Sure, Vermont is Green. But Can They Grow Grapes?

With soil this rich, it stands to reason that one could grow grapes in Vermont. Indeed, we’ve had guests ask about nearby vineyards, so we recently left our little craft-beer haven and headed north on Route 7. We’re glad we did.

After a lovely lunch in Middlebury, we started off at Lincoln Peak, just a short drive north. We were welcomed to the tasting room’s bar where we sampled five wines for $5, which includes a souvenir wine glass. We selected some whites, some reds, and an ice wine from a menu that described their properties. We learned more about the grapes from the pourer, who was quite knowledgeable about the varieties and the growing process.

The store is well stocked with the vineyard’s wine at reasonable prices, plus local cheeses and crackers. There’s a wonderful deck with chairs overlooking a pond and the vineyards for enjoying a glass of wine in the shade.

We took a quick detour into Woodchuck Cidery (yum!) before heading further north to Shelburne Vineyard. The tasting room is a bit larger and looks out on the vineyards through glass walls on two sides, with patio seating on warm days. For $9, you can taste all of their wines and take the glass home with you. For $18, you can sample four wines paired with four local cheeses. The pairing was really well done—we particularly loved the Cayuga White with Von Trapp Farmstead’s Mt. Alice and the Crimson Sails (a light red) with Woodcock Farm’s Kind of Blue.

The store is well stocked with wine, including the unusual Capsize White in cans, several reserve wines, and an ice wine. Free tours of the vineyard are available every hour from 1:00 to 4:00 from May to October; Saturdays only from November to April

Planning a trip here? We were surprised by the quality of the wines we tasted, the drive up Route 7 offers a nice slice of rural Vermont. There’s an extensive list of Vermont wineries on this page, along with information on the Vermont Wine and Vine Trail, which includes mead and ice ciders. And, if you want to include some craft beer investigating on your tour, be sure to stop in Brandon (just south of Middlebury), home to Foley Brothers, Red Clover Ale, and Otter Creek Brewing.