The drive from Burlington south along Routes 7 and 22A gives a visual clue as to Vermont's newest Localvore trend. Viticulture and viniculture has become one of the fastest growing agricultural segments in Vermont's continuing local food product markets. Wine vineyards are being established throughout Vermont as winter hardy grape varieties have changed the way we think of Vermont produced wine. Vermont has always had a small wine industry focusing on apple, pear and blueberry wines. However, due to research and development at Midwestern universities, grape varieties have been developed that can withstand Vermonts harsh winter conditions. Marquette, St Croix and Frontenac are just a few of the varities that have found a welcome home with Vermont vintners.
An excellent new book on the subject is "An Unlikely Vineyard" by Deirdre Heekin 2014 published by Chelsea Green Publishing. Deirdre along with her husband Caleb Barber have owned and operated one of Vermont's premier restaurants in Woodstock, Osteria Pane e Salute, for many years. Having grown many of the herbs and produce used in the restaurant on their farm in Barnard, it was a logical progression to develop a vineyard. "An Unlikely Vineyard" is beautifully written and illustrated and fully captures the spirit of connecting with our earth and it's bounty. Their website, www.lagaragista.com, is well worth perusing.
There are many resources to learn more about Vermont's wines and vineyards, including the Vermont Grape and Wine Council and VermontWine.com. And for those really wanting to learn more there is the Vermont Wine School. Whatever the interest level is, the vineyards with their carefully trellised vines add another beautiful element to the Vermont landscape.
Posted by Wade I. Treadway 5/11/2015