Can we bring our children?
Absolutely. The farm is a great place for supervised children to learn about local food production and tire themselves out! However, they are prohibited from tasting any alcoholic beverage on farm property.
Can we bring our dog?
Unfortunately, dogs are not permitted outside your vehicle. This violates our GAP (Good Agricultural Practices) certification for health and sanitation on the farm.
Is the winery handicap accessible?
The grounds are level, but are grass and gravel. There are two small steps at the entrance of our tasting room, and a custom drop-in ramp available for anyone who prefers that option.
Do you grow grapes?
Yes! We planted our first two acres of pinot blanc grapes in 2010. Look for more varieties in the future: we are always planting and adding acreage as our crop rotation allows.
Why isn’t this hard cider as strong as what I am used to?
Short answer: We make our ciders in the English tradition, which produce a beverage with a maximum alcohol by volume (ABV) of 7-8%. This is slightly stronger than beer.
Long answer: Alcohol content is determined by how much sugar is in the fruit before crushing or pressing. The yeast used during fermentation consumes the sugars and output alcohol. This means that fruits with higher sugar content will produce a stronger beverage. Grapes will naturally ferment to between 10-16% ABV, depending on the variety of grape. Apples only contain enough natural sugar to ferment 7-8% ABV. The English tradition of making cider is simply to ferment the juice until the sugars are all consumed. Colonial ciders were an improvised version of this process, and were often fermented in old whiskey barrels with molasses and raisins. These additions increased the overall sugar content and produced a stronger end-product. In New England, “hard cider” is usually thought of as this style of fermentation, and is a much stronger product.
Okay, so how do you make apple wine?
We add sugar to the juice during the fermentation process, mimicking the higher sugar content of a grape. This creates a stronger, but drier, end-product.
How many acres do you grow?
We have about 50 in production. 2 acres is in vineyard (with more to be added in coming years). Apples make up about 35 acres, and the remaining 13 is in peaches, pears, nectarines, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, tomatoes and various other crops.
How long have you been making wine?
We began selling our wines and ciders in late 2007. The production of wine began in 2006.
How many gallons of wine do you make?
We produce about 3500 gallons annually. We produce about 1500 gallons of wine and 1500-2000 gallons of hard ciders.
What’s the deal with the pear-in-a-bottle brandy?
The product is called “Poire Prisonniere” and is made by Westford Hill Distillers in Ashford, CT. We grow the pear into the bottle for them! We cannot sell this product at our farm; it is a distilled spirit and is not allowed under our liquor license. Check westfordhill.com for a list of liquor stores that carry it, and a full explanation of how we grow it.