My recent trip to Maine, as detailed in this month's Hideaway Report, certainly rewarded my search for interesting wines and spirits.
An easy drive from Camden in Lincolnville, Cellardoor Winery rivals some facilities I’ve seen in Napa, with a barn-like tasting room filled with books and wine-related items for sale, and a judicious selection of sandwiches and salads that you can take to the outside deck for the fine views of the vineyards. Two favorites from my tasting: The Triology Blanc, an appealing dry white made from a blend of Rhône varietals Roussanne, Viognier and Marsanne; and the Petit Verdot, a pleasing red made from Petit Verdot given a bracing boost from the addition of Mourvèdre.
367 Youngtown Road; Tel. (207) 763-4478.
Sweetgrass Farm Winery & Distillery
Farther inland in Union, Sweetgrass Farm Winery & Distillery makes fruit-based wines that I found interesting, if not compelling. But its Back River gin won me over completely, being a finely crafted spirit with just the right notes of juniper and herbs.
347 Carroll Road; Tel. (207) 785-3024
Oyster River Winegrowers
En route from Camden down to Kennebunkport, we couldn’t resist the small roadside tasting room of Oyster River Winegrowers. A new venture, it is waiting for its vineyards to mature but is making wines from purchased grapes in the interim, with very promising results. We went home with a bottle each of the tasty, well-balanced Village Red and the very respectable Merlot, which could stand up to many well-established competitors.
Route 1 at 131 North in Thomaston; Tel. (207) 354-7177.