Four generations of Boydens have lovingly tended hundreds of acres of land that make up Boyden Valley Winery & Spirits. Plucked from more than 8,000 vines, these grapes are transformed into European-style wines, aged in French oak barrels in the on-site cellar. The results are 18 different products, including red, whites, and fruit wines as well as ice wines, hard cider, and cream liqueurs, which can be sipped by the glass on the patio, during tastings, tours, or at home.
The Beauchesne family, founders of Beau's All Natural Brewing Co., know that music and beer go well together. However, that doesn't simply mean that they enjoy sipping beer while listening to music. They've actually based their hands-on brewing process around the strong work ethic of DIY musicians. Several employees even play in the brewery's resident band, Audio.
The brewery's beer is as unique as its music-centered personality. "The beer, made with certified organic malt and local spring water, is just as refreshing as its quirky branding,? said Ottawa Magazine in its 101 Tastes To Try Before You Die list. Lug?Tread lagered ale, belgian dubbel, and vanilla porter are among its award-winning brews. Ever involved with the community, Beau's All Natural Brewing Co. frequently organizes dinners, music nights, and other events at local spots.
Thanks to its size and seven trillion gallons of water, Lake Champlain creates the perfect microclimate for growing grapes. East Shore Vineyard is one of its direct beneficiaries, with more than 8,000 vines creeping across 11 acres along the lake's shores.
Bob and Linda Livingstone planted the vineyard's first grapevines in 2000. In the years since, they've weathered the Grand Isle's challenges?including the notoriously unforgiving weather?to create award-winning wines that are now available in 160 retailers and restaurants throughout Vermont. But fans don't have to go shopping or hide in a sommelier's cummerbund just to get a taste of the vineyard's products. Instead, they can visit its Burlington-based tasting room and pair sips with Vermont-made cheeses and chocolates.
Boston Brew Tours immerse visitors in the city's beer culture while introducing palates to award-winning pilsners, IPAs, and stouts. Each outing takes roughly five hours as the guides?all homebrewers themselves?transport small groups to notable breweries and beer bars throughout the city. These stops can include opportunities to visit local nanobreweries as well as the suds-producing hubs of nationally renowned brands such as Night Shift Brewing, Idle Hands, Mystic and many others. Over the course of each tour, guests will be able to sample tastes of more than 12 different beers and enjoy a beer-focused lunch, all while learning about the evolution of brewing over the centuries.
The team behind Rare Earth Wine Bar doesn't adhere to a hierarchy. Owners and staff alike are proficient in every aspect of service, from recommending wine to washing the dishes. This sense of open-mindedness and community is evident throughout. They encourage visitors to try something new or to even peek into the kitchen to watch the chef prepare their dinner, ensuring it wasn't created by evil robots. And then, of course, there's the wine, available in adventurous flights or by the varietal. Their well-curated selection of vinos hail from California to Canada to New Zealand. And the staff is always happy to make pairing recommendations with their wide variety of food choices?from small, shareable plates to hearty entrees.
The chefs incorporate wine into many dishes, such as a poussin, or young chicken, braised in a Madeira reduction and a Delmonico strip steak seared with red wine, but all them were designed with wine pairings in mind. For example, the staff recommends sipping Bois Noyer merlot with the seared duck breast and Between the Lines pinot noir with the braised quail.
What happens when you mix a background in chemistry with a wine-making heritage and decades of industry experience? You end up with Gary Akrop, a vintner who really knows his stuff. For Gary, wine was once a simple hobby. But it eventually grew into a full-blown passion, leading him to establish Ledge Rock Hill Winery in the Adirondack Mountains in 2011.
There, he mixes scientific wisdom with decades of industry knowhow to produce limited batches of his handcrafted wine. Reds are the winery's specialty, each one made with grapes crushed onsite. And much like magic genies, each one is stored in oak barrels for months and even years at a time. Such precise barrel aging is part of a process that, when combined with quality fruit and expert skills, helps Gary and Ledge Rock produce wines of exceptional character. Whether sweet or dry wines are your favorite, a variety of the winery's best choices is always available for sampling in the warm, woodsy tasting room.