Back in 2014, Deirdre Heekin published An Unlikely Vineyard: The Education of a Farmer and Her Quest for Terroir. The book was a hit - a wonderfully practical account of realizing her vision of a living farm with a table at its center. It balanced rural romance with the real concerns of sinking hands into dirt. Existing gardeners found it filled with tips and inspiration, and armchair green thumbs (like me) found themselves ready to run off and buy a tractor. Or at least plant a few raised garden beds.
What is so unlikely about the vineyard of the title?
Well, to start, it’s in Vermont.
Now it’s not the only vineyard in Vermont, but it’s the only one farmed according to biodynamic and permaculture principles. And while there are plenty of hybrid varieties grown in the state, most of them don’t make their way into a winery that treats them thoughtfully and minimally. The approach certainly works as the resulting wines are lovely – liquid proof that hybrids like Brianna, Frontenac, Marquette and Le Crescent are worth exploring- and drinking.
The wines have been a sensation – New York Times features, obsessed fans, and a buzzing Vermont cider/wine/spirits scene. Yet total production is tiny – around 700 cases. And in case you’re not intimate with wine math, that’s tiny - especially when you consider this number is spread across nearly ten different bottlings.
But I’ve always been lucky enough to get some bottles of whatever the current release is. So check this spot (and sign up for our newsletter) to get your hands on some!