or dandelion wine. At worst, people think of Boone's.

Bartlett's wines are real wine. The dessert wines are sweet, but not syrupy, with bold clear fruit flavors. The dry wines are genuinely dry and crisp, with varying degree of fruit. In some of the whites, the pears or apples could pass for grapes; in the blueberry wines, the blueberry flavor comes through, but with the complexity of a grape wine. These are not souveniers for tourists; these are serious wines, and I was thrilled to try them. To me, this represents the best of the locavore impulse: the creative, intelligent use of locally-grown materials to create a fine product that tastes of the place of its origin.

Also, the woman who was pouring was very nice, and the winery itself is lovely. If you're ever up in that area, do try to visit.


tiny banquet committee said...

Funny, I just returned from Maine with a bottle of their apple & blueberry wine! I was intrigued after seeing it on the menu in a wine bar in Rockland and picked up a bottle while we were on Vinalhaven. It's most definitely not Boones-ian, and I think my one bottle will be empty before the week is over . . . .

Heather said...

I bought some blueberry wine and mead wine(I think it's mead) last year when I was in Boothbay Harbor and I have yet to try it. Maybe I'll break it open this weekend.