Find A Rainbow Of Fruit Wines At Putney Mountain Winery
The Shopper Bellows Falls, Vt. Sept. 13. 2011
PUTNEY, VT.-Located at Putney'sBasketville Store, Putney Mountain Winery is an artisan winery specializing in hand-crafted fruit wines created from locally grown ingredients, on Vermont family farms. The winery produces some 1,500 cases or roughly 18,000 bottles of wine each year, including over a dozen varieties of dinner, dessert, sparkling and fortified wines of pristine quality.
Photos by Joe Milliken
Founded by Iowa-native CharlesDodge and his wife Kate, Charles is also a renowned composer and a pioneer of classical electronic computer music. "I moved to the East coast in the 60's and started coming to Vermont in the 70's," Dodge said in a recent interview. "My father's family is from Vermont and I moved to Putney in 1989."
Dodge received his masters and doctorate degrees at Columbia University, while also teaching at several colleges and universities including Columbia and Dartmouth. He also co-authored the renowned book "Computer Music: Synthesis, Composition, and Performance".
Dodge retired from music and teaching in 2009, as to concentrate fully on the wine-creating endeavors. Originally, the winery began right in the basement of their Holland Hill Road home and after a decade of "experimenting and learning", opened a small, retail space within the Basketville store in 1999. Nearly a decade later in 2008,the complete winery production was also transported to the Basketville location, a moving process that took about six months to complete.
The Dodge's create their own wine recipes and honed their craft mostly through the aforementioned experimentation and sheer experience. "Just like with composing music, it takes time. It took us a good 10 years to really learn and understand the craft," Dodges aid.
The Putney Mountain Winery offers a variety of fruit wines including a Cranberry, Simply Rubarb, Ruhbarb Blush and a very tart/sweet Apple-Maple Cassis, which is a still wine of heirloom apples bottled with a touch of maple syrup. They also produce a dry, sparkling apple wine made with locally grown MacIntosh apples. "I believe one aspect that makes our winery unique is that we exclusively use Vermont food products in our recipes," Dodge said.
"Vermont fruit has a great reputation and we strive to use the best fruit from local farms. Our award-winning Cassis is made from unsprayed, black currants grown right in Springfield.It is the most popular with our customers."
The Ruhbarb Blush, made with strawberries and a hint of raspberry, was named the 2008 North Eastern gold metal winner, a very prestigious New England winery award. While Putney Mountain's Rhubarb Blush also won a gold medal and received the 2008 award for best wine in the state of Vermont at the Northeastern States Big Ein Holyoke, MA., New England's largest agricultural fair.
Putney Mountain remains oneof only a few Vermont-based wineries to produce sparkling fruit wines and more recently, was judged the producer of "best fruit wine" in the Northeast,at the 2010 Big E wine competition.
Other fine Putney Mountain seasonal wines include two sparkling apple wines made from single apple varieties-a Northern Spy and a Green Mountain Mac. Their organic single fruit wines include Simply Cranberry, Simply Pear and the aforementioned Simply Cranberry.
Two blushes also include Blueberry Blush and the aforementioned, award-winning Rhubarb Blush. Putney Mountain Winery also offers fortified wines in which distilled alcohol is added to the wine, including an apple port wine bottled in 2005, as well as a blueberry port.
The retail space and winery is located on the ground floor of the Basketville store on Route 5 in Putney,with two other tasting rooms and retail spaces located inside the Cabot Creamery Store, on Rte. 4 in Quechee and the Dutton Farm Stand in Manchester.
The Putney Mountain Winery is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, and visitors are always welcome to observe the winery operations through the viewing windows or a private tour. The Cabot Creamery tasting room is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily and the Dutton Farm Stand is open Friday through Monday, noon to 6 p.m.
For more information about The Putney Mountain Winery or to inquire about a tour, call at 387-5925 or visit thier Web site at www.putneywine.com.