Early this year I was invited by the owners of a local winery to help them in their winemaking activities. Running Brook is a winery founded in 1998, located in Dartmouth - Massachusetts, producing wines from estate grown Vitis Vinefera and hybrid grape varietals. The winery has faced many challenges and things haven't always run smoothly. It certainly isn't easy to start a winery business from the ground up here in New England.
But Running Brook has a key ingredient to success... very good vineyards. Approximately 21 acres of vines planted in two separate vineyard sites with Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Vidal Blanc, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir and Petit Verdot. Their estate grown Chardonnay wines are as good as any that I have had, especially at the $10 per bottle price range – actually… I think that’s a steal for a locally grown "boutique" wine.
My role at Running Brook is of part-time winemaker. This is a great opportunity for me to learn from people who have been in this business for a few years and I’m very thankful to Manny Morais and Pedro Teixeira, co-owners of Running Brook. We are currently bottling the last few barrels of the 2005 vintage. I’m very excited about the upcoming harvest because it will be my first experience making wine in a fairly large scale. Although Running Brook can be considered a small winery, 40+ tons of grapes will result in a reasonable quantity of juice to handle. The vines are looking great and certainly the hot and fairly dry summer we have had to this point here in the Northeast should result in grape clusters with flavorful berries.
There are several options to consider in preparation for harvest and winemaking… crush techniques, cold soaking, fermentation temperatures, press timing, etc. I will regularly post updates on what is happening at Running Brook.
If you happen to be in the New England area please visit Running Brook. After your visit you can continue to the other four local wineries which are part of the Coastal Wine Trail.