For Earth Day, Chrissy and I celebrated in a way Dionysus would’ve approved of. What better way to celebrate the earth and all its wonders then over wine that has been grown, harvested, fermented, and bottled on the same 52 acres we were standing on. Welcome to Nashoba Winery in Bolton, MA! This is one of my favorite day trips to take because you can do so much there at a pretty cheap price. Wine tasting is only$5.00 and the tours are $10. The wines and spirits range from 11 dollars and up too. Even as I wrote this, I was enjoying a glass of their classic and most favored Plum Wine. That is what brought us on this pilgrimage in the first place. One taste and you become hooked. Chrissy had never gone before while I had the neglected pleasure of having it less than ten minute from my house when I lived in Clinton, MA. I had only been there once before with my parents, and I never got to explore the area. Yes, I wine tasted, but I didn’t engorge on the possibilities and knowledge that this winery offers.
So it was raining and we didn’t really want to explore outside. The sign for the tour teased me and tickled my curiosity. Both of us loved wine, knew some names (her more than I because she worked at a liquor store), but we were ignorant on the facts and the complete process of what we were drinking. I love dissecting the things I love and asking why. I imagined that they harvested and sent it to a place to have the whole process taken care of and bottled for them. I was terribly wrong.
You see the antique apple crusher, and you think of the people who started making liquor in their basements. It was no different for the man who founded Nashoba Winery. It started in Somerville, MA with just apple wine. If you read the book, “Botany of Desire”, they have section where they delve into the history of the apple. You learn that hard cider was redundant. All apple cider used to be hard. It wasn’t until the prohibition that there was a separation of both. That’s when the happy story of Johnny Appleseed that you know and love with the tin pot hat was created. Disney made a cartoon that most can remember, and that is how most were brought up to think. Based on the history, technically Johnny Appleseed spread the profitable and desired apple spirits throughout the country. The apples you know are designed to be that way. Genetically manipulated to give you Apple Delicious or The Pink Lady apple. Our tour guide at Nashoba Winery, explained that they had about 94-95 different types of apples on the property. They also have a 2 1/2 hour mile radius to which they will drive to local farms to use their apples or other fruits needed if they are short or have a poor season.
Did I mention Chrissy and I had a private tour? We were the only ones that signed up for the 12 o’clock tour, and we were given the chance to really question our guide Joey. I felt like a V.I.P for once in my life. Each of these barrels are made out of White Oak. I loved when past books that I’ve read popped up in the information he gave us. It was one of those moments where you actually feel like the time reading was worth it. You learned something that could be put towards real life operations. I got to try 4 different types of wine on the tour too. The semi-sweet blueberry and raspberries were my favorite. The raspberry wine smelled so delicious that all I could dream about was the desserts or foods I could cook with it. I bought a book awhile back on cooking with wine. I love the flavors it brings out in the food and how it can really make a dish pop. My first experiment with cooking with wine was the scallops I posted earlier. I get so nervous messing up the meal… but that’s part of the fun of trying, right?
Our tour guide brought up how oxygen is a wine’s worst enemy. That it changes the flavor and steers away from the original taste the wine marker intended for you. I smiled and looked at Chrissy and asked the guide, “Does that mean it gives us an excuse to finish the whole bottle in one take? You know… keep the purity.” We all laughed over that. I’ll be honest, I turn up my nose at wine bottles with twist caps. We all love that “pop” the cork makes when it pulls out of the top of the wine bottle. It breathes “romance” in the room. A twist cap screams, “CHEAP!”.. but we were informed that it actually is the best way to keep a wine tasting as close to the original way it should taste as long as possible. Many big name brands are trying to switch to twist caps and get customers to get by the twist cap prejudice. With the decline in cork trees, don’t be surprised if the “pop” of romance will slowly fade to a “Crack, snap”. When it comes down to it though, would you rather have the best taste to tickle your taste buds or the cork “pop” of idealistic romance? I pick the taste.
So next time you are looking for a great way to spend the day, go to Nashoba. They have a restaurant there too, but I haven’t eaten there. I heard it is VERY expensive, but the quality is a five star restaurant. I want to go back there for their brunch just to have a taste of it and see what the raving is all about. I also want to go fruit picking there as well. I think Chrissy and I will be going back with our friend Kristin in a couple of weeks on a sunny day. They have a porch that you can sit out and drink wine.
The other lovely thing about the wine tasting and or tour is that you get to keep your wine glass. It’s like a keepsake that you can actually use over and over again. Our wine glasses mostly have their logo on it. Would be a wonderful date idea.
The winery is open 7 days a week 10am-5pm. For more information: Nashoba Winery
Maybe pick up this apron while you are there too…