Here we were in Rockland, Maine, learning about puffins--and wine. First, we visited the Project Puffin Visitor Center and learned that we could "adopt" a puffin. To ponder this, we walked to a nearby wine tasting room to sample the locally made wines of Breakwater Vineyards. Wine made in Maine, you might ask? Indeed. Twenty wineries on the Maine wine trail, in fact, and some very unusual and tasty ones, at that.
At the Breakwater Vineyards you can get four wine tastes for $3.00, $5.00 if you want to include the two estate-grown wines. We did the latter.
My first impression of many of the wines was how unique their bouquets were. Their un-oaked Chardonnay, for example, had hints of pineapple and was crisp, light and easy on the palate. Their estate 2012 Riesling, made from what are believed to be the first Riesling grapes grown commercially in Maine, also had a pleasant "nose" and a semi-sweet taste.
Finally, their Breakwater Blues dry red was unique and wonderful. Again the blueberry bouquet was unusual, in a good way, and the dry taste of the wine itself made for a surprising and good counterpoint experience. Made from hand-raked Maine blueberries, it felt like a quintessential Maine wine experience. Plus, it was dynamite with chocolate.
The vineyard is owned by a couple from Massachusetts, who bought the Maine farm ten
years ago; they have just released their 2012 estate wines. And as our small world would have it, the winemaker, Brian Smith, was trained in Fresno.
At this point, if you want some Breakwater wines, you have to come to the coast of Maine to taste and buy them. What a lovely excuse to see a spectacular part of our country, to visit the Farnsworth Art Museum which houses work from the three generations of the incredible Wyeth family, and to think about adopting a puffin over some great little wine. And it is nice to know that a part of each wine purchase goes to help in the preservation efforts for the Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse. All in all, a great venture and adventure.